Are gluten free beauty products really necessary for Coeliacs? We discuss this more in this blog post.
It is well known that gluten is found in a wide range of food products but did you know it is also found in a lot of high street cosmetics? Coeliac UK points out that "It is unlikely that you would swallow enough lip balm or lipstick to cause a problem. If you are concerned then you should contact the manufacturers directly about specific products." However I have seen countless people overcautious when it comes to cosmetics, but there isn't much research either way, whether gluten can be an issue or not, but so many people do avoid it to stay safe despite Coeliac UK's advice, here we will look at gluten in cosmetics but I'll leave it up to use to decide whether to use them or not!
As Coeliac UK said, for a lot of people this gluten in cosmetics isn't an issue however some people, especially gluten intolerants or highly sensitive Coeliacs find they have reactions to lipsticks as small amounts can get ingested when you lick or chew your lips however the majority of Coeliacs find they don't have a problem with this and can use standard lipsticks as normal as the amount of gluten in the products is so low.
Some Coeliacs, instead of intestinal or as well as, have skin reactions, such as eczema, in these cases you may find that cosmetics do cause a reaction much more than if you just have gastric symptoms, simply because of the fact that the product is direct contact with your skin, much the same as food is in direct contact with intestines. This is seen more in gluten intolerances or wheat allergies rather than Coeliacs as an allergic reaction, but if you do suffer from skin related problems when you consume gluten you may well want to stay away just to avoid any irritation. If you do still use cosmetics containing gluten, including shampoos and any other skin care products, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly to avoid ingesting gluten.
Gluten tends to be used as emulsifiers and stabilizers, barley malt extract especially is found to be a particularly good emulsifier (basically a binder between water and oil in the make up) making an excellent substitute to chemicals, but not such a good substitute when it comes to avoiding gluten, although what few studies have been conducted into cosmetics most have shown to be under 5ppm, 20ppm is the highest safe level for Coeliacs so they would fall well below it, but obviously not all cosmetics are the same and so few studies have been done it is still hard to see just how much gluten is in cosmetics.
Same as with food many companies are jumping on the gluten free bandwagon and there is slowly more gluten free cosmetic companies popping up but they do tend to charge a lot more than your standard high street brands. Commonly the gluten free cosmetics tend to fall along side vegan products, probably because they tend to be natural and not use any kind of enhancers however don't be under the impression that places like Lush cosmetics are gluten free as the majority aren't.
If you wish to avoid gluten in cosmetics as with food, make sure to read the labels, you want to avoid anything containing wheat
, triticum vulgare
(wheat oil),hordeum vulgare
(rye) and avena sativa
(derived from oats). All these should be highlighted in accordance with labelling guidelines, but always be on the alert as mistakes do happen. If you are unsure whats in the cosmetics you are using either avoid or contact the manufacturer for clarification of whether your products are gluten free.
Younique gluten free cosmetics
We know of a few brands who offer gluten free products; Prestige Cosmetics the majority if not all are gluten free, Vasanti Cosmetics and Intelligent Cosmetics are totally gluten and EOS have a range of gluten free lip balms and moisturisers. All these products are available via Amazon and other outlets.
Another brand I have seen popping up a lot if Younique, now they aren't cheap but they are extremely good cosmetics and I know multiple people all who have gluten intolerances or Coeliac use their gluten free products and they have all said they wouldn't choose anything else. Click the image on the right to see all their gluten free products. Not all their products are gluten free though, so make sure you check the list or ask one of their representatives to make sure you are purchasing an item that is definitely gluten free! Here is a link to one of the representatives
I know so you can take a look at the products
Like we said the majority of you shouldn't have a problem with gluten in cosmetics, however if you do let us know in the comments!