Your Pawpaw Cream Is Not Nearly as Natural as You Think
Pawpaw cream is an Aussie beauty institution, loved by models and celebrities all over the world — but we found out some scary things that are making us question our long-time love. A staple in our handbags, we've been known to use the multi-purpose balm on everything from lips and cuticles to dry elbows and sores. Pawpaw (which is actually papaya) is known for its wonderful skincare properties . . . so it's got to be good for us, right? Wrong.
We chatted to Jo Lam, founder of online natural beauty destination Orli, about our beloved skin saviour, and what we heard shocked us. "It states there is 39 mg/g of fermented papaya on its list of 'quality ingredients', which adds up to only four percent." So, what on earth makes up the other massive 96 percent? "Given the lack of full ingredient discloser on their website or on their stockists' websites, it would appear that the percentage is made up of pharmaceutical grade petroleum jelly or wax."
So, what does that mean? "Petroleum jelly has no nutritional benefits," Jo explained. "It's essentially hydrogen and carbon atoms, containing zero vitamins or beneficial fatty acids." She explained it's only saving grace is that is does prevent moisture evaporating from the skin, so it can give you a temporary relief for dry skin and create a sense of comfort and hydration. Basically it's all smoke and mirrors, with no real hydration or nourishing benefits. Devastating.
The main problem with our popular pawpaw creams is the amount of petroleum jelly, which isn't great for your skin and isn't great for the environment either. Jo explains, "Petroleum is a non-renewable resource that contributes significantly to global warming and affects the health of our waterways." The process that petrol has to go through to become petroleum jelly is a highly manufactured process, and Jo questions why we'd want to use something on our skin that's toxic to begin with? "It's important to use high quality natural products that offer maximum benefits, with minimum fillers and synthetic chemicals. You want a product that contains lots of nourishing natural nutrients so it can work hard for your skin."
SO, what's a girl to do? "There is a huge array of natural products that can be substituted for this cream. The petroleum ingredient can easily be substituted with coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, bees wax or cocoa butter," Jo explained.
Read on to see some of our favourite new and natural subsitutes for our old go-to. Click to buy your favourite and start to see your skin reap the nutritional benefits!