Review: Gluten-Free Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products: For Those With Celiacs Disease Or Sensitivity

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Review: Gluten-Free Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products: For Those With Celiacs Disease Or Sensitivity

Gluten is a unique protein commonly found in wheat, rye and barley that gives an elastic consistency to flour. That’s why grains containing gluten are used to make breads and other baked goods. Some people suffer from a condition called celiac disease, which impedes the digestion of gluten, therefore leading to a strict gluten-free regimen.

“Gluten sensitivity not only exists, but is very different from celiac disease,” says Alessio Fasano, M.D., medical director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Celiac Research. Gluten sensitivity or gluten intolerance can develop if gluten, or partially digested fragments of gluten, mistakenly pass through the small intestine and into our bloodstream. Increased awareness about celiac disease and similar gluten sensitive conditions, as well as the popularity of gluten-free diets, has encouraged cosmetic companies to produce gluten-free products.

 

Review: Gluten-Free Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products: For Those With Celiacs Disease Or Sensitivity

Review: Gluten-Free Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products: For Those With Celiacs Disease Or Sensitivity

Review: Gluten-Free Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products: For Those With Celiacs Disease Or Sensitivity

Companies like Gluten Free Beauty, Afterglow Cosmetics, Desert Essence Organics, Joelle Cosmetics, Dr. Hauschka (some products), Scotch Naturals and Peace Keeper Cause-Metics all clearly list their ingredients online, and even explain what each ingredient is and most importantly are 100% gluten-free.

Despite increasing availability, it can still be difficult to discern gluten-free cosmetics. Researcher Dr. Pia Prakash from George Washington University admits that the ingredients including the potential gluten ingredients in cosmetics are not readily available. While the USFDA requires cosmetic manufacturers to list their product ingredients, certain loopholes might allow them to withhold some.

There are some ingredients that are easy to detect, like hydrolyzed wheat protein. But, ingredients like Vitamin E oil (usually extracted from wheat sources) are less obviously recognized, so ample research on ingredients is necessary. Many manufacturers may not even know where or what their raw materials are sourced from. We suggest that you buy products from reputable companies that communicate and understand what gluten and celiac disease are and commit in providing gluten-free products.

Typically, 60% of topical application gets absorbed through the skin to the bloodstream. “It’s especially important with certain cosmetics that you unwittingly ingest”, says Dr. Vikki Petersen, author of The Gluten Effect.

It is found that the average woman ingests up to four pounds of lip products over a lifetime. Wow, that’s a lot! So, avoid using such products on your lips or around your mouth, specifically dental products. For the more sensitive ones, gluten on the skin can even cause irritation. Along with allergies; breakouts are a common problem for those who have some form of gluten sensitivity.

Some people develop a form of celiac disease called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), which causes an itchy, blistering rash. But although it is a topical condition, doctors confirm that DH is caused by ingesting gluten, not by skin contact with gluten.

There is no clinical evidence saying that cosmetics containing gluten and when applied topically can penetrate through the skin and pass into the bloodstream inducing gluten sensitivity; gluten is a big molecule that has to penetrate through the thick skin. Also, the low gluten percentage of some ingredients in cosmetic products are not high enough to induce a reaction. Even though science is telling us that the molecule is too big, people are still having reactions to products containing gluten. In short, if you are allergic to gluten it is best to read the ingredients list on all of your cosmetics and skincare products — and, don’t forget to do a little research, too!

-  Upasana Sahu, cosmetic chemist

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3 thoughts on “Review: Gluten-Free Ingredients In Cosmetics And Beauty Products: For Those With Celiacs Disease Or Sensitivity

  1. maribel

    I am glad that some cosmetic companies are trying to expand their options for different type of products for different issues. Everyone women deserves to be beautiful but when you have allergies that prevent you from finding the right makeup than thats disappointing. Thanks

  2. Susan

    Skin 2 Skin is also gluten free. I learned from my Doctor that Gluten Sensitivity and intolerance are the precursor to Celiac disease. They are very similar not different according to the doctors I had to see. They only reason not to use products with wheat, barley, and rye products is that you might accidentally ingest something. Especially in lip products. But I’ve found that almost all products in high end lines like Lancome (absolu Bt), Murad, Bobbie Brown, and natural lines like Burt’s all have some type of wheat or barley in them. Wheat germ is a big one. I used to break out in a terrible rash whenever I had wheat germ. My legs would itch like crazy. But I had to stop using some of my favorite products and I’ve been trying to find new ones. Quite a few companies don’t even list the ingredients on their products. So for those of us that have to be careful it’s difficult. I’ve had some lovely sales people in the department stores pull out their books and go over each product before I buy it to find out if it’s wheat free. What a procedure! It’s great that companies are now advertizing it. Thank you for doing an article on it.

  3. la martina polos

    I just bookmarked your site so that I can read more of your post next time. Keep up the good work and keep on information us about new things.

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