Celiac Rant: Your "All-Natural" Makeup is Not Gluten-Free!


I do not wear makeup.

Yes, I wear an earring.

Yes, I put gel in my hair.

Yes, I’ve had my brows waxed a few times (and based on my experience, my mind cannot even process how anybody would ever get a bikini wax!!)

But the last time makeup has touched my face was back in the 90’s. I was a struggling actor (to say the least) and on the occasional One Life to Live episode or other minuscule job, they’d give me the full cosmetic treatment.

Those were pre-celiac days so obviously, I didn’t think twice about it.

But what do you do if you’ve got gluten issues and you do wear makeup?

Do the department stores have any idea of what they are talking about when it comes to gluten-free cosmetics?

Here is one blog reader’s take/rant on it.

Dear Gluten Dude,

I’ve recently discovered your site after 7 months of GF living following my Celiac diagnosis. I won’t bore you with my list of specific troubles (we only just virtually met!) but let me say it is such a relief to find a community that shares the attitude I’ve come to adopt — sure we need to feel sunny that we’ve got a problem that can be addressed by diet but MY GOD the diet SUCKS MONKEYS! Sorry if the language was too much.

That said, I’d like to humbly offer a rant for your Rant Of The Day feature which I can tell I’m going to like a lot.

Thanks for the community you’re creating! Good job you!

And now — a rant!

Be super happy that you’re a Gluten Dude because being a Gluten Chic comes with one extra special opportunity for annoyance. The makeup counter.

I offer for your entertainment the deets of a recent trip to a a very high end establishment (we’ll call it Charley’s to, um, protect the innocent) where customer service is supposed to be top notch.

One of the first things I did in my GF life overhaul was replacement of all toiletries that could be CC risks. I swapped every lip balm for decidedly less effective, yet safe options. I replaced lotions (what if I didn’t wash my hands well enough after application and then ate something with my hands!? Holy 20ppm!). Moisturizer? Gone. Sunblock? Heck yeah! I even replaced my hubby’s lip balm.

And that was well and good. In the middle of winter in Chicago when, really, the desire for some fresh makeup is low.

But then came springtime. And a girl’s thoughts drift to flowing dresses and lip gloss. And then, if you’re GF, research begins! I spent weeks researching brands I already used only to discover that many had to go. An unopened tube of a surely flattering shade that was a reward for being a loyal Sephora customer — straight in the trash — maybe they need alternates for Celiacs?

But there were options and some from brands that I had familiarity with, so off to Charley’s I went.

Now all the Gluten Chics know there is no way to walk into a beauty department without being descended upon by multiple sales people wanting you to try this or that miracle product. But I had a strategy! I was going to see an associate that was known to me, explain my new situation clearly but with as few unnecessary deets as possible and leave with some lip gloss.

I was hoping for the best possible outcome — that he would be familiar with ingredients and able to make further recommendations. At worst, I had a list and could try the products I had already vetted.

When I arrived he greeted me warmly and asked about a product I had purchased months before. Oh, I thought, he remembers me! Such attention to detail! This is going to go great! So when he asked what was new in my life and I shared my funny new requirements he exclaimed, “it will be no problem! We just got in a new line of products known for their all-natural ingredients.”


I tried to calmly explain this point, and even throw in a little Tocopherol knowledge for fun, but it was a lost cause. He then proceeded to parade me from counter to counter asking his fellow associates repping other brands if they had any gluten free lippies to which 70% replied a firm yes without blinking — most at counters where I had already run the vetting process and discovered that the opposite was true.

I can not tell you the number of times I have needed to run in to a department store cosmetics counter in the past few months and had similar experiences. I’m there for one thing only and when the dreaded add-on pitch comes, I’ve taken to replying by saying that I have a number of allergies and so don’t try products without researching first. 80% (or more) of the time, I get hit with “our ingredients are natural” or “our ingredients are so pure.”

We’ve already got an uphill battle fight with the food and have a dandy of a time trying to feel safe eating out.

Isn’t that enough?

Need to Vent?

I hate celiac. You hate celiac. We all hate celiac.

