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Coconut Oil Buyers Guide: Unrefined v. Refined Coconut Oil

Other than the branding of these two bottles of coconut oil, can you tell the difference? I’ll wait, just keep looking…

Find anything? Not yet? Well, they seem to be two bottles of Organic Coconut oil, just from two different brands, right? For those of you who regularly participate in a coconut oil regimen, like myself, you’d know to pick one over the other. Which one should one pick though?

Well, a few days ago I went to Target and picked up the Spectrum Organic Coconut Oil, pictured on the right. I opened it up to take a spoonful and I noticed that the label read REFINED coconut oil. Errrr? I didn’t even know what “refined” even meant! #dontjudgeme

I usually purchase VIRGIN coconut oil from the store, not refined coconut oil. I scratched my head, because I didn’t know what the difference was between the two. So, I did some digging. 

Refined vs. Virgin Coconut Oil

I thanked the almightily himself that before I dug my spoon into that refined coconut oil, he told me to read the label. Here’s why: 

Refined Coconut Oil “…is not fit for consumption, since it may contain dust particles, insect remains, spawns, microbes, fungal spores and many other such substances that may be harmful for health.” Refined coconut oil has these gawd-awful substances in them because of the way the coconut oil kernel is prepared.

tumblr_n3h22zBqCoconut Oil Buyers Guide: Unrefined v. Refined Coconut Oil OU1qc0i0eo6_1280

Organifacts explains it best: 

In almost every case, the kernels are cut open and spread open in the strong sun to dry, with their flesh facing the sun. They are kept like that for days, weeks, or even months until they dry up as desired. They are not even covered with nets. Perhaps now you can imagine what happens in that time. Dust and every other possible inedible substance could fall into them at any time.

To ensure a long shelf life, these coconut kernels go through the bleaching process. To think, I almost ate it this stuff. Gross huh? Yeah, I knowwwww. 


Coconut Oil Buyers Guide: Unrefined v. Refined Coconut Oil On the other hand, unrefined virgin and extra virgin coconut oil (no difference between the two) is made with fresh coconut oil with no heat processing. You can easily actually make fresh coconut oil right at home for yourself too. It has so many health benefits, as it can be used for cooking, your hair, your skin and to treat a bunch of serious diseases.

Best Use For Refined Coconut Oil

Use refined coconut oil for:

  • Cooking
  • Therapeutic uses
  • Skin

Use unrefined virgin coconut oil for:

  • Weight loss 
  • Your immune system
  • Skin + hair 
  • STD’s
  • Body cleansing agent (soap)

I found this great list by Wellness Mama with over 100 of the best uses for Unrefined Coconut Oil, and she went all the way in on her tips. Who would of knew it could be used for a yeast infection and SPF 4 sunscreen?!?!? This stuff is like gold!

Coconut Oil Buyers Guide: Unrefined v. Refined Coconut Oil

If you’re going to consume coconut oil, then unrefined coconut oil is your best bet. Once you smell refined and unrefined coconut oil, side by side, you’d probably agree with me. Unrefined coconut oil smells delightful. Refined coconut oil…not so much!

If you accidentally picked up a bottle of refined coconut oil like myself, remember, DON’T THROW IT AWAY! It still has some use. Replace your corn or vegetable oil for frying with it or throw it in your purse and pull it out when you get ashy (dry skin) during the day. 

Have you ever taken coconut oil before and if so, did you use the right type? What were you taking coconut oil for? 

img source: tumblr + international coconut

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