1% of the world’s population is gluten intolerant or suffering from Coeliac Disease. This can certainly be challenging when it comes to food – especially eating out in restaurants or buying ready meals, but had you thought about your make-up? After all, makeup is one of life’s essentials, but is makeup gluten-free?
Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, and rye, so is present in bread, cakes, pizzas, and many other foods. Gluten is not an essential nutrient and for some people, eating it causes a negative reaction in their immune system. People who have a gluten intolerance, have to be very careful about the foods they eat and have to check ingredient lists on all food products. Gluten-free products are certainly an increasingly popular and trending requirement and are now found in many supermarkets and restaurants. The question of whether makeup is gluten-free is an important one.
Does it matter if makeup contains gluten?
Most people do not need or care if their makeup is gluten-free, but if you do have been diagnosed as having gluten intolerance or are super sensitive and have Coeliac Disease, in this case, whether your makeup and other toiletries contain gluten is very important to you.
Do makeup products contain gluten?
The simple answer is ‘yes’ many makeup products do contain gluten, as they are made from a combination of oils, extracts, and hydrolyzed gluten made from flours, including wheat, barley, and rye. The hydrolyzed gluten is used for emulsifiers and stabilizers in a variety of products.
In reality, most people do not need to use gluten-free makeup products – including many who have a gluten intolerance. Other people have the personal preference to avoid gluten.
The fact that many makeup items contain gluten will not always cause problems to those with a gluten intolerance because it is thought that gluten molecules are quite large so there is only a small chance that they could permeate the skin or be inhaled. However, some scientists do question this rationale, especially if products are being applied to the skin when the pores are open after a shower, for example, used in powders that can be inhaled.
Scientists believe that using a mascara containing gluten could cause problems to those who are very sensitive to gluten – for example, Coeliacs who only need to consume the smallest amount of gluten to trigger a negative reaction in their body. Sometimes products can cause problems not because they contain gluten, but because they have been cross-contaminated. Reactions to various makeup products vary tremendously, depending on an individual’s sensitivity.
Choose your lipstick and lip balms carefully
The primary makeup products where you have to be really careful to ensure that they are gluten-free are lipsticks and lip balms. Both products are used on the lips, so there is a higher chance that they can be ingested and if this happens, it could cause an allergic reaction.
Sometimes those who are gluten intolerant develop a rash or suffer stomach cramps, suspect that it is because their makeup products contain gluten. They could very well be the case, so it is well worth asking yourself the question is this makeup gluten-free?
Sometimes though, the negative reaction can be triggered by using a combination of natural ingredients. The two ingredients are fine if used individually but can cause an allergic reaction when mixed – the classic example of this is when tee tree oil and lavender are combined.
Is this difficult for those who are gluten-free?
Of course, many women with gluten intolerance would prefer to use gluten-free makeup products, to avoid any chance of a problem occurring, but this can prove difficult. Checking the list of ingredients on certain beauty products can be tricky as ingredients containing gluten are often not easily recognised as they have strange names such as Avena Sativa Kernel (which is oat flour), cyclodextrin, and dextrin.
Is there a list of gluten-free makeup brands?
Luckily, there are ways to ensure that your chosen makeup is gluten-free. If you buy your makeup in a store with a trained beautician from the cosmetic department, they will be able to provide you with accurate information or alternatively, the following list (see below) does include a number of the large cosmetic brands that are gluten-free.
Presently, there is plenty of misinformation about gluten and its impact on those who are gluten sensitive. As research on the use of gluten in makeup continues, it is best to choose gluten-free makeup products. It is particularly advisable to avoid using lipsticks and balms containing gluten and also to check your other favorite makeup and toiletries products including moisturizers, toothpaste and mouthwashes too. After all, it is very easy to accidentally ingest gluten because we all touch our faces numerous times a day