Caprylic capric triglyceride is a base compound used in beauty products made from coconut oil.

Synthetic compound

Derived from:  glycerin + coconut oil

Process:  steam hydrolysis or chemical reaction


Ingredient Features

  • skin conditioning
  • emollient

User Benefits

  • softening
  • moisturizing by preventing water loss

Function in Product

  • surfactant
  • thickener

description of Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride


Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride is an oily mixture of glycerin with caprylic and capric acids derived from coconut oil. It is comprised of short chain fatty acids, and is extremely stable with an almost indefinite shelf life. This can be used in place of fractionated coconut oil in products such as lotions, balms and massage oils. It is a light, penetrating oil with a silky feel, wonderful for moisturizing products as it doesn't leave that greasy feeling. It is skin conditioning and used as an emollient to prevent water loss from the skin. It's also a great carrier for essential oils. See also: GLYCERIN.

Note: This is slightly different from Fractionated Coconut oil, as it only contains the shorter chain fatty acids.

Capric Acid is a type of carboxylic acid abundant in nature, as is malic acid (from apples) and lactic acid (from sour milk).

Caprylic Acid is a long-chain fatty acid found in coconuts and breast milk. In cosmetics it is used as a surfactant and thickening agent. It is known to have antifungal properties and thus is often recommended by nutritionists in the treatment of candidiasis, and is also used in the treatment of some bacterial infections.

How It's Made:

To make Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride, you first have to separate the Capric and Caprylic fatty acids from the glycerol group in the raw oil. There are two ways that this is generally done. One way is through a chemical reaction called saponification–aka soap-making. A strong alkali breaks apart the glycerol group from the fatty acids and reacts with the fatty acids to create a new compound we know as soap. Another way to split the glycerol from the fatty acids is through steam hydrolysis; intense heat and pressure is applied to break apart the triglyceride molecule. This is typically the method used in industrial fatty acid production.

Then once the Caprylic and Capric acids are separated from the glycerol they undergo another chemical process called esterification to add the glycerol group back to the fatty acids. A triglyceride contains more than one type of fatty acid. So, when the oil and fatty acids are separated from the glycerin the different fatty acids can then be separated and isolated.

Finally, the oil is put back together with only the shorter chain Capric and Caprylic acids. This is a purified version of the oil that is now referred to as Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride. This new purified and standardized oil has different physical properties than the original oil. It feels dryer, less greasy and has a much higher stability because it's all saturated fat since  the more unstable fatty acids have been removed. 

Is Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride comedogenic?

That depends on the particular skin: any oil has the potential to be comedogenic because it provides an occlusive barrier to the skin, so it depends entirely on how a face handles oil. However, this oil doesn't turn solid until it gets to ~40° F, so it doesn't harden on the skin and clog pores in that way. 

As a Food Supplement

Capric/Caprylic Triglyceride is marketed as a food supplement known as MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) Oil.



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