By Kayla Valenzuela
Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment has been one of the most used lip balms, across Australia. Some would say it is a staple item and necessity in medical cabinets. For years, everyone from models to celebrities have sworn by the ointment as a miracle cure for predominantly, dry lips but also cuts, rashes, bites, and torn cuticles.
However, within the last 2 years, there have been a few viral social media posts, that later turned into a full-blown boycott as everyone turned their attention to the ingredients of this beloved product. There were rumours about the seemingly minuscule ratio of fermented Pawpaw (which is supposedly the main ingredient) to petroleum jelly (a controversial cosmetic ingredient).
So, to answer all of these rumours, I conducted some research. Here is what I’ve found:
Does the product actually use petroleum jelly in its ingredients?
To put it bluntly, yes. The product actually only has a content of 4% pawpaw, with the rest of its ingredients being mostly petroleum jelly (>85%) and a gum balsam from Peru for scent. Some even say that because it consists of so much petroleum jelly, it is said to be “basically a repackaged, more expensive version of Vaseline” - Wanda Waller.
Is petroleum jelly harmful to use/apply on skin/lips?
No, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment contains a high-quality pharmaceutical grade petroleum jelly, which actually acts as the carrier for the active ingredient of fresh, fermented papaw.
Contrary to the common myth that petroleum jelly blocks your pores, is carcinogenic or toxic, petroleum jelly is actually not harmful at all and is certified to comply with international and Australian safety standards.
In fact, studies show that “petroleum has been affirmed to be non-comedogenic (does not block pores) and to not cause allergic reactions” - American Academy of Dermatology Invitational on Comedogenicity, 1989.
Why is there only 39mg/g of fresh, fermented papaw in the ointment?
The reason there is such a small amount of pawpaw in the ointment is because it takes hundreds of papaws just to make a single batch of concentrate, and this fresh, fermented concentrate cannot be applied directly to the skin. Therefore, the concentrate must be distributed within the carrier (in this case, petroleum jelly) to achieve the correct concentration for safe and effective application to the skin.
Are we using the ointment correctly?
Lucas’ Papaw Ointment is a healing product. It is to be used as an aid for healing the following skin conditions:
- Gravel rash
- Minor open wounds
- Insect bites
- Dry and chapped skin
- Nappy rash
- Minor burns and scalds
However, it is only ideal for lips if you want to help heal or sooth inflamed, chapped or broken skin.
Is Lucas’ Papaw Ointment a moisturiser?
Lucas’ Papaw Ointment does not contain any extra moisturisers. It helps skin retain moisture which stops it from drying out and keep its own hydration, but the main benefits are the healing qualities of the product.
Thankfully, the famous pawpaw ointment that almost every girl has in her pocket is just as great as we thought. It’s safe, effective, affordable and great for chapped lips.
Quotes from people who swear by Pawpaw:
“Stars like Rose Byrne, Cate Blanchett, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Alexa Chung and Natalie Portman have sung its praises.” - MamaM!a newsletter
“Dry skin is the worst, and I hate having dry lips, so I always keep my Lucas’ Papaw Ointment handy,” Aussie star Cate Blanchett told Elle UK magazine.
“it’s in every woman’s handbag across Australia.” - Lawrence Mooney
“the world’s greatest healing agent” - Dr Lucas
"Everyone has pawpaw, it is so accessible! You just ask the person next to you and poof it’s there." - Lihara Delungahawatte