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While most people think that gluten can only be found in food products, it is unfortunately also lurking in our makeup and toiletries. While this initially seems shocking as gluten is thought by many to only be dangerous when ingested, it can actually cause skin reactions in a lot of people. What makes it even more dangerous for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance is the risk of it running into your mouth when you sweat, shower, or wash your face.

Is it time to toss the mascara and lip gloss? Lucky for us, there are plenty of cosmetic companies beginning to take note. Read on for more info on ingredients to avoid, as well as where you can find gluten-free makeup!


Where Gluten Hides Out

Similar to how gluten is used in food, it is used in makeup as a binding agent. Gluten derived oils are also sometimes used to add moisture to products. So just as if you were grocery shopping, if the product isn’t clearly labeled as gluten-free, check the ingredients.

Here’s a list of the ingredients you need to pay attention to: Amino Peptide Complex, Barley Extract, Beta Glucan, Cyclodextrin, Dextrin Palmitate, Dextrin, Fermented Grain Extract, Hydrolyzed Malt Extract, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Hydroxypropyltrimonium, Oat (Avena Sativa), Phytosphingosine Extract, Secale Cereale, Wheat Protein Sulfonate, Triticum Vulgare, Triticum Aestivum, Wheat Germ and Yeast Extract.

How Will I Know if I’m Reacting to Gluten?

If you experience symptoms such as itching, watery eyes, or even acne with any of your makeup products, hidden gluten may be the culprit. However, as we know all too well, gluten can do damage to our bodies while leaving us symptom free, so if you suffer from celiac you may want to consider gluten-free makeup even if you don’t experience symptoms. In addition to the symptoms above, studies have shown that some of the reactions resulting from the skin being exposed to gluten also include rosacea, hives, psoriasis, and dermatitis herpetiformis, an itchy, blistering rash.

Gluten in makeup and toiletry items, especially when ingested (think lipstick and hairspray), may also cause the standard gastrointestinal symptoms you’d associate with gluten. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and also have celiac disease or gluten intolerance, your makeup may be the culprit.

Now What: The 3 Reasons People Go Gluten-Free with Makeup

There are 3 main reasons why people decide to switch over to gluten-free makeup products. The first is that they are either having or want to avoid potential skin reactions. Eliminating gluten from all makeup, hair care and bath products has shown to dramatically reduce and even eliminate these skin reactions. The second reason is that there are some makeup products, such as lipstick and gloss, that you can accidentally ingest! Avoiding eating gluten includes anything that we ingest, whether it be the bun on your hamburger or the lipstick that is ingested by mistake when you nervously bite your lower lip. A third reason is, well, gluten is gross! Once people realize that gluten has been the culprit behind years of pain and discomfort, they have the urge to remove it from their lives in whatever form it comes in.

Due to a current lack of research, the jury is still out on whether or not it is necessary to avoid makeup and skin care products containing gluten. While some experts maintain that this is a crucial part of adhering to a gluten-free diet, others state that the amount of gluten in these products is far too scarce to trigger any sort of problem. It is also difficult to arrive at one solid answer for everyone, because levels of gluten sensitivity are so varied. One thing experts can agree on? Avoiding cosmetics with gluten in them can’t hurt.

The good news is, there’s no need to go au naturale. Due to the growing number of people with celiac and gluten intolerance, a new crop of cosmetics companies are boasting 100% gluten-free makeup products, and also some old favorites are changing their products to accommodate. Even better news is that these companies are not only dedicated to giving you makeup that’s gluten-free, but all-natural in general. These products are often soy free and vegan as well, better for your skin and better for the environment!

Some of the more well known companies providing gluten-free cosmetics:

Afterglow Cosmetics
DeVine Lip Shimmers
Acure Organics
Pure SKN
Red Apple Lipstick
Hourglass, Lavanila and Alterna all offer some gluten-free products at Sephora Cosmetics.
Who out there has experienced reactions to gluten in makeup? Which gluten-free makeup products do you use? I would love some recommendations!


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