You may or may not have seen this slinky yellow number lurking on the shelves in Superdrug. That’s right, it’s Dr. Paw Paw’s Original Balm. The stuff of legend that claims to do a bit of everything – what’s not to love about a compact, eye-catching product that is anything but a one-trick pony? I was hooked. Naturally, I decided to put it to the test.
Bit of juicy background – Dr. Paw Paw’s products contain two special ingredients. The first is carica papaya extract, which comes from the paw paw fruit (otherwise known as papaya). It ranks up there with the superfruits, and it’s full of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins C and B. It claims to aid the process of skin repair, moisturises the skin and also provides anti-inflammatory properties. The second ingredient is aloe barbadensis leaf juice. Being a desert plant, it is capable of absorbing and retaining copious amounts of moisture – hello glowing skin! It also promotes skin regeneration, minimises pores and acts as a cleanser and toner. Dr. Paw Paw’s in it to win it.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Dr. Paw Paw’s balm claims to be a multipurpose product suitable for lips, skin, hair, cuticles, nails and beauty finishing. More specifically, it claims to do the following:
- Protect and moisturise skin and lips
- Soothe dry and cracked skin, including hands, elbows and heels
- Ease minor skin abrasions, insect bites and sunburn
- Smooth fly away hair and unruly eyebrows
- Protect and prevent split ends
- Nourish nails and cuticles
- Calm nappy rash
- Create a base for makeup
- Highlight the brow bone and cheeks
I can honestly say that it didn’t take long for Dr. Paw Paw’s balm to become a staple in my skincare go-tos. Starting with moisturising skin and lips – it left my very sensitive skin and lips feeling soft and supple, without drying out quickly and needing to reapply frequently. Perhaps the best way of describing it would be “an improved Vaseline”. And I’m surgically attached to my Vaseline.
I also tend to have very dry patches on my ankles and elbows, which can get unsightly. After exfoliating gently to remove dead skin, I applied a generous coating of Dr. Paw Paw. I then slept with that layer on and the following morning, those dry patches were considerably softer and smoother. I highly recommend doing this for any of you who may be looking for a quick fix for your cracked heels and elbows.
My hair is another issue in its own right that needs all the help it can get. I was very excited to use Dr. Paw Paw’s balm to tame frizz – I have thick hair that is fairly straight, but it tends to get very frizzy no matter how much serum/argan oil I use before and after blow-drying. I used this on drier hair days, where my split ends were in full glory and my hair was feeling coarse and would not detangle. Mainly focusing the product on the ends, I found that it helped detangle my hair when brushing, and it dramatically reduced the amount of frizz throughout the day without feeling greasy. Another win for Dr. Paw Paw.
Being a makeup lover, I’m always on the hunt for new products to incorporate into my makeup routine. This balm claims to smooth brows, act as a makeup base and a highlighter. Being someone whose skin can get greasy very fast, I was not keen on using such a rich, moisturising product as an all-over makeup base, but I have the distinct feeling that it would work very well for ladies with drier skin. However, I found that it was excellent for setting my brows – I applied Dr. Paw Paw after filling in my brows, using a spoolie to comb it through the brow hairs. After a long day and very sweaty night, I found that my brows had not budged, and they were looking as tidy as they had been when I started. Sadly, it did not work half as well for highlighting purposes – perhaps it was my skin type that wasn’t suitable for it, but the product disappeared into my skin almost immediately when I applied it to my cheekbones, nose and brow bone – no highlighting effect whatsoever. However, it’s the perfect texture to set and intensify a powder highlight – I applied it on top of my foundation before applying a powder highlighter, and it managed to keep my highlighter in place all day without moving my base.
As for sunburn and minor abrasions, I noticed no real benefit with Dr. Paw Paw, though it did ease the itch that often comes with healing skin. With regard to my cuticles – they don’t tend to be too dry when left to their own devices (not tooting my own horn), but I have a tendency to bite my nails. For this purpose alone, Dr. Paw Paw was a great nail-biting deterrent. Nappy rash is another one that I can’t say much about – I am neither a mother, nor do I wear nappies myself. The best thing about it would perhaps be the fact that it is fragrance-free, which makes it unlikely to further irritate your baby’s skin (and yours).
All in all, a fabulous little product that does what it says on the tin, it fits nicely in any handbag and I have to say that I’m loving the cheerful yellow packaging. To say that Dr. Paw Paw’s balm has become a staple in my collection is no exaggeration, I’ll definitely be heading back to Superdrug to stock up when it runs out. As if I needed an excuse to go there again. If you’ve tried it, we’d love to hear what you thought – simply leave a comment below!
Shop the review
Original Multipurpose Balm (25ml), £6.95 DR PAW PAW at feelunique.com