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Virgin Coconut Oil
Aromatically, Virgin Coconut Oil possesses the distinctive aroma of coconuts. I tend to use VCO on its own and haven't dabbled much with blending it with essential oils though I anticipate that some very beautiful, exotic combinations can be achieved for both aromatic and therapeutic applications.
A naturally and deliciously aromatic butter can be made by combining Cocoa Butter and Virgin Coconut Oil.
Therapeutically, Virgin Coconut Oil is highly emollient and moisturizing for the skin, hair and lips. It helps to protect the skin as it leaves a thin lipid layer on the skin. Its lubricating properties make it a nice choice for use in massage.
Virgin Coconut Oil is often abbreviated as VCO. Although referred to as an oil, Virgin Coconut Oil is solid at room temperature. Fractionated Coconut Oil is an option if you prefer a liquid coconut oil without the coconut aroma.
Coconut oils labeled as virgin can vary in their exact method of extraction, depending on the producer. The ideal Virgin Coconut Oil is extracted from fresh, raw coconut (not dried) and/or fresh coconut milk at low temperatures using a procedure known as the Wet Process. A good quality VCO contains very little moisture and thus has a stable shelf life.
The exact solidity of Virgin Coconut Oil depends on the amount of moisture contained in the final product (I assume that the more moisture it has, the softer it is). It also depends on the temperature that it is stored in. During colder temperatures, it will be firmer than when it is stored in warmer climates.
Virgin Coconut Oil is convenient to apply and can be used on its own, when desired. A small amount can simply be scooped from the jar into a tiny bowl and then applied to the skin. Although you can use your fingers to scoop it directly from the original container, I strongly discourage this as the germs/moisture from your fingertips can contaminate it. VCO is a highly stable lipid, but it's more sanitary to avoid directly touching your oils and butters with your skin.
Botanical Name: Cocos nucifera
Aroma: Very Fragrant Coconut Aroma.
Viscosity: Solid/Creamy at Room Temperatures of 76°F (24°C) and below.
Absorption/Feel: Slightly Oily Feeling Upon Application.
Shelf Life: Highly Stable
Important Note: The information provided on AromaWeb is for educational purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.
General Safety Information: Use caution when trying any new ingredient, including carrier oils on the skin or in the hair. Those with nut allergies should consult their medical practitioner before coming into contact with nut oils, butters or other nut products. Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Safety information can be found by visiting the Safety Information page. For very in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand.
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