I have been caught out by a tricky little dilemma that almost never happens to me, acting with lack of research, an embarrassing lesson to learn but one that I think is worth sharing.

I have been using a “cult celebrity product” Lucas Papaw Ointment, and I have loved thinking I’m smearing the natural fermented fruit on my lips. Lucas Papaw Ointment is listed here in Australia with the Therapeutic Goods Authority (TGA) and as such only has to list the active ingredients. It is unable to be sold in America as it doesn’t have similar approval there, perhaps increasing exclusivity within the US market as you can still get it shipped over.

I have to say that here in Australia the product is not advertised; they have a very simplistic website but yet everyone is using it, and it is said that the company can’t keep up with the growing demand. All of these factors and having TGA approval made me never question what I have been putting on my lips until....

I was so excited to be opening my parcel from Marta this month (I will be reviewing YBF Define ($70 in the TIA shop) for lips and Say Yes To Cucumbers Eye Gel for the TIA community)and I was thinking while opening the box how much I love  getting Marta’s parcels.  Then I thought it would be kind of cool to send one back with a product I love and Lucas Papaw Ointment sprung to mind. So off I went to post some to Marta and I came home feeling really pleased with myself. Until it struck me while reading the red tube as I was applying some balm, the active ingredient listed is 39mg/g Carica Papaya Fresh Fermented Fruit and I thought, oh my gosh what is the rest of it then?

Research done, I am embarrassed to find that this “cult celebrity product” contains petroleum jelly and that the Australian TGA approval means that this ingredient never needed to be put on the tube also, there is no way of finding out exactly how much of it is petroleum jelly. There is really nothing wrong with using petroleum jelly; you can read a detailed review on the topic in ErinP’s post about Vaseline which is 100% petroleum jelly. Also there could be something said for Lucas Papaw Ointment having one of the highest concentrations of Fermented Pawpaw which believed to have healing properties. But as I am using the product as a lip balm there is the possibility that a small amount will be ingested and I would like to find a more natural alternative.

I’ve since found an Aussie company making natural version in direct competition to Lucas Papaw Ointment as a lip balm; it’s called Suvana Paw Paw and Honey Lip Balm. This one lists its ingredients and is 100% petroleum free with goodies like Cocoa Butter, Paw Paw, Honey and Vitamin E, it sounds much better  but I wonder if it is as effective.  I’ll definitely be trying Suvana Paw Paw and Honey Lip Balm and will submit a review in the future. I will also be sending Marta some tubes of Suvana’s Paw Paw and Honey Lip Balm to rectify the Petroleum Jelly oversight.

Part of what I love about reviewing for the TIA community is that I learn more about what I like, why I like it and why things are effective or ineffective. I thought I would share this lesson learned so we can all benefit from my oversight, research, research, research, the more we know the better!