Must-Haves of Travel: Sesame Oil

Also see: 

When I was in Chicago in March, I wasn’t prepared for how cold it got. And, I’d forgotten my ultra-moisturizing coconut oil. (I also didn’t pack nearly enough layers, but that’s another story.)

In my quest for moisture, I headed to a drugstore for chap stick and… something. I didn’t want to get a huge container because my trip was only 5 days. I thought maybe they’d have a travel pack of coconut oil since it’s gotten so popular recently. No luck there, but they did have… sesame body oil

sesame oil

Curious little container

Once I got it back to The Drake, I popped open the little container and took a whiff. This stuff smells amazing. And I quickly learned a dab’ll do ya.

A quarter-sized amount in the palm is all you’ll need to cover yourself in the softest, sheerest moisture. Since that trip, I’ve added it to my arsenal as a supplement for coconut oil when I don’t want as much moisture.

Why pack sesame oil?

The 1 ounce travel container I found was more than enough to last 5 full days. Especially when a few drops goes so far. It’s best to use this stuff directly after the shower while you’re still a little damp – it seals in the moisture and makes your skin feel so soft and good.

The smell is extremely light but pleasant. Very neutral.

When you travel, especially on planes, it’s easy to become dehydrated. So I’m mildly obsessed with keeping moisturizing things in my carry-on: lip balm, rose petal water, and now sesame oil.

a group of bottles on a counter

These tiny spray bottles are easy to toss in a carry-on or keep in the shower – I got the one on the left at Muji

I’ve heard some peeps say they don’t like dealing with the materiality of coconut oil. It’s a liquid above 76 degrees, and a solid if it’s cooler. So in a hotel room, your coconut oil is likely to be solid. That’s never bothered me, because you can warm it up in your hands or under the faucet. But I can see how it’s easier to have a liquid with you that accomplishes a similar goal.

Sesame oil is pretty potent – you really don’t need much. It’s also not as intensely moisturizing as coconut oil and absorbs into your skin much faster. So it’s literally spray and go – as soon as you rub it in, it’s done.

a dog lying on the floor next to a bottle of body oil

Fenwick loves it too lol

It’s such a nice treat after a long day of travel to have something that feels spa-like and smells so good. After the first time I used it, I looked forward to using it each subsequent day. And because it’s so fast and easy to apply, it didn’t add much time to my overall routine.

Other benefits of sesame oil

  • It’s great for your body, but you can also use sesame oil as a very light facial moisturizer. I use the tiniest bit on my face and love the little glow it gives
  • If you have a beard (which I usually do), you can use it as a light beard oil – keeps the skin beneath (close to the follicle) healthy, too
  • Aromatherapy – this stuff seriously smells so relaxing. And it makes the whole bathroom smell so good
  • Good for circulation – I always fear the DVT (deep vein thrombosis) from sitting on aircraft. Sesame oil has zinc that promotes healthy circulation throughout the body
  • Good for inflammation – Have you ever noticed your feet were a little puffy after a long plane ride? Sesame oil reduces joint swelling and helps to get the blood flowing again
  • Prevents wrinkles – This is another reason I like to put a little on my face: to smooth my skin after being out all day. Or in a dry plane. Gotta stay fresh!
  • It’s naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral – Always a plus!

More resources

When I went to find a bottle of this stuff on Amazon, I was shocked that it had nearly ALL 4- or 5-star reviews out of 1,000+:

a screenshot of a review


I’d highly encourage you read the reviews – which are more like testimonials – to see what other peeps have to say.

The Neutrogena brand is meant to use on your skin, as it’s scented, but you can also find unrefined, organic sesame oil that you can cook with.

And here are some other articles:

Bottom line

I’m so glad I discovered this stuff. Also because I love to spray little potions and tinctures everywhere. But it really does smell so good. A big bottle is only $7 on Amazon. And you don’t need to use much at all – a little goes a long way.

I travel with this when it’s warmer. Or when I don’t need the deeply moisturizing experience of coconut oil. In that way, they complement each other nicely. I also love that you can use it on your face (and beard) and how fast it absorbs – just a few seconds and you’re good.

Lots of other reviewers swear by this stuff, and I think I’m one of them now – I’d like to keep a bottle on hand from here on out. Also, it smells SO good.

Have you used sesame oil? Is it something you’d use to replace regular body lotion? 

* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update!

Announcing Points Hub—points, miles, and travel rewards community. Join for just $9/month or $99/year.

BEST Current Credit Card Deals

  • Capital One Venture X Rewards—Earn 75,000 Venture miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, plus a $300 annual statement credit for travel booked through Capital One
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card—Earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and 3X bonus points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Amex Blue Business Plus—Earn 15,00 Membership Rewards points once you spend after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership and 2X bonus points on up to $50,000 in spending per year with NO annual fee

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

More articles by Harlan »



    • Lol, I don’t, but I have rubbed a little coconut oil on his pads before when they got really dry in winter. I expect sesame oil would have the same effect. Only thing is you gotta watch ’em for a little while after and make sure it all soaks in so they don’t track it around the house – sesame oil might even be better for that. Hmmm, I just gave myself an idea lol.

      Thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂

  1. Yeeears ago I used baby oil while still damp after showering. Then, about 25 years ago an ex boyfriend introduced me to the Neutrogena Body Oil and I’ve used it ever since. I have, however, discovered a less expensive alternative at Target which is their copycat brand of the Neutrogena Body Oil. It is Up&Up light sesame formula Body Oil. I’ve used it for several months now and it seems exactly the same to me.

      • You’re welcome. I really love this stuff. I have a pump bottle right next to my bath and a small bottle that never leaves my travel cosmetic bag. It has such a comforting, mild fragrance. I hadn’t even thought about how long it has been a part of my daily regimen until I read your blog.

Leave a Reply