Coconut oil’s a superstar when it comes to giving health benefits. It can cover all your basic and some not-so-basic health needs. However, there are two major types of coconut oil. These are refined and unrefined coconut oil.

The refined coconut oil is also referred to as RBD oil or copra oil while the unrefined coconut oil is commonly referred to as virgin coconut oil.

This article will show you the difference between refined and unrefined coconut oil. So you know what you’d need to get for some certain uses.


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Refined Coconut Oil – This refined coconut oil goes through a dry-milling process. It’s made from copra (dried coconut meat). The copra will then be expelled using an expeller to extract the oil. Its extracted oil will contain impurities, that are why it’s not advisable for consumption, especially if it’s hydrogenated and fractionated.

Then, it goes through processes of refining, bleaching, and deodorizing. It must go through these methods to remove all the contaminants that may harm our health. The bleaching process will kill the microbes while removing other particles. It’s not a chemical process but a filtering process using bleaching clay.

Unrefined Coconut Oil – The unrefined coconut oil goes through a wet-milling process. It’s made from fresh coconut meat. The wet milling process will create a combination of water and oil. The oil is then extracted using a centrifuge. Compared to refined coconut oil, unrefined goes through a quicker process with bleaching and deodorizing. The oil is safe for consumption with the nutrients and flavor of the coconut retained.

Nutritional Differences

The refined and unrefined coconut oil contains the same nutrients. They both contain medium-chain fatty acids or the ‘good fats.’ However, the unrefined coconut oil has a higher content level of phytonutrients. This is because the refined coconut oil goes through heating the oil over high temperatures of heat.


If you’re fond of the kitchen, you should know the best kind of coconut oil to use to maximize its benefits. Refined and unrefined coconut oil differs in their smoking point. Refined coconut oil has a 450-degrees Fahrenheit smoke point, while unrefined coconut oil has a 350-degrees smoke point. That would mean that refined coconut oil is best when you’re frying.

The unrefined coconut oil can still be used for lower heat cooking.


Refined Coconut Oil

If you plan to use coconut oil for beauty purposes or are not fond of frying, refined coconut oil may be the best option.

  • Refined coconut oil has a subtle flavor. If you don’t like the taste of coconut oil, go for the refined kind. Most of its flavor and aroma are lost because of its processes.
  • Refined coconut oil is perfect for beauty uses, especially when you’re keen on hygiene. Refined coconut oil goes through different processes to eliminate all types of impurities. It’s also highly concentrated in Vitamin E and antioxidants.
    The fractionated type of coconut oil (which can’t be consumed) is solely perfect for skin and hair care. Unlike unrefined coconut oil, this kind won’t clog your pores when used on the face and skin.
  • Refined coconut oil is cheaper than unrefined coconut oil.

Unrefined Coconut Oil

  • Unrefined coconut oil has more nutritional value than unrefined coconut oil. So if you’re up for nutritional healing, go for the unrefined coconut oil.
  • Unrefined coconut oil has a rich flavor. If you love the coconut oil’s taste, unrefined coconut oil is the best. Because it didn’t go through intensive processes, the flavor and aroma are retained.
  • Unrefined coconut oil is purer than the refined type. And this boils down again to the way they’re being processed. You can consume unrefined oil directly.

To wrap it, whether you use refined or unrefined coconut oil, they’re both fine. It’s just a matter of personal preference and also cooking applications. Or just buy a bottle of each and use it in any way you can. You can then enjoy the health benefits of coconut oil.