Gluten Free Makeup

Gluten-Free Beauty Products

Are your cosmetics and personal care products gluten-free? If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, experts say that your lipstick, toothpaste and even mascara—products that can get into your mouth or flake off into your eyes—should not contain gluten. And it’s prudent to use gluten-free shampoo, facial cleanser and lotions because they may accidentally get into your mouth.

Beyond that, experts say that topical exposure to gluten doesn’t pose a risk. The theory is that gluten must be ingested in order to be a problem.

“The general agreement is that, in order to have the ‘proper’ immune response to gluten that leads to celiac disease, exposure to gluten has to be through the gastrointestinal tract,” says Alessio Fasano, MD, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment and director of the Mucosal Immunology and Biology Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

But now research suggests a crack in this long-held assumption. Gluten-containing cosmetics and personal care products may actually be a problem if applied to broken skin.

“There’s some evidence in the literature that when there’s a break in the skin, gluten applied directly to the affected area may indeed reach the bloodstream and boost an immune response similar to the one created when gluten is ingested orally,” Fasano says.

Topical gluten supposedly doesn’t gain access to the bloodstream through healthy, undamaged skin, according to Fasano.

Unfortunately, there’s little ingredient labeling on most cosmetics and other personal care products. Most aren’t labeled “gluten-free” and they lack meaningful ingredient information. The FDA’s 2014 gluten-free labeling regulations don’t apply to cosmetics or require these manufacturers to adhere to a less-than-20ppm gluten standard when labeling their products “gluten-free.” In fact, researchers at George Washington University investigated ten leading cosmetic companies in the United States and found that only two offered detailed ingredient listings. Those two didn’t indicate whether their products contained gluten.

If you’d like to avoid gluten in your cosmetics and skin care products, watch out for these ingredients: wheat, barley, malt, rye, oat, triticum vulgare, hordeum vulgare, secale cereal, avena sativa.

Fortunately, there are excellent gluten-free cosmetics and personal care products available. Many are made with clean, natural ingredients and free from parabens, phthalates and other artificial chemicals. Here are some of our favorites.

Country Life Maxi-Skin Collagen + Vitamins C & A

Maxi-Skin Collagen + Vitamins C & A from Country Life is a new line of powdered supplements specifically designed to enhance your skin’s deeper dermal layer. Aging reduces the skin’s ability to generate enough collagen to stay elastic and firm. Pollution and UV light exposure further damage the skin, allowing lines and wrinkles to form. These supplements are certified gluten-free. Stir them into water or your favorite beverage once a day to replenish collagen, smooth out your skin’s appearance, enhance skin cell renewal and protect against free radical damage.


Afterglow Cosmetics

The entire Afterglow Cosmetics line is certified gluten-free, cruelty-free and organic. Afterglow’s under-eye Infused Aloe Concealer is our go-to. Made with white tea extract, it actually reduces puffiness and offers anti-aging properties. What’s not to love? Explore Afterglow’s full array of face, eye and lip products, as well as high-quality vegan brushes and tools, available online.


Juice Beauty

Juice Beauty produces a full complement of skin care and makeup—from anti-aging moisturizers to natural blemish treatments—blended with organic botanical juices (aloe, jojoba, grapeseed, shea, citrus). Juice’s Stem Cellular line of anti-wrinkle skin care is rich and creamy and it doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily. Makeup Classics collection is certified gluten-free; Stem Cellular Skincare and Phyto-Pigments makeup collections are made without gluten ingredients.


Jane Iredale Skin Products

The makeup line from Jane Iredale is as good for your skin as it is lovely to wear. Designed for ease of use, the mineral powders act as foundation, powder, concealer and sunscreen all in one. We particularly like PureGloss lip gloss, a gluten-free, vegan blend of natural oils and extracts that goes on smooth and lasts. (Hot Cider is an attractive, appealing color for many skin tones.) New Naturally Glam Eyeshadow kits are a great find, offering a palette of subtle autumn neutral colors in one compact.


Just Pure Essentials Body Oils

Just Pure Essentials’ line of Just Love organic massage and moisturizing oils multi-task as a makeup remover, facial cleanser, facial moisturizer, anti-wrinkle serum, feminine cleanser, vaginal moisturizer, hair conditioner, shave oil and after-shower body oil. Available in unscented and appealing aromas (like Ceylon Cinnamon and Sicilian Citrus), these gluten-free oils are edible. No grain, corn or soy are used in these products.


Healthy HooHoo Feminine Products

Healthy HooHoo feminine wipes, foam and cleanser are gentle care for “down there.” All are pH balanced and free of gluten, parabens, glycerin, fragrance, soap and chemicals. These products work gently to remove odor-causing bacteria and naturally cleanse a woman’s most sensitive parts.

Feminine Wipes come in a convenient travel pack, ideal for stashing in your purse.


Everclen Face Cleanser

Clinically proven safe for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic Everclēnfacial cleanser is free of unkind ingredients (gluten-free, fragrance free, Non-GMO, vegan-friendly), so your skin feels really clean, fresh and healthy. This light, creamy cleanser helps restore your skin’s natural pH balance for a softness you can see and feel.


Gabriel Cosmetics and ZuZu Luxe Products

Gabriel Cosmetics and ZuZu Luxe products are certified gluten-free, vegan and oh-so glam. Made with herbs, botanicals, vitamins and minerals, each line is all-natural and offers unique features and palettes in sophisticated hues. For a touch of matte color and highlighting, the Bronzer and Mosaic Illuminator are our favorites. Zuzu Luxe liquid eyeliner, oil-free liquid foundation and color-correcting primers are some of the best we’ve found, particularly for the price.


Red Apple Lipstick

Red Apple Lipstick’s gluten-free lipsticks, lip glosses, makeup pencils and mascara have long been a favorite in the gluten-free and vegan communities. And recently, a high-quality blush and bronzer joined Red Apple’s cosmetic line. These lipsticks and glosses are amazing, spanning an incredible array of colors. There’s something gorgeous for every complexion and look.


Written by Jules Shepard, originally published in Gluten Free & More.

Tags: Cosmetics Makeup
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