The Hidden Relationship Between Gluten and Beauty
“Is this gluten free?” is typically a question meant for the dinner table, but should you be asking your makeup bag the same question? Gluten free food products have become widespread and very common but it is lesser known that gluten can hide in cosmetics and hygiene products. Gluten is hidden in almost all processed foods and makeup. Researchers are now starting to determine the impact of gluten contaminants in beauty. “We tell Celiac Disease patients and those with Dermatitis Herpetiformis to avoid gluten lipstick because they can ingest it,” says Dr. Peter H. R. Green, Director of The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University. Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH) is a skin disorder, which develops when someone is in contact with gluten. About 15-20% of those that suffer from Celiac Disease also develop this skin reaction.
My own gluten free journey started four years ago almost as a last resort to solve my skin woes. My clear complexion took a turn for the worse during my senior year of college. I developed acne out of nowhere and I didn’t understand what had change. At this time, my mother had been diagnosed with gluten intolerance and urged me to get blood tested since it can be genetic. Turns out she was right and I was diagnosed with allergies to wheat, barley and rye as well as Dermatitis Herpetiformis. “20 percent of people that have Dermatitis Herpetiformis were negative for celiac disease and people who had acne really turns out to be DH”, says Green. After cutting gluten out of my diet from that point forward, my skin went back to normal. “There is more and more evidence of the how diet plays a role in acne, it remains controversial and more studies need to be done to fully understand its role, “ says Dr. Eric Schweiger of Schweiger Dermatology Group. I have chosen to live a fully gluten free lifestyle and that includes eliminating gluten from all products that I use in the off chance that I could have an adverse reaction.
Organic brands such as Dr. Hauschka, RMS Beauty, Josie Maran and Juice Beauty have confirmed that their products are all gluten free. Cover Girl, E.L.F, and IT Cosmetics (except for their mascara and eyeliner) have stated they do not use gluten in their products. Common ingredients that include gluten are wheat germ, triticum, aestivum, avena sativa, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and hydrolyzed wheat protein. This experience and new way of life has made me more aware of how important it is to treat your body right and monitor what you ingest. Surprisingly, several of our picks for Best Beauty Buys are gluten free, below are some of my favorite gluten free products!