I recently read an article by Hayley of Carr of London Beauty Queen entitled The truth about petroleum jelly/Vaseline (and why it’s not a beauty product.) I knew about some of the issues around using petroleum jelly, but it was only when I came to review Dr. Paw Paw’s multipurpose soothing balm that it really got me thinking.
Dr. Paw Paw’s products are marketed as a multi-use balm (much in the way people use Vaseline), they can be used on lips, skin, heels, nails and even hair.
Made in the UK, these balms come in three variations; original, peach and red. I tried out the original balm over two weeks to see if it really could be used for everything.
The original balm is completely odourless which is great as overpowering fragrances can get very sickly when you’re using them on your lips. The texture is thicker than Vaseline (or is that just because mine is always melting?!) and pretty much clear.
This balm does works really well on lips, it moisturises them and lasts a long time so you don’t have to keep reapplying and it doesn’t dry them out.
It works well on the body too, especially if you need to cream your legs and don’t have a proper body moisturiser, that goes for heels as well. It does a pretty good job on nails, but it’s too thick to be used effectively on hair (although having said that it would smooth down edges in an emergency.)
Unfortunately here’s where this product falls down. The website says; “Our Pawpaw balms are made from a variety of natural ingredients including Pawpaw, Olive Oil and Aloe Vera Oil which, blended together, create a multi-purpose formula for you to carry around at all times thanks to the handy 25ml tube,” which is entirely true.
However, alongside those great natural ingredients is Petrolatum.
Petrolatum or petroleum jelly is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons which was reportedly discovered in the U.S. on some of the first oil rigs. It was believed to have healing properties for cuts and burns but this has since been disproved, it actually creates a layer over the skin, which protects it from germs, but it doesn’t get absorbed.
As the London Beauty Queen puts it; “It’s much like locking yourself away in a windowless room for a month and wondering why your skin is pale, vitamin starved and in need of a serious moisture injection.”
This balm is the perfect size for carrying around in your bag, and I did find myself reaching for it over other products in my bag – probably because it’s bright yellow and super easy to find among my many receipts/old copies of Stylist magazine/superfluous hand creams.
You can buy Dr. Paw Paw products online and at well-stocked Pharmacies in the UK and some parts of Europe, I tried the 25ml tube which costs £6.95.
Fix or Fail?
Does it work? Yes. But should you be smearing it all over your body, hair and hands? Maybe not.
But don’t just take my word for it, here are some other Dr. Paw Paw reviews:
With thanks to Catalyst PR for providing the product.