Neutral Oil (MCT Oil)

Neutralöl in Flasche neben Kokosnuss
  • Base Oil
  • INCI: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Composition: Caprylic acid (up to approx. 50-80 %), capric acid (up to approx. 25-45 %), lauric acid (up to approx. 3 %), caproic acid (up to approx. 1 %).
  • Iodine number: Max 1.
  • Cosmetic use: All skin types; fat content in a cream base.
  • Shelf life: About 24 months.

Extraction of MCT oil

Neutral oil, also called MCT oil (“Medium Chain Triglycerides”), consists of a mixture of medium-chain fatty acids (triglycerides) of natural origin. The starting basis is usually palm kernel oil or coconut oil. The fats are saponified, unwanted fatty acids (such as lauric acid, myristic acid) are separated and the desired fatty acids are then esterified again with glycerol. It is not vegetable oil in the narrower sense, because no further fatty acids and no fat accompanying substances are contained. Neutral oil is clear, colorless, and odorless.

Cosmetic use of MCT oil

Neutral oil is irritation-free, easy to apply, and is absorbed quickly by the skin. As an ingredient in cosmetic products, it improves their spreading behavior (absorption and application) and prevents excessive re-fattening. As a fat component in a cream base, neutral oil is a good, natural alternative to cheaper mineral oils and silicones. It is plant-based and sustainably supplies the skin with valuable fats (lipids). Caprylic/Capric triglycerides are not considered comedogenic. This means that this lipid does not clog pores and does not cause skin impurities.

Neutralöl in Flasche neben Kokosnuss

Benefits of MCT oil for skin

  • well tolerated and non-irritant
  • is absorbed quickly
  • improves absorption and application of cosmetics
  • natural alternative to mineral oils/silicones in cosmetics
  • non-comedogenic (does not cause clogged pores)
  • provides the skin with valuable lipids

Internal use of MCT oil

What is particularly interesting about neutral oil is that it can have antibiotic effects. The oil supports the intestine to remain in balance. It can also be effective against strains of bacteria, such as streptococci. The oil thus supports the body in staying healthy and can also be used as a preventive measure. Also with high cholsteral levels the oil can be helpful. By the taken HDL (“good” cholesteral) the vessel walls are protected against deposits. This lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke and thus reduces the risk of heart disease. The oil can also help to promote memory performance. However, it should not be regarded as an all-purpose remedy, as it can only do its preventive work if a balanced and healthy diet and lifestyle are maintained.

Buy MCT oil – what to consider?

As with many other products, neutral oil is also available in different qualities. You should make sure that the proportion of caprylic and capric acid (the two most effective triglycerides) is not below 90 %. You should also make sure that it is 100% pure oil, which does not contain any other additives. In order to avoid the unnecessary deforestation of rainforests, neutral oil should be based on coconut oil. Oil based on palm oil should be avoided. The oil is easiest to find in online stores.

Sources: Krist, Sabine (2013): Lexikon der Pflanzlichen Öle und Fett. Vienna: Springer Verlag. | Braunschweig, R. (2020): Pflanzenöle - über 50 starke Helfer für Genuss und Hautpflege. Wiggensbach: Stadelmann Verlag.

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