One heavily debated component Celiac’s are constantly forced to reckon with is the do or don’t of gluten-free cosmetics. Some Celiac’s are adamant about cutting out gluten for EVERYTHING in order to avoid painful skin rashes and outbreaks that can occur. For others, their autoimmune disease is just of their gut, with painful symptoms only manifesting themselves due to the food they’re ingesting.
Recently, I read an article explaining this discrepancy. As we all know, Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease. Therefore, there can be varying degrees of severity, and much like the flu, can have various strains. As such, some Celiac’s suffer from a strain labeled “dermatitis herpetiformis,” which is the root of the painful skin reactions from topical interaction with gluten. So while all Celiac’s should look for gluten-free toothpaste and lip balm (both of which can contain gluten as fillers and preservatives), some Celiac’s have to bring their ingredient-reading neuroticism into the shampoo and soap aisle as well.
Interestingly enough, a recent study found that some dish soaps use hydrolyzed wheat proteins, and can even trigger reactions if a Celiac eats off that dish washed with “gluten-filled” soap! Similar research found reactions from facial soap.
The bottom line is you need to follow what works best for you. If you’ve still been suffering from gluten symptoms even though you’re eating a very clean diet, there could be other confounding factors affecting your health. Perhaps you are one of the Celiac’s that has to be incredibly cautious about gluten interactions, in which case seeking out gluten-free cosmetics and cleaning supplies is probably in your best interest. Many Celiac’s don’t have to worry too much about topical reactions, but it’s always best to keep yourself informed!
Here’s a list of gluten-free cosmetics carried at Sephora (provided by their website). As they state on their webpage, it is always best to contact brands directly to confirm no gluten-containing products have been added to their recipe. While most companies are becoming more cautious, its always safest to get the information firsthand!