Caprylic Capric Triglycerides vs Fractionated Coconut Oil

I am developing a product which has both products. It seems like they both have the same INCI. I am using 21% of one and 13% of the other. Do I just combine them on the LOI or do I list them separately?



  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    If they have the same INCI name you combine them.
  • @Cafe33 I’m curious why would you add both to your formula?

    If only used as emollients my understanding is that there is practically no difference in skin feel. Only in certain formulations the difference in carbon chain lengths may affect the final product.

    I’m curious because I bought some supposed Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides from an online wholesaler and when I got them it was labeled as fractionated coconut oil. It doesn’t make a difference to me, but upon asking I did not get a clarification of which of the two it actually was. If you’re a professional you can probably trust the source if directly from the manufacturer, otherwise you may just be adding two of the same.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides are traditionally obtained by fractioning coconut oil but I've also found products (forgot which ones) obtained by esterification of purified caprylic/capric acids with glycerol. This means, they can be identical or at least from a chemical point of view different.
  • @Pharma that was my understanding as well. For DIYers it seems pretty difficult to know which one you’re getting exactly, but I don’t think it would make much difference in most formulations?
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    From an industrial point of view: 'synthetic' or 're-assembled' triglycerides have a very low batch to batch variation whereas the same fractions from fractionated oil will reflect origin, growing conditions, seasonal changes etc. to a certain degree. For DIY, this is negligible but for big brands with even bigger price tags, every pot and every tube needs to be identical even after years on the market.
  • Cafe33Cafe33 Member
    Well, I have MCT Oil from a USA supplier as well as Myritol® 318 from BASF.

    I have to admit that I started with the idea that they are similar but different. It is really out of ignorance at this point. I formulated a lotion bar on a whim and it is very well received by the zero waste crowd here. And of course it has a vegan and natural product story so coconut oil just sounds better.  

    I am reading from certain websites that they have different skin feel

    I have yet to really test this claim. 

    And as usual Pharma is so very helpful in pointing out that the natural product is not as likely to be consistent. I may just keep 1% of actual fractionated coconut oil and replace the rest with the BASF product. 

  • Guys, just one thing to add. These two might have the same INCI but they have very different polarities. In a product where polarity is important you can’t swap them. In a o/w emulsion there’s probably no difference.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited May 2020
    Cafe33 said:
    Now that you mention BASF, that's where I found the 're-assembled' ones :smile: !
    @ngarayeva001 Very different polarities? BASF offers different 'remade' capric/caprylic triglycerides (Myritol 312 and 318) with different polarities but I assume they are not THAT different, let alone less different between themselves than between fractionated coconut oil (the chemist in me can't see how 'pure' C/C triglycerides could have different polarities unless they aren't pure). From what I know about cosmetic industries, fractionated coconut oil may even be understood as hydrolysed, fractionated, esterified coconut oil = exactly the same process as for any MCT and capric/caprylic triglyceride... just that they don't explicitly point out that there is de- and reassembling involved which leads consumers believe that virgin coconut oil is easy-peasy split into different products. Economically speaking, the more synthetic approach is favourable in terms of most everything unless 'non-chemical' fractionation is done anyway in order to obtain a product with good demand.
    EDIT: According to Wikipedia, fractionation is usually done by the chemical approach. Minor differences in polarity and fair differences in viscosity reflect the ratio between capric and caprylic acid. Major differences in polarity are, from a chemical point of view, only possible with a certain amount of mono- and/or diglycerides present.
  • Well, I guess it's an irrelevant point for commercial-scale suppliers. C/C triglycerides sold on the DIY market vary significantly. 
  • Well, I guess it's an irrelevant point for commercial-scale suppliers. C/C triglycerides sold on the DIY market vary significantly. 
    Couldn't agree more!!!!!!!!!!!
    So today...I took all my oils...maybe 14 of them.....made a grid on my arm....and observed absorption rates.  One of the worst....was from my bottle of CCT.....which puzzled me no end!  I had been buying it from all over, so wasn't sure what was in my I opened a new bottle from a reputable seller...and immediately got the result one would expect from CCT.  Lesson learned!!!
  • @Graillotion, the way you can navigate amongst DYI suppliers, see if they say it's fractionated coconut oil or C/C triglycerides in the description but ignore INCI because INCI is always the same. I know by experience that C/C triglycerides sold by makingcosmetics is a light highly polar ester. Very spreadable with a good slip and not greasy. They repackage ingredients from large suppliers and give them their own names. Fractionated coconut oil usually acts like vegetable oil, it's heavy and greasy. Probably it's less processed.

  • AgateAgate Member
    @ngarayeva001 Do you know of a supplier that sells the vegetable-oil-like fractionated coconut oil? I've been wanting to try it for a while, but haven't been able to find a supplier.
  • Agate said:
    @ngarayeva001 Do you know of a supplier that sells the vegetable-oil-like fractionated coconut oil? I've been wanting to try it for a while, but haven't been able to find a supplier.
    What country do you live in?

  • ngarayeva001ngarayeva001 Member
    edited May 2020

    They also sell their products through Amazon UK and Amazon US.
    Btw they have reasonably priced D5 (which they simply call Cyclomethicone).
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Quote from their site:
    Extraction Method: ... A mixed trimester of glycerine, caproic acids.
    Obtained from: Seeds of Cocos nucifera, Palmae
    So, they use trimester and caproic acid to get capric/caprylic triglycerides and, very interesting, 'palmae' (hidden message that they also use palm oil or just thoughtless copy-paste?). Not quite what I expect from a reliable source... :smile:
    Are they reliable?
  • I guess as reliable as the most repackagers. You can't be 100% sure, but I buy some basic stuff (polysorbates, propylene glycol etc.) from them and didn't have issues (issues like selling polysorbate 20 as polysorbate 80, or GMS+PEG-100 as GMS SE for example). Most repackagers get ingredients from known big suppliers (Seppic, BASF, Dow etc.) but fail to provide supporting documentation.
  • Just a clarification I would not suggest to buy from them if you are making cosmetics to sell or you are developing something for scale-up in future. But if you are a hobbyist and don't have access to samples from ulprospector it's good enough.
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