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Three Top Risks Of Using Beard Oil

May 24, 2016

Three Top Risks Of Using Beard Oil

Could your beard oil be hazardous to your health?

It seems like beard oil is everywhere today. If you've ever Googled how to grow or repair your beard, chances are you encountered dozens of stores, articles, and ads for the stuff. From beard blogs to Pinterest and from YouTube and beyond, it seems like everyone recommends beard oil. 
 
Don't get us wrong. Not only do we sell our own all-natural beard oil, but we use it ourselves daily. For most men, using all-natural beard oil will keep their beards hydrated and will keep the hair from breaking and causing split ends.

But is beard oil right for YOU? Here are 3 important things to know about beard oil before you buy.

Possible Allergic Reactions

You may have heard that pure essential oils do not cause allergic reactions. However, according to Oleg Maksimov of the American College of Healthcare Sciences, there is "...a connection between the oxidation of essential oil constituents and their ability to trigger allergic reactions". "To put it simply," says Maksimov, "spoiled (oxidized) essential oils have a greater risk of triggering an allergic reaction."

Man experiencing allergic reaction
Man experiencing allergic reaction.

So what causes the oils to oxidize and become rancid? 

The medicinal components of essential oils come from active constituents like "...monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenoids, and sesquiterpenoids. When monoterpenoids and sesquiterpenoids are exposed to air, they tend to undergo the following oxidation process: alcohol is transformed to aldehyde, aldehyde may turn into acid. Sound familiar? This is the same process responsible for spoiling wine and turning it to vinegar when it is accidentally exposed to air during storage", according to Maksimov.

Essential oils must be stored in a cool, dark place away from light sources with a tightly closed lid. If your beard oil was made with essential oils that have been exposed to light or air, it is likely that oxidation has begun and you could be at risk for an allergic reaction.

Photosensitive Citrus Oils

Citrus oils, which are commonly found in many beard oil formulas due to their many health benefits, are photosensitive and may cause your skin to become more sensitive to UV light. If you have a pale complexion that burns easily, you may want to consider an oil-free beard product instead.

 image credit: gwilymcpugh

Photo @gwilymcpugh

According to wellnessmama.com, "I always include a caution on my recipes that include citrus oils that they may make the skin more sensitive to the sun. These oils have certain constituents that can make the skin more sensitive to UV light and can lead to blistering, discoloration of the skin or burning more easily from minor sun exposure. Though the risk of photosensitivity or phototoxicity varies based on the way the oil was distilled, oils generally considered photosensitive are: orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit, and bergamot."

Beware of Synthetic Fragrances

Many companies claim that their beard oil is "all-natural". But how do you know if it's true? Check the label. If you find "fragrance", or "fragrance oil" listed in the ingredients, that means the beard oil contains synthetic fragrance oils that are not natural and not healthy. 

According to safe cosmetics advocate Ava Anderson, "These chemicals include: benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and a slew of other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders and allergies—some of which are cited on the EPA’s hazardous waste list."

geranium oil

Geranium oil has a natural, rose-like fragrance.

"The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that, while many popular perfumes, colognes and body sprays contain trace amounts of natural essences, they also typically contain a dozen or more potentially hazardous synthetic chemicals, some of which are derived from petroleum. To protect trade secrets, makers are allowed to withhold fragrance ingredients, so consumers can’t rely on labels to know what hazards may lurk inside that new bottle of perfume," says emagazine.com.

These materials will dry out your skin and beard, resulting in split ends and slow growth.

Conclusion

While beard oil is a great way for most men to moisturize their beards, it's not for everyone. If you believe you may be at risk for allergic reactions, photosensitivity, or any other health issue, we recommend using oil-free beard care products instead.