Are Gluten Free Beauty Products Necessary?
With the growing trend in gluten free foods and diets, naturally it has crossed over to the beauty world. Every store shelf and magazine has been using this magical buzzword on their labels and in magazine articles. But really is it necessary to switch to gluten free products you use topically when eliminated gluten in your diet?
In case you don't know what gluten actually is, it's a protein found in wheat, barely and rye flours. At the moment many people are eliminating gluten in their diets because it's deemed "healthier." While that is a personal lifestyle choice, there are some people who don't have that choice. They suffer from an auto-immune disorder called Celiac disease. It is a condition that causes inflammation in the intestines when gluten has been ingested. It is estimated that only 1% of the world has this disorder. There are also people that are gluten sensitive or allergic.
Why is there gluten in beauty products in the first place?
Specifically in beauty products there are certain wheat ingredients used and they are pretty beneficial for the skin and hair. Some facial cleansers, body washes and shampoos use the wheat ingredient sodium lauroyl oat amino acids which act as a cleansing agent to the skin or hair. Hydrolyzed wheat protein is another wheat ingredient that is found in hair conditioner and leaves a layer of natural hydration on the hair. And I am sure we have all heard of wheat germ oil which can be used in many skin care oils and moisturizers. It has some pretty potent regenerative and hydrating properties.
The Low Down
What it comes down to is the gluten molecule is too large to penetrate the barrier of the skin. If you have made the decision to eliminate gluten for a lifestyle choice then please don't waste your money on products that the main selling point is gluten free. It is totally a marketing ploy and completely unnecessary for non Celiac or gluten sensitive people.
However, for people with true medically diagnosed Celiac or gluten sensitivities the only concerns would be products that could accidentally end up in your mouth. This is because the reaction to gluten happens in the intestines. The good news is it will not affect the skin by topical application! (Yay!) I am sure your next question is why would you be eating beauty products? I doubt anyone is chowing down on a tube of lipstick! But definitely products that are used around your mouth such as lipstick and glosses as well as oral hygiene products like toothpaste. Also, something to consider may be shampoo dripping down your face while rinsing in the shower or even accidentally inhaling hairspray while styling your hair. It all could end up in your mouth which completely makes sense since tiny amount of of potential ingestion could occur.
This is my new favorite cleanser by Nourish Organic The entire line happens to be gluten free and it's totally Babe on a Budget!
With all the focus being put on gluten it's not a surprise that many are quick to assume gluten is the ingredient to blame. If you have a gluten sensitivity and have a reaction to a skin or hair care product consider all the other ingredients in that particular product. There are many other ingredients that people overlook such as artificial fragrance or coloring. So don't self diagnose and go straight to gluten. It could be an array of many other things! Just a little gluten free food for thought!