Coco-caprylate/caprate is a mixture of coconut alcohol, caprylic acid, and capric acid, which are all derived from coconut oil. Caprylic acid and capric acid are both fatty acids. A fatty acid is a carboxylic acid with a chain of carbon and hydrogen atoms, which is either saturated or unsaturated. The chains can vary in length and are classified as short, medium, or long. Capric and caprylic acids are both medium-chain saturated fatty acids; capric acid has 10 carbon atoms and caprylic acid has 8 carbon atoms.
In cosmetics and personal care products, coco-caprylate/caprate functions as an emollient, texture enhancer, and emulsifier. As an emollient, coco-caprylate/caprate provides a lightweight and non-greasy barrier of lubrication that helps to increase moisture retention at the skin’s surface. Coco-caprylate/caprate also helps to thicken cosmetic formulations and provides a slipperiness that helps the product easily spread onto the skin. The result is silky, smooth skin. Lastly, coco-caprylate/caprate functions as an emulsifier in products that contain both oil and water components. Emulsifiers help these two phases to remain evenly dispersed, which improves the product’s consistency and enables an even distribution of skin care benefits.