Aug 2, 2022 | Ingredients

Coco-caprylate is a very light emollient that can be used in a lot of formulations to give a lighter, more skin absorbing feel. It is usually marketed as a natural alternative to silicones that gives a non-greasy, silky touch.



Coco-caprylate is a naturally derived ester. It is known by trade names as Cetiol® C5 and the supplier Aroma-zone sells it under ‘Coco silicone’. This ingredient is made from caprylic acid (has a backbone of 8 carbon atoms) with fatty acids from coconut oil (hence the name „coco“). 


It is a very light texture and absorbs quickly into the skin. The fatty acids from the coconut oil are lauric (C12), myristic (C14), palmitic (C16) and stearic (C18).

You can also find a product with INCI coco-caprylate/caprate (trade name Cetiol® LC, LANOL™ 2681, Liponate™ CCC MB, PELEMOL® CCC, SABODERM CVC MB) which is very similar to the coco-caprylate.

The main difference between these two is that the coco-caprylate/caprate has esters not only from caprylic acid, but from capric acid as well (this acid has a backbone of 10 carbon atoms). This makes the product a bit heavier, but both products are very similar to each other and can be used interchangeably.


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Coco-caprylate basic properties

INCI Coco-caprylate, tocopherols
Function Emollient, softens the skin. It has medium polarity when compared cyclic siloxanes
Usage rate 3-20%
Origin It is an ester made from caprylic acid and fatty acids from coconut oil
Appearance Clear thin liquid
Absorption rate Fast
Solubility Oil
Skin type All skin types
Flash point Over 140°C / 284°F
Shelf life Store somewhere in a cool, dark and dry environment. It should last at least two-three years
When to include it Can be heated if needed.
How much do you need it? 100 ml (3.3 oz.)
Alternatives Choose another light emollients - dicaprylyl carbonate, Neossance® Hemisqualane, C12-15 alkyl benzoate, squalane.


2. Is coco-caprylate natural?

It is a plant derived product, readily biodegradable but it is synthesized in the lab. So, if this matches your criteria of being natural – then it is natural!

3. Where and why should we use it in cosmetic formulations?

As coco-caprylate is a very light emollient we can use it in lotions, balms, salves to reduce the level of greasiness and increase the spreadability of the product. It adds a very nice glide on application.

This ingredient leaves the skin silky, supple and soft – a similar feeling to silicones. Though it cannot be used as a substitute for volatile silicones, as the end product will be much greasier.

Coco-caprylate is very well tolerated by the skin and can be used for all types of skin. It also can be used in hair care formulations to give a silky and non-greasy touch. This ingredient coats the hair fibers and adds shine to them without weighing them down.

Want to see it in a formula? Take a look at this hair ends oil:


4. What can be made with it?

  • Lotions/creams
  • Body milks
  • Massage oils
  • Face oils
  • Beard oils
  • Oil-free foundation
  • Lipsticks, concealer sticks
  • Glitter dry oils
  • Hair oils
  • Leave-in conditioners
  • Conditioners
  • Styling and smoothing sprays


As mentioned before, coco caprylate is an ester from caprylic acid with fatty alcohols from coconut oil. So, we have the caprylate ending which means it is now in an ester form from caprylic acid – you can see it circled on the right side in the picture below. And to each caprylate structure we have attached a different fatty acid  from coconut oil – lauric (C12), myristic (C14), palmitic (C16) and stearic (C18). You can see the fatty acids on the left side in a picture below.


For an easier comparison I have also included a caprylic/capric triglyceride chemical structure below. Also, if you want to know more about caprylic/capric triglycerides, you can do read it here.



  1. Alex

    Is coco-caprylate the same as Caprylic-Capric Triglyceride?

    • Vaida

      Hi Alex, the short answer would be no. Both of these ingredients are made from coconut oil, however Caprylic-Capric triglycerides are medium fatty acids extracted from coconut oil. Coco-caprylate is an ester of caprylic acid and fatty acids from coconut oil. As they have chnages in their structure, they do not feel the same way. Coco-caprylate has a very light feeling while Caprylic-Capric triglycerides have a heavier feeling.

  2. Taszy

    Hi, are coco caprylates comedogenic in nature?

    • Vaida

      Hi, Taszy, coco-caprylate is not comedogenic. Though as with every cosmetic ingredient, it may work a bit differently on every skin. So, the best way to know this is to make a patch test and see how your skin responds to it.

    • Name Roberta *

      Che differenza c’è tra il coco silicone e il
      caprylic/capric triglyceride? Qual’é il più leggero? Sto usando il caprylic capric triglyceride nei capelli al momento. Grazie

      • Vaida

        Hello Roberta! Thank you for the question and as I don’t speak Italian I will write you in English. The difference between these two is in their structure. Caprylic/capric triglycerides are saturated fatty acids while coco-caprylate is an ester. Between these two coco-caprylate has a lighter feeling. But you can try these on your hair and see which your hair likes more. 🙂 You can also read more about caprylic/capric triglycerides here. I have also updated a bit this post and you can clearly see the difference in their structure in the last paragraph. 🙂


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