–By Krupa Patel–
Many things have changed about my life since I got to Indonesia. Most regions in the US like my home in the Northeast have a cool fall, cold winter, warm spring and hot summer. However, now I live in a country with 3 seasons: really hot, really really really hot and hot while raining. The equator cuts through quite a few Indonesian islands and is very close to the rest of them.
The one thing that hasn’t changed is my love and dependency on baby powder. I rarely leave home without it and now that I’m swimming in sweat so close to the equator, I NEVER leave without it. Baby powder my panacea for many things. Here’s why:
Baby powder absorbs grease. If you don’t have time to wash your hair or if your hair has an extra shine before a big event, all you need to do is sprinkle a little bit of baby powder on your roots and massage it into your scalp and hair. It also will give you some volume and texture to work with. Caution, just use a tiny bit at first then add more as needed. Otherwise you’ll end up with a white scalp.
Baby powder can be used to absorb sweat and prevent body odor. It’s even easier to clean off in the shower than waxy/sticky deodorant sticks. You can use it on your armpits, chest, back, and even feet. It works as a foot powder to keep your toes dry and helps with stinky feet too!
Two words: chub rub. If your thighs touch, wearing a dress/skirt to school or even shorts/track pants during a workout in the Indonesian heat can be uncomfortable. Baby powder can help you out because it cuts down on friction and prevents rashes on almost any external part of your body. If you are a lady, you can also use it to keep your bra-area dry to prevent rashes around your rib cage. Furthermore, you can put into your socks, flats or other shoes to prevent blisters.
As mentioned before, baby powder is magical when it comes to absorbing grease. This comes in handy when you spill half of everything you eat on your clothes and all you eat is pisang goreng [fried bananas], nasi goreng [fried rice] and other deep-fried delicacies. Rub baby powder into oil stains on shirts, pants, or even carpet. Let it sit for 30 minutes or longer depending on how severe the stain is and wash with soap as usual. If the stain is still there when the cloth dries, try the baby powder again and let it sit longer. Should be good as new!
You can use baby powder as the highlight for contouring makeup. I’ve paired baby powder with a dark brown eyeshadow or even eyeliner for a quick limited-resource contour and it looked great! Just apply baby powder in the same places you would apply the highlight color and blend well!
This stuff also keeps your lipstick in place. I usually use lip liner to keep my lipstick from smearing all over my face. Lightly dabbing baby powder on your lips after every coat of keeps it locked in and can even help the color appear bolder. Warning, this does dry your lips out so make sure to moisturize your lips before and after you’re done.
As you can see, baby powder is my reliable go-to product for everyday use and while traveling. Whether you’re at home or sweating up a storm in Indonesia, I hope baby powder can help you navigate your daily life more comfortably!
Krupa Patel is currently teaching at SMA Khadijah in Surabaya. She was inspired to teach English in Indonesia because she believes education has the power to transform society, empower people from all different backgrounds and perpetuate changes in hearts and minds. She is also interested in history around the archipelago. She studied Business Analytics and Information Technology at Rutgers University. In her spare time, Krupa likes to hunt for vegetarian food, travel, read historical fiction and make bad jokes. Today, you can find her on the back of a Go-Jek or causing trouble with her sitemate, Kelly, in Surabaya.