Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, or The Only Lip Balm That Matters

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Choosing a lip balm can be a real bummer. I once tried the infamous Smith’s Rosebud Salve, and I thought it did nothing. I’ve also tried the equally-infamous Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, which was wonderful. It really was one of the best lip balms I’ve ever had. But it was RM60— then, it’s about RM85 at Sephora now— and there is no way I am shelling out more than half of a hundred ringgit on a product that I will use up in seconds. I use a lot of matte lipsticks, ergo I need a lot of lip balm.

So I could pick up one of the many random lip balms they sell at pharmacies. They’re cheap— like somewhere between RM10 and RM30 cheap— and some of them are sure to work. Sure, they’re plain and functional and are basically the sensible black trousers of beauty products but it’s either that or going broke purchasing re-purchasing Fresh lip balms, right? But wait, before we resign to a lifetime of dull cocoa-flavoured chapstick, let us instead dive into the random, medicinal section of the pharmacy and instead pick up a tube of Lucas’ Papaw Ointment.

The reason that this very attractive product is located in the less-glamorous section of the pharmacy— next to the Tiger Balms and the first aid stuff— is because it wasn’t originally created solely to act as a lip balm… the back of the tube describes it as being for ‘the relief of minor cuts, wound and insect bites’. To be honest, I’ve tried putting it on some cuts and wounds and wax burns and I didn’t really notice all that much relief but it is absolutely wonderful as lip balm.

This stuff actually contains petrolatum, which is an ingredient that I used to think I never wanted in my lip balms ever since— as the logic goes— petroleum jelly doesn’t absorb, thus it just sits on your lips and doesn’t moisturise. But this ointment isn’t just sad old vaseline… it contains other stuff (including as the name suggests, papaw which is another term for papaya) and by some grace of God, it actually works to moisturise my lips and keep it nicely unchapped and ready for lipstick.

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The product is thick and is naturally kind of yellowish (maybe its the papaya?) which freaked me out the first time because I expected it to be clear and was worried that it had gone off. It doesn’t smell like anything, and one tube can last you a long time since you only use a little at once. All you need is the tiniest, tiniest amount because it’s super spreadable. I’ve only ever bought tubes, and they can last me a few months but if you’d rather you can actually buy a tub of which would probably last you ’til Armageddon. But if you ask me, the tubes are cuter.

Also it is a favourite of Alexa Chung’s, whom I never really felt all that much about until she started popping up in Lisa Eldridge’s videos and won me over with that chain-smoker voice of hers. Plus the packaging is cute. The balm, I mean, not Alexa. Although she is cute too. Anyway, you should never buy something— especially skincare products— just because the packaging is cute, but if you find something that not only works but also looks great alongside the rest of your collection, then keep on buying it. Personally, I can’t see myself ever moving away from Lucas… I tried buying one of those regular lip balms from the pharmacy and… I don’t know. My heart just wasn’t in it anymore.

You can purchase Lucas’ Papaw Ointment at Caring Pharmacies (and maybe other pharmacies, but I’ve only ever bought it at Caring) for RM24.30 for tube size (25g) or about RM63 for a whole tub.

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