Differences Between Organic Coconut Oil & Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

By Pamela Miller

Coconut oil can provide many benefits. From a healthy oil to cook with to a deep conditioning hair mask, coconut oil is versatile in its uses. It is loaded with antioxidants, helping your skin ward off free radicals. cording to the Live the Organic Life, coconut oil is generally categorized into refined and virgin coconut oils.

Know the difference between refined and virgin coconut oil.

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The main difference between virgin coconut oil and regular, organic coconut oil is the amount of refining the oil undergoes. Refined coconut oil means the oil has undergone a process of drying the coconut. This type of coconut oil may sometimes be called deodorized or bleached according to Live the Organic Life. This is usually done outside in the Sun. Generally, refined coconut oil is thought of as being of a lesser quality.


Unrefined coconut oil may also be called virgin coconut oil. The type of method used to extract the oil from the coconut is done in the most natural way. This way, the coconut oil stays in its natural form without the use of any artificial filtering which is sometimes used in the process of refined coconut oil. No chemicals are used in the process of extracting coconut oil using this method.

Smell and Taste

Virgin coconut oil maintains a sweet smell and taste of the coconut, whereas refined coconut oil will lose much of the flavor and smell. An easy way to know if coconut oil is unrefined is to hold a bit of it in the palm of your hand. Unrefined coconut oil should easily melt in the palm of your hand due to your body's temperature. Refined coconut oil will usually stay fairly solid without melting.


Copra refers to the dried kernel or meat of the coconut. Refined coconut oil uses copras. Coconut oil made of copra is generally thick in consistency -- notably thicker than virgin coconut oil. Oil made of copra is too thick to use as a moisturizer for the skin or a conditioner for the hair because it will sit on the skin without being absorbed. This can clog the pores and actually do more harm to the skin than help.