With all that pent up anger, people need a place to vent.

Well…I invite you to lie on the Dude’s couch (figuratively speaking) and spew away.

There’s just one rule: Once you’re done venting, you need to move forward and put the negative vibes on the back burner. Positive energy brings positive results.

Email me your anonymous rant.

Don’t you feel better already??

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88 thoughts on “Celiac Rant: Your "All-Natural" Makeup is Not Gluten-Free!”

  1. Oh man, I have been struggling with the cosmetics issue since going gluten free…hard to find and when you do find specialized companies that have it it is 1) ungodly expensive 2) the companies change their ingredients so that mascara I ordered before now comes with wheat in it when I order it a second time (full list of ingredients on the website would be nice!) or 3) OUT OF FRICKIN’ STOCK every time you check the website. Grrrrr.

    One company I’ve found that I **LOVE** is Red Apple Lipstick. They have awesome customer service, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and they are expanding beyond only GF lipstick (they’ve just added GF eye shadows!) I’ve even gotten a couple of my family members and friends (who don’t have the gluten restriction) hooked on the lipsticks, balm and glosses.

    Also, the Celiac Diva has covered cosmetics and just did something about nail polish if I remember properly.

    But honestly, the amount of time I’ve spent on this issue is ridiculous. I am embracing the ‘natural look’ as often as I can…and hoarding the stock I do have. Grrrrr.

  2. So much yes to this! My first make-up shopping trip after throwing away all my old (fabulous) gluten-y cosmetics was a train wreck! I did all the research in advance, but when I got to Upscale Department Store, it was like I was going in blind, and none of the vendor/consultants seemed to be able to tell me ANYTHING!

    Just curious, since I am in the Chicago area too, have you found anywhere with a great selection?

    Thanks, Dude, for picking something girly today:)

    1. I live in western burbs of Chicago – I tend to make a pre-researched list and head to Ulta or CVS, buying Dr. Bronners, Burts Bees, and NARS.

      The first time, though, when I cleared everything out of my makeup stash, I tried out a service. She was great, downtown Chicago, has lots of gf makeup and vegan too. http://ifagoddessworemakeup.com/

      We actually have a great manufacturer in Illinois in Frankfort, but they only sell online! No Gluten Natural Girl Products is the name of the company.

      I recently ordered my first Red Apple chapstick, so I’m hoping that will help with my severely chapped lips (no matter what I put on them).

      Now that I’ve been doing it awhile, I tend to just buy GF lipstick and eyeshadow, make my own lotions, and make my own soaps.

  3. I could almost tell an identical story. Have heard the all natural and hypo-allergenic BS so many times. I now only order from Afterglow cosmetics. It was started by a woman whose mother and sister, both celiacs, couldn’t find safe makeup (including the tocopherol issue). They have dedicated GF facilities and know the source of their tocopherol (never wheat). I was getting sick from supposedly GF makeup even when calling the company and confirming that each product and shade was actually GF and that they knew all the sources for gluten. I figured out that anything that was going to stay on me all day couldn’t be cc. 🙁 Things that I rinse off like soap or conditioner can be GF but a little bit

    And like you I figured out that tocopherol is tricky. Companies will try to tell you that tocopherol derived from wheat germ oil is safe because “all the gluten is extracted through the refinement process.” My body somehow knows that stuff is bad (same with omission beer).

    It probably seems like a lot of work to celiacs who don’t wear makeup, but I REFUSE to let this disease take away my makeup too.

    I still haven’t found a super-safe lotion, as they either have suspect tocopherol or bad cc. So I’m mostly using coconut oil, which doesn’t really help the eczema.

    And I have naturally curly hair so don’t even get me started on GF hair products. Although, I think I have that mostly figured out after trial and error and a lot of research. BTW, Alterna labels products as GF even when there is HYDROLIZED WHEAT PROTEIN listed as an ingredient!! What??


    1. I’ve made my own lotion for a couple years now. I remember finding the recipe online and the lightbulb went off. I hardly ever buy lotion anymore, though the occasional B&BW trial size comes home with me.

