Coconut Oil is one of many popular carrier oils used in massage, aromatherapy, and other body-work treatments. However, some aromatherapists do not work with coconut oil because generally it is only the fractionated - and hence incomplete (coconut) oil, that is readily available commercially. The reason for this is that true coconut oil is a solid (white, crystalline highly saturated fat, m.p. 25 °C). This coconut oil has a distinctive and easily recognised odour and is stable when exposed to air, however when it is fractionated only the short and medium chain length fatty acids remain the the clear liquid then known as "coconut oil", and which has low viscosity and m.p. 0°C.
Coconut oil (from Cocos nucifera L) is may extracted by cold pressing the flesh on the inside of the shell of the coconut, but it is often solvent extracted.
The therapeutic benefits of coconut oil are primarily its emollient properties, which are the reason why it is used in massage creams. It is also used in lipstick and soap formulations because of its lubricating properties.
Note: There are many different carrier oils used for massage and other bodywork therapies. This section includes many popular oils but it is not a complete list.