• 2016.10.25
  • Uncompromising Australian Products – Part 1
Every country, including Japan, has products that people have continued going back to again and again over many, many years. Australia too has popular products that people have stayed with over the years. Today’s blog is about one such product: Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. It’s an ointment made in Brisbane, Queensland from fermented pawpaw (papaya). It comes in plain, simple, red packaging with black lettering, but it is such a popular product it has actually become a favorite among famous overseas models, celebrities, and make-up artists as well as Australian celebrities and models. Its high profile is also due to it being a favorite of Australian model Miranda Kerr, popular in Japan, and it is the top must-have products for Australian women. It was a small family business that started making Lucas’ Papaw Ointment over 105 years ago. Nowadays everyone knows the ointment and it has such a prominent place in Australian family medicine cabinets that if someone ever has a burn, a cut, or skin roughness, you just “rub some pawpaw ointment on and it’ll be fine.” It’s used for cuts, burns, insect bites, cracked skin, rough hands, rough skin caused by dryness, itchiness caused by dryness, diaper rash, and so on. Aussie girls also use it as a lip cream.

The ointment was developed by the family’s ancestor, Dr. Lucas, and his name was used as is for the product. Dr. Lucas’ great-great granddaughter currently runs the company and is also a director. Apparently the company continues to make the ointment using the same secret recipe handed down unchanged from Dr. Lucas. The company insists on using only Australian-made pawpaw, ingredients, and even packaging. They only use high-quality pawpaw and have stuck to peeling each pawpaw by hand. While any number of companies start using machinery for production once sales improve, or they switch to cheap imported packaging, it could well be that the company’s resolute insistence has been the key to the product’s popularity over more than a century.

Photo 1: This is the smallest size, a 15 g tube that is handy as a lip cream. There is also a 25 g tube and a jar.

The ointment itself is a translucent, firm, gel-like cream with a consistency similar to Vaseline and a faint yellowy, orange tinge. The product I bought (photo above) is a small tube conveniently shaped for applying the ointment to your lips. When I tried putting it on my lips it definitely stayed moist for quite a long time. I thought it had an aroma a little like propolis, but it was only very faint so it was nothing to worry about. It might even be handy to have one in your handbag. And it’s not bulky so it would make a good souvenir.

As a bit of a side note, I have heard that Lucas’ Papaw Ointment has become very popular in China recently and that large groups of Chinese visitors to Australia have bought it up big. Apparently there are a lot of people who buy large quantities and sell it over the internet. That recently prompted the company to move to an even larger factory, and it has become so busy it now produces 40,000 tubes and 15,000 jars a day. Apart from the reason the ointment has become so popular, namely that it is a hot topic of conversation as a product used by famous celebrities and models across the world, its background as a product carefully made one at a time using traditional manufacturing methods by a small family-run company with a history going back more than 100 years might be the reason it has become a hot product among Chinese people, who live in a country awash with mass produced and copied products. With China’s healthy economy, a preference has been growing there for safe rather than cheap products, which is probably why a product like Lucas’ Papaw Ointment will become even more popular. Yet, selfishly, I do hope and pray that it doesn’t sell so well that its quality decreases. I hope the company doesn’t give in to such circumstances and continues to remain uncompromising.

Next time I will write about another product made with uncompromising care that Australians can be proud of.


  • Chieko Suganuma (maiden name : Nagura)
  • JobCompany employee

She moved to Australia in 2000. She worked for a Japanese-affiliated travel agency, and then started her current position at a construction company in 2014.On her days off, she enjoys making soy candles that is a hobby of mine and walking on the beach.She hope to share rare lifestyle information from the local area with you.

View a list of Chieko Suganuma (maiden name : Nagura)'s

What's New


What's New