Lauric Acid: What Is It, Skin Benefits, Cosmetic Uses & Side Effects

Priya Singh
Fact-Checker: Priya Singh
This article was last updated on: May 25, 2023
Table of Contents

Picture this: You’re standing in front of the cosmetics aisle, scanning through the endless rows of pretty packaging, trying to find that perfect skincare product. You finally choose one that catches your eye, flip it over, and find yourself face-to-face with a lengthy list of ingredients that may as well be written in another language. We’ve all been there, right? Decoding the contents of our favorite cosmetics can be baffling, but fear not! We’re here to help make sense of it all, one mysterious ingredient at a time.

One such ingredient that you might have stumbled upon in your deep dive into product labels is Lauric Acid. Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Or rather, you may already be picturing yourself in a chemistry lab, googling “Dodecanoic acid” and feeling more like a scientist than a skincare enthusiast. But worry not, because today, we’re going to take you along on a journey of de-mystifying Lauric Acid in all its glory.

What is Lauric Acid?

Lauric Acid, also known as Dodecanoic acid, is a naturally occurring saturated fatty acid that can be derived from coconut oil, palm kernel oil, or various botanical sources. In the fascinating world of cosmetics, Lauric Acid has become quite the popular kid on the block, thanks to its multi-functional properties, serving as a cleansing, emulsifying, and surfactant agent. In layman’s terms, it works by helping to remove dirt, grease, and impurities from your skin while also providing a stable, foamy lather that makes your cleansing experience oh-so delightful.

As for concentration, Lauric Acid can be found within complete formulations of cosmetic products, making it a team player rather than a standalone superstar. However, it’s still possible to find it available in its pure form for science-savvy folks who are into DIY skincare.

Who Can Use Lauric Acid?

When it comes to who can benefit from Lauric Acid, the good news is that it’s suitable for most skin types, including oily, acne-prone, and even sensitive skin.

Our plant-loving friends will be pleased to know that Lauric Acid is indeed suitable for vegans and vegetarians since it can be derived from plant sources including coconuts and other botanicals.

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, Lauric Acid is generally considered safe for use, but as always, it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare professional before introducing any new ingredient into your routine, just to be on the safe side.

Lauric Acid Skin Benefits

Prepare to be wowed as we reveal the secrets of Lauric Acid’s skin benefits. Based on the official functions we mentioned earlier, let’s delve into why this ingredient is making waves in the skincare world.

  • Antibacterial properties: One phenomenal attribute of Lauric Acid is its ability to eliminate certain bacteria lurking on your skin, such as P. acnes, which is known to cause acne breakouts. By targeting these unwanted microscopic culprits, Lauric Acid helps keep breakouts and blemishes at bay, allowing you to flaunt a clear, radiant complexion.
  • Cleansing and purifying: Removing the built-up dirt, oil, and daily grime that our skin encounters is crucial for a healthy complexion. Lauric Acid’s cleansing abilities break down these impurities and rinse them away, leaving your skin feeling clean, refreshed, and ready to take on the world.
  • Balancing oil production: Lauric Acid boasts the power to bring balance to your skin’s oil production, helping to prevent excessive shine and greasy residue while maintaining an optimal level of hydration. Your skin will be left feeling comfortably moisturized, yet not overly oily.

Please note that as fabulous as these benefits may be, they aren’t permanent (if only, right?). To continue reaping the rewards that Lauric Acid has to offer, it’s essential to keep using products containing this ingredient as part of your regular skincare routine.

Lauric Acid’s Non-active Cosmetic Uses

In addition to its active skin benefits, Lauric Acid also moonlights as a versatile behind-the-scenes hero in cosmetics. Here are some non-active functions that make Lauric Acid a sought-after player in cosmetic formulations.

  • Surfactant and emulsifying properties: Lauric Acid’s surfactant magic helps to mix oil and water-based ingredients, creating a smooth, homogeneous mixture. As an emulsifier, it also plays a part in creating stable emulsions, meaning your favorite skincare concoctions will have a consistent texture from the first application to the last.

Lauric Acid Potential Side Effects

As we know, everyone’s skin is its own unique, beautiful landscape, hence reactions to cosmetic ingredients can vary from person to person. Various factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, and environmental influences can contribute to these differences. Therefore, it’s essential to find your skin type in order to tailor your skincare regimen accordingly.

Although Lauric Acid has many benefits and boasts a generally positive track record, it’s important to be aware of potential side effects and interactions that some might experience.

  • Irritation: As with any ingredient, Lauric Acid could cause skin irritation in some individuals, resulting in redness, itching, or a rash.
  • Allergic reaction: Though rare, some people may experience an allergic reaction to Lauric Acid, characterized by hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

If you happen to experience any of these side effects while using a product containing Lauric Acid, immediately discontinue use and consult with your healthcare professional for guidance on how to proceed.

It’s worth noting that adverse reactions to Lauric Acid are generally rare, and for the majority of us, this ingredient is a safe and effective addition to our skincare routine.

To conclude, we’d like to highlight the importance of patch testing when introducing a new cosmetic product or ingredient into your skincare routine. By following a patch testing guide, you can minimize the risk of adverse reactions and ensure a smooth, joyful transition to your new beauty regimen.

Comedogenic Rating

When it comes to the comedogenic rating of Lauric Acid, we’re pleased to grant it a favorable score of 1 on a scale of 0-5. This low rating means that Lauric Acid is not likely to clog pores and, considering its antibacterial properties can even be beneficial for those with acne-prone skin. Of course, everyone’s skin is unique, and what works wonders for one person may not suit someone else perfectly. However, with its low comedogenic rating and substantial benefits, Lauric Acid definitely deserves a chance to woo your acne-prone skin and help you achieve that radiant glow you desire.


Navigating the world of skincare can be a journey full of experimentation and trial and error. Thankfully, Lauric Acid is here to make things a little simpler by offering both active effects (hello, antibacterial properties and balanced oil production) and non-active functions, like its surfactant and emulsifying prowess. This multi-faceted ingredient might just be the answer to your skincare prayers, making it a worthy addition to your cosmetic arsenal over other single-purpose contenders.

As for the popularity of Lauric Acid, it’s gaining traction in the beauty industry, and rightfully so. Its abundant benefits cater to various skin types and concerns, making it a versatile and effective component in numerous cosmetic products.

When it comes to seeing results from Lauric Acid, keep in mind that patience is a virtue. As with most skincare ingredients, it may take several weeks or even months for the full effect to become evident. So, stay consistent and give this fantastic component the time it deserves to work its magic.

In conclusion, Lauric Acid is a powerful, multi-purpose ingredient that can contribute significantly to improving your skin’s overall health and appearance. By understanding its potential benefits, side effects, and suitability for your skin type, you’re one step closer to discovering if Lauric Acid might be the missing piece in your skincare puzzle.

Tell us how you found this article in just a couple of clicks!
Delivered right to your inbox each week. Zero spam, all goodness, opt-out at anytime.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
How did you find this article?
Tell us how you found this article in just a couple of clicks!
Get all our top headlines in beauty.
Delivered right to your inbox each week. Zero spam, all goodness, opt-out at anytime.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Send good feedback:

All feedback is anonymous and will be used to improve the quality of our articles.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Send bad feedback:

All feedback is anonymous and will be used to improve the quality of our articles.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.