One of several fatty acids found in coconut oil and other natural fats, lauric acid has multiple uses in cosmetics. Its natural bay leaf-like scent can be used in high amounts to add fragrance to products, but it’s more often used as a base for cleansing agents, and, increasingly, for its skin-soothing actions. Some studies have shown it can also have antimicrobial activity.
Reference for this information:
Biomaterials, October 2009, pages 6035-6040