What is Lauric acid?

Lauric Acid, a term commonly tossed around in skincare and nutrition circles, often leaves many wondering: What exactly is Lauric Acid from a scientific standpoint?

Lauric Acid, or dodecanoic acid, is a saturated medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) with a 12-carbon backbone. This molecular structure categorizes it among the Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), a group known for their unique metabolic characteristics and health benefits.


In the realm of skincare, Lauric Acid has been the subject of extensive research due to its antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown that Lauric Acid can effectively combat Propionibacterium acnes, a strain of bacteria that plays a significant role in the development of acne. This makes Lauric Acid a potent ingredient in many skincare products aimed at managing and preventing acne.

Moreover, Lauric Acid possesses noteworthy anti-inflammatory properties. It's capable of alleviating inflammation, which is the root cause of many skin disorders, making it a beneficial compound in skincare.

From a nutritional perspective, Lauric Acid is a crucial component in several foods, including coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and human breast milk. It’s lauded for its ability to provide sustained energy, support weight management, and enhance immune function.

However, while Lauric Acid itself is beneficial, it's essential to consider its source. For instance, while coconut oil is rich in Lauric Acid, it's also high in other saturated fats which may not be suitable for all individuals, particularly those with certain health conditions.