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Controversy: Cold Pressed ~VS~ Refined

Updated: Nov 6, 2019

Deciding to jump on the “health” wagon can be overwhelming and scary! When I first started down the path of clean eating and living chemical free I had no idea what I was up against. Coconut oil is coconut oil right? What’s the difference? Why am I paying twice as much for one jar over the other? I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but oils are NOT created equal.


Coconut Oil is Coconut Oil, right?

Before I break it all down, let‘s back up a little. When I’m making products for Old City Apothecary it is important to me to use the BEST ingredients available! If I wouldn’t use it on my family or myself, then I wouldn’t make it for you or your family! I believe that what you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat. In fact, most of what you put on your skin can be absorbed into your bloodstream. That’s why most of our ingredients are not only certified USDA Organic, but also unrefined and cold pressed. When I choose an oil, I look at the benefits it possesses. Each product I make I use superior ingredients, despite increased expense. I refuse to let my decisions be made solely on how much it costs. I started making these products to give a BETTER alternative to the junk they sell at most stores and that’ll never change!


Alright, now let’s get into the nitty gritty of oil. What is cold pressed oil? What is refined oil? The terms “Cold Pressed, Unrefined, Virgin, Extra Virgin, Raw & Refined” all refer to how the oil was processed. To understand these terms, you need to understand how oils are made. To get oil out of a source, a plant has to be processed either mechanically (unrefined) or with chemicals and heat (refined). I want to focus on mechanical extraction so you’ll be able to understand the differences and WHY mechanical extraction is the preferred choice.


Cold pressed oils retain flavor, color, and nutrients.

The expeller pressing method or unrefined method squeezes the oil out through a mechanical press without additional heat or chemicals. Expeller pressed oils can sometimes cause natural heat to occur during the friction of the extraction but there is no outside heat source used. Cold pressed oils are expressed using the same mechanical press, but in a controlled temperature setting. The heat is minimal; for an oil to be considered cold pressed the temperature cannot rise above 120F. I use cold pressed 99.99% of the time. Cold pressed oils retain most of their subtle flavor, color and nutritional value which is then passed on to you. Under the unrefined umbrella you have “raw, pure, virgin, & extra virgin” which indicates how many times the fruit was pressed to get the oil out and that they have not been refined.


A quick overview of refined oil: refined oils = bad. Refined oils are much more processed than expeller pressed oils, and therefore don’t provide as many nutrients. The refining process includes treating the oil with a chemical solution before deodorizing and bleaching the oil. It’s also common for refined oils to be cut with less expensive oils, in order to keep costs low. The chemical process diminishes many of the nutrients and antioxidants that are present in the virgin oil, meaning the refined oils can’t provide their maximum benefits. Although refined oils might be cheaper, they WON’T provide the results unrefined oils can because the potent antioxidants have been stripped.


Cold pressed oils have more vitamins and nutrients and using them in our topical products is an extra step I take to provide THE BEST for you and your family. Making the switch to clean living isn’t easy, but I can say it is totally worth it! I love knowing that I’m eliminating chemicals from mine and the lives of my family. When you choose Old City Apothecary, you’re choosing your health and I promise to ALWAYS choose unrefined oil!


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