Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. It sounds like something a backwoods grandpa makes in his bathtub, right? Believe it or not, this red tube is a makeup artist’s darling.
“Discovered” over a century ago by the Australian doctor Thomas Lucas, the papaw fruit (also known as Carica papaya) has long been known for its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Not only can the ointment be used to heal wounds, burns, rashes, chafing, and other skin woes, the little red tube has found its way onto chapped lips and dry patches.
Dr. Lucas called the miracle fruit “the finest natural medicine yet discovered” in his 1906 medicinal handbook, Domestic Medicine: How to Live, and How to Avert and Cure Disease, and was so taken by its curative properties that he opened a hospital in Brisbane to focus on homeopathic papaw-based remedies.
The ointment he created is still being manufactured and sold by his descendants today, and it is gaining traction as an emergency beauty kit staple. In an interview with Brisbane Times, Kevin Talbot, fourth-generation Lucas manufacturer, said, “Lucas Papaw has more than a cult following now. Everyone wants it." Plus, it’s got the glamour factor—Rose Byrne, Miranda Kerr, and Cate Blanchett all swear by it. “It just works,” said Talbot.
The ingredients include 39 mg of fermented papaw fruit and pharmaceutical grade petroleum (a milder and non-comedogenic form of the petroleum found in, say, Vaseline). The consistency is similar to most petroleum products, with a slightly milky smell that’s not at all unpleasant.
When used on the lips, the ointment seals in moisture while the papaw works to banish irritated, chapped skin. After using this before bed every night, your lips felt moist and renewed by the time your alarm went off in the morning—and we have perpetually chapped lips (we know, we need to drink more water). The effects have been cumulative as well, with fewer applications necessary the more we used it.
This little miracle balm is great for skiers and snowboarders, forming a protective barrier against harsh winter air. It also heals dry cuticles, blemishes, and can be used as a highlight or to add sheen to lashes, brows, and lids.
Best of all, no need to fly to Australia to pick up a tube or six—you can order straight from Amazon. Isn’t the internet awesome?