This $8 Lip Balm Sells Every 60 Seconds and Cured my Chapped Lips

Updated: May 10, 2022

A tube of Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm sells every 60 seconds. But does it help chapped lips? I tried it to find out.

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If you streamed the Bridgerton series on Netflix, you might have noticed Daphne’s pouty lips and rosy cheeks. If not, you should still check out the soothing lip balm that made all that natural beauty happen. Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm is a British phenomena, and one tube sells globally every 60 seconds. Of course I had to try the balm to see how it held up against chapped lips, ragged cuticles, and winter skin. Here’s my Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm review. Mwah!

Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm review

First off, what the heck is pawpaw? It’s not a made up word. It’s actually the fruit of the carica papaya plant—a cousin of the sliced papaya in your fruit bowl. Carica is known to contain anti-inflammatory vitamins A, C, and E, plus iron, potassium, and magnesium. All good things for skin and lips, especially as a protectant against dry and cold conditions.

The formula also contains aloe vera, a known anti-inflammatory, and olive oil, a known antioxidant. The original formula is clear (it comes in a yellow tube) so you can apply it on lips, cuticles, elbows, knees, bug bites, flyaway hairs, and as a diaper rash remedy. The balm feels a bit like an ointment such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, though it leads with castor oil—not petroleum.

In fact, Dr. Pawpaw was launched in 2013 when the creators’ daughter was diagnosed with eczema. The parents wanted a natural alternative to steroid prescriptions for relieving the itch and rash of eczema. Note that Dr. Pawpaw is not a replacement for eczema treatment or medical advice.

Dr Pawpaw Nourishing Balmvia

How to use Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm

Smear Dr. Pawpaw on any body part that’s dry. Really, it’s that simple. The applicator is a small flat hole, which is a little difficult to apply directly on the lips. I usually squeeze some product on the back of my hand and then dab it on with my finger instead. An angled applicator would be a nice addition to the packaging. There’s also a blue tube of Dr. Pawpaw that includes shea butter as an additional moisturizing ingredient. This product is also clear, and can be used like the original balm. (Here are natural moisturizers you probably already have at home.)

I started my experiment with the original Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm on my lips. In the winter and early spring, my lips tend to get and dry chapped pretty quickly. I used it as a heavier mask to sleep in, and woke up to noticeably moist and soft lips that stayed hydrated throughout the day. Of course I got addicted to how soothing the balm is and now I usually apply mid-afternoon too. I also rub a little bit on my cuticles to keep them looking nice and prevent ragged hangnails. A dab on the elbows keeps even that parched skin soft too. And yep, I’ve even used the tiniest bit of balm to smooth flyaways when I put my hair in a bun.

How does Dr. Pawpaw feel?

The balm feels heavy and protective, but also lightweight. It doesn’t have the greasy effect I’ve found with petroleum-based lip balms. Dr. Pawpaw is also fragrance and odor-free. No irritating artificial fruit or medicinal smells here.

To get glamorous, the soothing balm also comes in five tinted versions: mocha, red, orange, hot pink, and peach pink. These are designed to hydrate and moisturize, but since they have a colorful sheen they double as a moisturizing eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick. I like the color range, and have found the shades to be surprisingly flattering. It’s not the most extensive color palette on the market, but there is a color to complement any skin tone.

Lynda Pearce, a hair and makeup artist on Bridgerton, says, “We used the Dr. Pawpaw Original Multipurpose Soothing Balm on Phoebe Dynevor, who played Daphne Bridgerton, to achieve a natural look. We often mixed it with a lip liner or lip stain, or sometimes applied it just on its own. It’s a fantastic product to keep the lips hydrated and glowing.”

The balms are easy to dab on before a Zoom call for a little flush and color, but don’t look for long-lasting wear. With a castor oil base, the color is fleeting. A few coffee sips, and it’s gone. Color does last longer on the cheeks and eyelids. I’ll definitely use these at the beach this summer for an easy natural flush and shot of hydration.

Where to buy Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm

Good news: You don’t have to hit a pharmacy in London to pick up a tube of Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm. It’s available on Amazon, Ulta, and CVS Pharmacy. And if you’re looking for a lip scrub, Dr. Pawpaw makes a two-in-one product with lip balm and an exfoliating scrub. Pucker up!

Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm pros

  • It works! Soothes and protects lips, nails, cuticles, and dry patches.
  • Use it to tame flyaways and on bug bites or minor burns.
  • The tinted versions serve as a multipurpose lip, cheek, and lids stain.
  • Affordable at around $8 for just under an ounce.
  • It’s flavorless, fragrance free, cruelty free, and vegan.
  • Powerful enough to work as a lip sleep mask.
  • Fun fact: It was used on the Bridgerton set to keep the casts’ lips glowing and hydrated while filming in the cold winter.

Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm cons

  • The flat applicator isn’t the best for lips—an angled applicator would work better.
  • Tinted versions don’t provide long-lasting color.

Best verified Ulta Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm reviews

I’m not the only one in love with Dr. Pawpaw multipurpose soothing balm for soothing chapped lips and beautifying with a natural glow. Here are what fans had to say on Ulta. What chapped lips?

Sam: “Great pick-me-up for lips and cheeks! I need to buy a few so I can keep them in all bathrooms and my purse!”

Shawna: “I love this product because of its many uses. I use it on my lips and my cuticles—works great on both!”

Mar007: “It’s like an intense moisturizing mask but for your lips. I like to use it before bed and it lasts till the morning! My lips are never dry/chapped thanks to this. It’s so soft and rich. I also like to use it on my cuticles. So affordable!!”

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Source: Lynda Pearce, a hair and makeup artist on Bridgerton