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Home » ‘I Tried This $8 Dr. Pawpaw Original Balm And It Transformed My Nails’

‘I Tried This $8 Dr. Pawpaw Original Balm And It Transformed My Nails’

by News Desk

Erin Warwood / Christine Giordano

Every so often, I have this recurring thought: I need a good, super rich hand lotion.

I chalk this up to a few different factors. First of all, I’ve endured some brutal midwestern winters—the kind that leave your hands so dry that they end up red and cracked. Second, I’ve always been a frequent hand washer. And, finally, I have a terrible habit of messing with my nails and hangnails when I get stressed.

So, when my editor gave me the opportunity to try out a product called Dr. Pawpaw Original Balm, I was obviously intrigued. (Alison Brie swears by a similar papaya-based product to take off her makeup and heal dry skin and lips, according to Today.)

Dr. PAWPAW Multi-Purpose Balm | No Fragrance Balm, For Lips, Skin, Hair, Cuticles, Nails, and Beauty Finishing | 25 ml (Original, 1 Pack)


Dr. Pawpaw Original Balm is a multipurpose product, made with papaya, for lips, skin, hair, cuticles, and beauty finishing. I set out to find out if it could be the salve for my suffering hands—and put the “multipurpose” claim to the test along the way. Below, all the details of my two-week trial.

What Is Dr. Pawpaw Original Balm?

papaya balm trial

Erin Warwood / Christine Giordano

Aside from papaya, the balm’s ingredients include olive oil and aloe vera. According to the packaging, olive oil is meant to absorb deep into the skin to make it softer, and the papaya is also intended to help hydrate and nourish. Meanwhile, the aloe vera may soothe and calm.

The balm does indeed serve multiple purposes. For example, you can use it to shape your eyebrows, moisturize your lips and skin, or protect your nails between manicures.

The Trial

papaya balm trial

Erin Warwood / Christine Giordano

To begin, let’s journey back to the last day of February, when I took my stress out on an aging gel manicure and peeled off alllll my polish. Ultimately, I wound up with rough, brittle nails that felt about as bad as they looked.

When I received my tube of Dr. Pawpaw balm in the latter half of March, they were still in pretty bad shape. So, I decided to focus this experiment on my nails and the skin around them, which also needed some serious TLC. I settled on a regimen of rubbing the balm into my nails every night before going to bed. (A week into my test run, I also began slathering it on as needed throughout the day.)

The first time I used the balm, I noticed that a little bit goes a long way. Using a dollop about the size of a pea, I was able to drench all 10 of my nails. It seemed to seal up all the rough spots from my gel mani mishap, and after that first use my nails felt healthier and smoother.

The Results

papaya balm trial

Erin Warwood / Christine Giordano

A few days into April (just over two weeks after I started using the balm), my nails felt and looked *way* better. They had some of their shine back, most of the rough patches had gone away, and they didn’t feel so thin and breakable. As for the skin around them, I still had some hangnails during those two weeks, so I can’t say that the balm worked any miracles. But I do think that the extra nourishment it provided helped them to heal.

What I Liked (And Didn’t Like)

I think this $8 product is a great value. Again, a little bit goes a long way, so I expect it’ll take me some time to work through it. I was also thrilled to realize that Dr. Pawpaw Original Balm is vegan and cruelty-free.

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There is one thing about this product that’s less than ideal—it’s a bit oily. The grease factor prevented me from using the balm as much as I might have throughout the day, since I didn’t want it all over my keyboard.

About Those Other Uses…

Since the balm is labeled “multipurpose,” I also tried it on my lips and eyebrows. Here’s what I learned: It feels protective for dry, chapped lips and provides a nice bit of shine. And, applied as part of my makeup routine, it helped to tame my brows throughout the day.

The bottom line: I can see myself becoming a loyal user of this balm (and perhaps some of the other Dr. Pawpaw products I’ve yet to try!). I’ll definitely give it a spot on my beauty shelf—and I’ve already begun packing it in my purse for on-the-go use.

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