Coconut oil:11 ways to use this ultimate travel companion

Hoping to travel light on your next vacation? Just like how you would pack versatile, classic pieces that you can use to mix and match outfits, virgin coconut oil is the beauty equivalent of the little black dress. It’s suitable for the whole family and can be used from head to toe.

Before we list down the many ways you can make use of coconut oil while travelling, let’s first take a look at why this tropical plant oil continually top the superfoods list. Virgin coconut oil is derived from the flesh of ripe coconuts – the white flesh is used to extract both coconut milk (also known as santan) and coconut oil. As with everything else, a varying range of quality are found in the market, with prices to match. The best quality oil are those that are cold-pressed – meaning no heat, deodorisers or bleach are used in the production of the oil. The result is a clear, light liquid oil that smells of fresh coconuts.

When possible, try to buy virgin coconut oil as they not only smell delicious – they are also jam-packed with medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Virgin coconut oil is frequently listed as a superfood due to its high MCFA content, which provides your body with energy instead of storing it as fat. If you’re still not convinced that consuming an oil that contains over 90% saturated fat is good for you, consider this: virgin coconut oil can help speed up your metabolism rate, helping you to lose weight. Other positives include anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which means that they can help with hair and skin too.

Are you ready to maximise your baggage allowance while keeping to a green lifestyle? Here are 11 easy ways to use virgin coconut oil while you’re on the road:

Body Oil

Virgin coconut oil is the ideal moisturiser – it melts easily into skin and is absorbed within minutes, leaving your skin soft and supple. You only need a small amount of oil, as it spreads easily and a thin layer is sufficient to keep your skin hydrated.

Hand Lotion

Do you suffer from dry, cracked hands as a result of using harsh soaps found in many public bathrooms? Use virgin coconut oil to replace the moisture that was stripped off by applying a drop or two immediately after drying your hands.

Makeup Remover

Forget about packing commercial makeup remover on your next adventure – virgin coconut oil can effectively remove all traces of makeup, even stubborn waterproof makeup. Simply apply a few drops of oil on to your fingertips and gently massage your face.


You can also use coconut oil as an oil cleanser. Massage the oil on your face to remove traces of makeup and dirt. Wipe clean or rinse off with good ol’ plain water and you’re ready to go – soap not required!

After-Sun Oil

A fun day under the sun beats sitting in the office anytime but if you don’t apply enough sunscreen, your skin could dry out – causing damage in the long term. Use virgin coconut oil as a natural after-sun oil to help replenish lost moisture as well as repair any skin damage caused by the sun.

Antibacterial Protection

Bin the alcohol-based hand sanitizer and use virgin coconut oil instead. With a high level of anti-microbial properties, coconut oil can protect you from bacterial, fungal and viral infections without drying your skin out. One or two drops rubbed into your hands is all it takes.

Massage Oil

Depending on where you go, massage oil used by spas can sometimes be of dubious quality. To save costs, they can resort to using lower-grade oils mixed with artificial fragrances. It’s not every day that you get to treat yourself to a massage so kick back and enjoy your pampering time by bringing along your own bottle of virgin coconut oil for your next rub down.

Shaving Oil

Swap your conventional shaving cream for coconut oil and you’ll spare your skin from nasty chemicals. Use coconut oil as you would any shaving cream, by applying a generous amount on your skin before shaving. Coconut oil glides easily, preventing razor burn. Its anti-microbial properties will also help protect any infections caused by open skin.

Deep Hair Conditioning Treatment

One of the few natural plant oils that can penetrate into the hair, virgin coconut oil is the perfect deep conditioning treatment for dry, damaged hair. Pack it in your beach bag, as salt water can wreak havoc on your hair. To use, just massage in 1-2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil on to your hair and scalp. Leave for at least an hour before shampooing off.

Hair Serum

Virgin coconut oil is perfect for hair prone to frizziness. After styling, rub a tiny drop of oil on to the palms of your hands and spread them as thinly as possible before running your hands through your hair. This not only keeps frizzy hair at bay, it will add shine to hair while protecting it at the same time.

Soothe Bug Bites

With its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, virgin coconut oil can help to soothe bug bites. Red, itchy bumps from pesky mosquitos can be as annoying as the mosquitos themselves! Apply coconut oil on the affected area to help calm the skin while protecting it from infections, which can result from broken skin.

Look for virgin coconut oil that comes in a travel-friendly size for ease of use – you don’t want to be fiddling with it when you should be enjoying your much-deserved time off. Or plan ahead and bottle your oils into smaller containers to take with you. As with all liquids, be sure to pack them in an airtight bag to avoid leaks – especially if you’re flying as changes in cabin pressure make leaks a frequent occurrence.

An important thing to note about virgin coconut oil is that it is a liquid oil at temperatures above 24 Celsius but when the thermometer drops below that, it is a solid butter. If you find that your coconut oil has solidified when you reach your destination, simply place it in a cup of hot water for a few minutes and it’ll change back to its liquid form. The good news – going from liquid to solid and back again doesn’t affect the quality of virgin coconut oil due to its high saturated fat content.

If you’re travelling to colder climes (where the temperature is below 24 Celsius), it may make more sense to use an open jar for your coconut oil instead. This will make it easy for you to scoop the oil out instead of having to melt it before each use.

As the French writer Antoine de St. Exupery once said, “He who would travel happily must travel light.”, so be brave my fellow traveller and leave your stash of beauty products at home!


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