Lifestyle, Skin Health
I’m Allergic to Essential Oils: Can I Use Coconut Oil?
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Probably. Why? Essential oils refer to the oil extracted from a plant’s leaves, roots, flowers, etc. “Essential” refers to the extraction of the essence of these, which are made of nice-smelling terpenoid materials such as mentha oil, menthol crystals, dementholised peppermint oil, natural mint terpenes oil, cis-3 hexenol, menthones, basil oil, piperita oil, spearmint oil, etc.

Nice-smelling should already raise flags: anything that smells nice could spell trouble for those with fragrance sensitivities.

Much like olive oil or palm oil, virgin coconut oil (VCO) is extracted from the meat of the plant or fruit, which is made up of fatty acids that are then used as food or in cosmetics and skin care products. Coconut oil, like olive or palm oil, is therefore not considered an essential oil.

Also, because essential oils are extracted by distillation, their molecules are smaller, making them more allergenic (they can penetrate the skin more easily). Virgin coconut oil and olive oil are extracted by pressing and therefore have larger fatty acid molecules. One way to think of this is to imagine the difference in the effects on your body between eating peanut butter (larger fat molecules) versus drinking alcohol (smaller molecules from distillation). The molecules of the distilled alcohol penetrate much more quickly, so that it takes far longer to get fat off of the peanut butter than it does to get drunk with the alcohol.

Many concerns over essential oils come from the fact that many of them are fragrance oils, or contain additives that are (or are related to) fragrances, or that are other irritants. The virgin coconut oil that we use in VMV HYPOALLERGENICS® products and as the primary ingredient in clinically-validated Know-It-Oil is cold-and-first-pressed, USDA-certified organic and contains no additives at all, fragrance or otherwise.
There have been no reports of contact dermatitis or perfume contact dermatitis to virgin coconut oil as it is a very stable oil without any additives.

There are reports of contact dermatitis to olive oil because of the preservatives that must be added to it (it is far more unstable than coconut oil).

For more about the benefits of virgin coconut oil and what to look for, click here.

For more on virgin coconut oil and dry skin, click here.

For more about us VMV HYPOALLERGENICSTM, click here.