What is it?
Lauric acid is a saturated fatty acid found in coconut milk, laurel oil, palm kernel oil and - most famously - coconut oil, one of the health and beauty world's favourite ingredients of the past decade.
What is it used for?
Lauric acid makes up around half of the fatty acid content of coconut oil, and many people will use the same coconut oil they'd find in their kitchen cupboard as a make-up remover, moisturiser and cleanser. However, lauric acid can also be used in its extracted form - primarily in soaps and cosmetics due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and its long shelf life.
What are the pros and cons of using it?
Clinical trials to test the effects of extracted lauric acid as a skincare ingredient are still relatively minimal, but it is thought that it could be useful in treating acne due to its anti-fungal and anti-microbial actions. As well as preventing the bacteria that cause spots from spreading, it is thought to help reduce the inflammation caused by existing blemishes too. In terms of coconut oil itself, you'll find it is a good make-up remover and is also deeply hydrating. However the use of pure oil on the skin is subject to preference - many with blemish-prone skin prefer to avoid the use of oils on their face. Coconut oil has plenty of other uses too - as a body oil, a hair oil and of course in the kitchen - so if you don't like using it on your face then you can always find something else to do with it...
If you're planning to use pure coconut oil, make sure to choose a cold-pressed, unbleached, extra-virgin oil. To get your lauric acid fix, try Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant, RMS Beauty Ultimate Makeup Remover Wipes or Dr Jackson Coconut Melt.