INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: COCONUT ALKANES AND OTHER DERIVATIVES

Updated: Jun 25, 2021

Coconut is one of our favorite tropical fruits that also happens to be a highly beneficial ingredient in beauty products. Throughout history, humans have relied on this plant as a means to protect and enhance the appearance of their skin and hair. Coconut oil is a common coconut-based product that most people know to be a part of everyday moisturizing formulas. However, there are various other derivatives that are highly beneficial as well, including coconut alkanes.


Coconut alkanes is derived from a mixture of coconut oil's fatty acids that's hydrogenated and made solid. We use coconut alkanes as a natural alternative to synthetic oils, waxes, and silicones. You can find them in Liquid Skin Tint, Hydratint, Hydraglow, Conceal + Correct, and Lip Velvet.


Love it or hate it, most people feel passionate about coconut oil in beauty products.

coconut alkanes

Person A: "I use it on my hair, skin, cuticles, kids, kitchen counters....

(continues for 10 minutes).


Person B: "It's so greasy and makes me break out!"


But did you know that there are actually dozens of coconut derivatives used in products? They serve almost as many functions, too—from moisturizing and cleansing to making formulas foam or feel thicker.


We use coco-caprylate (or coco-caprate) and coconut alkanes in some of our most popular products. But what do these ingredients do? And will they affect you or your skin the same way coconut oil does? Let us help clear the confusion.


First: Yes, coconut ingredients could be breaking you out or causing an allergic reaction.

If you suspect you're breaking out from a product that doesn't have any actives in it (like Vitamin C or acids), you might want to check for coconut derivatives because, yes, you may have a sensitivity.


But don't write off coconut derivatives just because you're sensitive to coconut oil.

Of course, some people have a sensitivity to all forms of coconut-derived raw materials, but it isn't super common. Here's why: coconut oil is ultimately considered highly comedogenic, or pore-clogging, because of its thickness. Your skin tends to have a harder time adequately absorbing thicker oils, which then form a film over your pores. Beneath this film, pore-clogging dead skin cells and bacteria fester, causing your skin to produce even more acne-causing oil. This tends to be true of both extra-virgin coconut oil and fractionated (or processed) coconut oil.


But the thickness and molecular structure varies greatly between different coconut-derived ingredients. (Just think of the coconut water you drink!) For the average person, the lower the viscosity of the ingredient, the less likely it is to clog your pores—and the more likely you are to benefit from its natural moisturizing properties.

coconut alkanes


What are coconut alkanes?

Coconut alkanes is a coconut derivative intended to improve skin that serves as an alternative to more harmful and less natural silicone counterpart. Coconut alkanes is made using the fatty acids in coconut oil. In order to concentrate coconut alkanes, the oil must undergo hydrogenation. This is when oil mixes with hydrogen, which transforms it into a solid substance that is used in cosmetic products. We like to use them as a natural and safe substitute to otherwise potentially harmful synthetic ingredients.


Why and how do we use coco-caprylate (or coco-caprate)?

Many clean beauty advocates have sworn off mineral oil and certain silicones. Coco-caprylate and coco-caprate are skin-feel enhancers comprised of coconut alcohol that are great natural alternatives to mineral oil and cyclical silicones. We use them in Liquid Skin Tint, Hydratint, and Hydraglow.


Why and how do we use coconut alkanes?

Another skin-feel enhancer. This one's a mixture of coconut oil's fatty acids that's hydrogenated and made solid. This way, it serves as a natural alternative to synthetic oils, waxes, and silicones. We use coconut alkanes in Liquid Skin Tint, Hydratint, Hydraglow, Conceal + Correct, and Lip Velvet.


How does skin improve after using coconut alkanes?

When using products with coconut alkanes, we can expect to see a more moisturized and rejuvenated skin. Mentioned below are a few ways that coconut alkane products affect our skin:

1. Leaves our skin soft and smooth

Coconut alkane products are known to leave us with soft and supple skin, as these have a consistency that makes them similar to emollients. Due to their thickness, alkanes don't absorb into the skin. Instead, they sit on top of our skin, creating a barrier that locks in moisture and keeps the skin supple and hydrated. Just like silicones, coconut alkanes fill in the gaps between our skin cells. However, unlike silicones, they often don’t have an adverse reaction that may cause many to break out or experience rashes. Their ability to help create a soft surface allows our skin to feel smoother and improves the application of makeup.


2. Keeps the skin nourished and silky


Coconut alkanes antioxidant properties act as our skin’s anti-pollution defense, while also noticeably reducing wrinkles and other signs of aging. They keep our complexion soft and well-nourished due to the high saturated fat content. Coconut alkanes is one of a few naturally derived ingredients that acts as a soothing option for our skin.

A Few Things You Should Consider Before Using Coconut Alkanes

When trying out a new skin product, it is wise to test the product on a small part of the skin especially if you tend to have allergic reactions to products or are sensitive to particular ingredients. Mentioned below are a few things you should consider before using coconut alkanes:

1. Consult Your Skin Doctor


It is always best to consult your dermatologist before you use a product containing new ingredients on your skin. Your doctor will be able to tell you if you are sensitive to coconut alkanes by considering your previous records. Some people may have sensitivities to coconut alkanes that may cause them to break out, however, this has been found to be less common.

2. Buy From a Well-Known Brand

Recently, many skincare brands have been developing products containing coconut alkanes. However, many brands vary greatly in the type of ingredients they source. While some brands choose to work with low quality ingredients, we are particularly picky in regards to the suppliers and performance of all materials in our products. We use coconut alkanes and other premious raw materials that have been provided by verified suppliers with whom we have a long-standing relationship. We also invest into quality checks to ensure that all products meet certain criteria before they are able to be presented to our customers.

3. In case you have acne prone skin


If you have acne-prone skin, you may want to first try coconut alkanes containing products on a small area of your skin. Furthermore, you can also consult with your dermatologist to see if you will receice a green light on using coconut alkanes containing products.

Coconut Alkanes and the Bottom-Line


Coconut Alkanes are a beneficial ingredient with moisturizing and nourishing properties that enhance the skin. As a natural alternative to silicones, it's a popular ingredient in various products. But despite its ability to give smoother, softer skin, make sure to consult a professional or doctor before you use products containing coconut alkanes. Remember to do your research on appropriate skin care products to enjoy healthy, glowing skin.