Can Your Skin Care Cause Headaches and More?


Grab a bottle or jar of one of your personal care products and check the list of ingredients.  Do you see any words that end in paraben? How about butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), Tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ), Sodium or potassium bromate? These are all preservatives used to increase the shelf life of your products to keep them safe from bacterial, environmental and personal contamination. There are currently 58 preservatives that are on the list of EU Cosmetic regulation which are well accepted around the world but not all are used in current formulations, according to Annex V to regulation EC/1223/2009 formerly Annex VI to Council Directive 76/768/EEC. But did you know there is a risk of side effects when consumed in large amounts. So when you use lots of products daily, overtime these chemicals can build up in your body causing imbalances, allergic reactions, illness and more.

The FDA has classified parabens as “GRAS” ingredients, which means they are safe for use in products according to medical and toxicological experts. Some scientific studies have suggested that butylparaben and propylparaben can mimic the effect of the endocrine hormone, estrogen, when tested at high concentrations in cell cultures and female mice. This effect is sometimes referred to as endocrine disruption. (Mirik Dik Davis and T. Thomas D.B (2002) J. Nat R Cancer Institute 94(20)1578-80).
Preservatives can have side effects:

  1. Biphenyl can cause skin discoloration, headaches and intestinal problems.
  2. Sodium, potassium and calcium salts of benzoic acid can cause hyperactivity in children, allergic reactions.
  3. Sodium and potassium nitrates and nitrites can cause intestinal discomfort, headaches and skin problems. They can also produce nitrosamine, a human carcinogen.
  4. Butylated hydroxytoluene  (BHT) is used in food for its antioxidant properties. Although California has listed butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) as a carcinogen, a low intake of  BHA shows no significant association with an increased risk of cancer.
  5. Sodium and potassium bromate can influence the development of cancer.
  6. Mono sodium glutamate can cause headaches and nausea.
  7. Sodium sulfite, sulfur dioxide and sodium bisulfite can cause allergic reactions.
  8. Propyl gallate, an antioxidant, is a food additive that has been linked to cancer in some studies.
  9. Tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) can cause nausea and violent mental agitation.

An easy way to avoid these chemicals is to always look for an expiration date on your products. All Catskill Organic Products are manufactured preservative-free by using an aseptic technique. In this technique, products are prepared under sterile conditions. We also use Vitamin C & Vitamin E which are antioxidants that  keep the oils in the product from going rancid and prevent “free radical” damage. Side effects include firm bright skin and healthy hair.

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