Is Gluten Sneaking into Your Soaps?
Getting a Celiac diagnosis can be overwhelming. Not only are you diagnosed with a lifelong disease, but now you have to learn everything about gluten in order to stay safe. The beginning stages of going gluten-free are the hardest. Our bodies can actually go through a withdrawal phase after removing gluten from the diet (as explained in this link). Over time, through trial and error, gluten-free eating becomes easier. But what if the gluten you are being exposed to isn’t through your food, but through the products in your bathroom?
It is so important to check all of the ingredients of products coming into your house. Gluten can often be found in products like soaps, hair care products, lotion, and makeup! Gluten-containing products can cause a lot of unexpected problems in someone with Celiac disease. Although gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin--it must be ingested to affect a person with Celiac disease--hands washed with a gluten soap will inevitably touch the food that goes into your mouth. Hair products containing gluten are also known to cause irritation. Make sure all products you use on your body are gluten-free by carefully checking ingredient lists, and avoid some key ingredients.
What to Avoid
Here is a list of ingredients to look out for. You can usually just scan the ingredient list for wheat, barley, and oat. However, “hydrolyzed” is often followed by a gluten ingredient, so make sure to watch out for that too.
Cosmetic Ingredients that May Contain Gluten:
Hydrolyzed Malt Extract
Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
Hydrolyzed wheat Flour
Hydrolyzed Wheat Gluten
Hydrolyzed Wheat Starch
Secale Cereale ((Rye) Seed Flour
Tritidcum Vulgare (Wheat Germ Extract)
(Wheat) Germ Extract
Triticum Vulgare (Wheat Gluten)
Triticum Wheat Amino Acids
Wheat Germ Glycerides
Wheat Germanidopropalkonium Chloride
The list is taken from this article. The article discusses the struggle of those who have Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH). Many people with Celiac disease have DH, which is an autoimmune rash that causes itchy blisters on the skin from consuming and being exposed to gluten. Having a blistery rash on elbows and knees is a sign of this medical issue. DH could potentially clear up completely after removing gluten from my diet.
What to look for
There is another option if you don’t want to spend time reading labels; GFCO (Gluten Free Certification Organization) now certifies cosmetic products as gluten-free. Look for the gluten-free logo on the back of products, or search the GFCO product finder online (https://gfco.org/).
There are some amazing brands that are certified gluten-free. Here are a few of our favorites:
'Ohana Organics Certified organic herbs and hand-crafted, botanically infused skin care made with Aloha.
Jessicurl A certified hair care line that is perfect for curlies and non-curlies alike!
Red Apple Lipstick Lipstick is one of the biggest concerns for gluten since products on lips are more likely to be ingested.
EO Products EO has a line that covers your hand soap, body care, and hand sanitizing needs! A lot of hand sanitizers contain gluten-based alcohols, so a certified hand sanitizer is good to have on hand (no pun intended).