WHAT’S ACTUALLY IN THERE!
it’s important to note that all these trendy new oils have very similar properties to the natural oils you can find in your kitchen.
Just because an oil is from an exotic, remote village, 6000 miles away doesn’t mean it’s potency, nutritious properties and healing elements are all that much different than your run-of-the-mill coconut, avocado, olive or castor oil. It’s always possible to find common oils, close to home, with similar properties …. and they won’t cost $50 an ounce.
BUT …. MOST IMPORTANTLY FOR ANY & EVERY OIL:
Do you pay attention to all the different jargon of how ingredients are processed …. unrefined, fractionated, hydrolyzed, hydrogenated, virgin, cold-pressed, steam distilled, organic, natural and so on?
In this article we’ll explore refined vs unrefined OILS & BUTTERS
Oils (coconut oil) and butters (shea butter) are somewhat the same thing, coming from the seed of a natural plant.
Butters tend to be naturally a firmer, ever so slightly gritty, solid at room temperature.
Oils tend to be a silky, thin to thick, liquid at room temperature.
Within this definition, Coconut Oil could technically be considered a “butter”.
OILS & BUTTERS AS THE TEMPERATURE CHANGES
Oils and butters will change texture and viscosity depending on their environment. They “melt or liquify” as they warm and “cloud or harden” as they cool. They are considered “unstable”.
Because of these natural traits they are often “stabilized” or “refined” when added to contemporary skin care products …. including those labeled natural & organic.
As a little experiment, I examined every single moisturizer and bio-oil and serum available in my grocery store. Then I went to a VERY expensive spa and examined everything they had too!!
ALL OF THEM had some portion of a HIGHLY REFINED OIL, a ton of alcohol & preservatives, and very little unrefined or natural oil, if any at all …. I think!
Even the ones advertised Natural and Organic.
Most of us understand that unrefined usually means: the ingredient is minimally processed, squeezed, or cooked to simply extract it from its raw seed, root, leaf or form.
Refined would indicate further refinement or processing of the ingredient. But that often doesn’t help when scanning the huge variety of products available …. even those products labelled Natural or Organic.
There is significant impact, to you and the environment, when further understanding how your ingredients are processed and treated,
preferably before you purchase and incorporate them into your natural routine, or what you thought were natural routines.
THE EASIEST WAY TO TELL IF AN INGREDIENT IS
REFINED OR UNREFINED!
Current labeling law requires an UNREFINED ingredient be shown on the label, in descending order of concentration, by the INCI name, or common name if no INCI name is assigned.
A NATURAL OR UNREFINED INGREDIENT
The unrefined or common name for Coconut Oil is: Coconut Oil.
The INCI name for Coconut Oil is: COCONUT OIL (cocos nucifera).
A REFINED OR UNNATURAL INGREDIENT
IF IT’S REFINED …. IT MUST SAY SO, but only on the ingredients label in teeny tiny writing.
If it’s a derived, processed or refined form of coconut oil it will be listed in its chemical form:
These chemical names are an important way to molecularly identify an ingredient that does not exist in any natural form.
What does it mean when an ingredient is refined?
Beyond the initial stages of extraction required to acquire an unrefined oil, a refined oil would undergo various further methods of processing:
-temperature treatments with heat up to 450°F (232°C).
-cold-conditions as low as -30°F (-34°C)
-solvent treatments for deodorization, removing odor often leaving hazardous residual solvent behind.
-bleaching to fade the color and/or further remove scent.
What is the result when an ingredient is refined?
Refined oils have less active, or nourishing, compounds because further processing damages or denatures the vitamins, minerals and healing elements.
Refined oils may have a longer shelf life than unrefined oils. Most natural oils will last a very long time if stored properly but, the elements that may cause rancidity, yet are often the most nutritious and healing elements, have been removed in refined oils.
Refined oils may be more temperature & environment stable, or a constant texture and viscosity (always in a constant form) regardless of environment. The nutritious and healing lipids that cause oil to cloud or harden at cold temperatures have been removed.
This means, the product will look and feel the same in your home and usual grocery store that may vary in temperature as much as 20ₒF. It will still look and feel the same applying it to your skin at 97ₒF. The boat or truck that brought the product to the store might vary a lot more in temperature and humidity but, the product would still look and feel the same. It’s no longer truly natural.
Many unrefined oils have their own scent and color.
For example: avocado oil and hemp seed oil are both quite fragrant with a darker green color.
This unrefined scent, when blended with the unique fragrances offered by essential oils and plant extracts, becomes its own new scent altogether. Sometimes it can be disappointing to not experience the true scent of an essential oil when it’s blended with certain unrefined natural oils. It takes a little practice and experience to understand what these new blended scents will be like.
Ideally look for unrefined, unfractionated, virgin, cold-pressed or steam distilled oils.
Expeller-pressed oils are somewhat acceptable but do endure more “processing” via heat and friction that the other extraction methods.
This will offer you the least processed oils and butters, potent with active compounds, and real nutrient rich benefits.
With processing, heat, chemical, solvent or extreme-pressure refining treatment,s the nutritious elements in any ingredient will become ineffective or inert (dead).
I hope this has helped you understand your ingredients better!
Thank Youx for going Couxcoux Toux!