      Anyway, the one lotion that helps with my eczema flares is this one: http://asonomagarden.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/how-to-make-an-easy-winter-hand-salve-aka-eczema-fighting-lotion/ I just use E Gem Oil drops instead of the vitamin E capsules (since I haven’t found any certified vitamin E capsules anywhere yet).

      1. Vitamin E is sooo hard to find! Our lip products (Red Apple Lipstick) have a non-gluten source of Vitamin E-I can’t live without it!

        I’d definitely love to know where you can get the stuff on it’s own.

    2. I’ve not heard of Afterglow, thanks for the heads up. And yes, why on earth does wheat (or other G ingredients) even have to be in there? What does it bring to the party??? Bit off topic, I found the same problem in some paper plates. Paper plates????? Wheat fibers? GACK~

  4. Hey Babs,

    Thanks for the Red Apple Lipstick shout out! I work for the company and can’t thank you enough for the kind words and spreading the news about our brand and passion!

    That’s right-we are 100% lab tested gluten free. 0PPM! Celiac approved! And I promise you won’t find a better lip color in the world-GF or not! (I’m not being paid to say that, it’s a FACT! Haha!)

    OP-I’d love to send you more information.

  5. I don’t wear much makeup so I only worry about lipstick. But I’ve read in Gluten-free Living that even if lipstick does contain gluten, it’s such a minute amount that it shouldn’t harm most people with Celiac. However, I do believe that this could still be an issue if you’re extremely sensitive. As with shampoo, lotion, etc. I personally don’t worry too much about these (although I threw out some soap that someone had given me that listed wheat gluten as one of the ingredients). Doctors say as long as you don’t put these in your mouth, they can’t be absorbed through your skin. However, as we know, doctors can be very wrong about many things. The bottom line is, I try to use gluten-free lipstick (but don’t worry too much about other brands) and use most soaps, shampoos, etc. I do have a problem with small amounts of gluten, but I think it’s really more in what I eat than in what I use on my body.

  6. EXACTLY!!!!! That is always the response I get. “It’s very natural so I’m sure it’s gluten-free”. Um, what? So frustrating.

    I had to give up my favorite curl cream because it has gluten in it (and gives my scalp a good burn). And shopping for new makeup was a nightmare. I think I have safe stuff now, but the lip gloss is still the hardest thing to find.

    I haven’t found a good list online of safe cosmetics, I wish someone would put one together!

  7. As a disclaimer, I’m in Canada so I have no idea whether these products are available elsewhere or whether their gluten-free status is the same outside of Canada.

    I use Marcelle foundation and powder. They have an allergen guide on their website where they list which ingredients contain certain allergens:

    Then you can also search for products that do or don’t contain those allergens:

    As for shampoo & conditioner, I usually just check for the obvious ingredients – wheat, oats and hydroxypropl trimonium seem to be the most common gluten ingredients in cosmetics. I recently found hand sanitizer with multiple forms of wheat in it. (why oh why do you need wheat in hand sanitizer????????? Its supposed to CLEAN your hands!!!!)

    For hand moisturizer, I make sure its GF since there’s a good chance I might ingest it if I touch food after putting it on. I use both Herbacin and Glysomed – both are safe.

  8. I have never worried about gluten free makeup and have never had a problem. I do not believe that any tiny particles of gluten will pass through your skin. I would think you would only need to be concerned if you were allergic to gluten. I read once that all the claims of creams penetrating all your skin layers false. Because if they could get in, wouldn’t other bodily fluids be able to get out?
    I’m sorry I can’t give reference to any specific research, but this is more of life learning thing. I think a lot of these companies are just looking to cash in. In my early Celiac days I tried a gluten free shampoo. Very expensive and lt dried our my hair and scalp. Imho, I would stick with what you’re using, unless you are having an issue.

    1. For people with celiac disease, especially those with serious sensitivity, gluten in makeup is a BIG no-no!

      You’re right-the gluten is probably not going to affect your digestive system if it’s on your skin, but how many times do you lick your lips after applying lipstick? How often do you brush your hair our of your face then touch your lips or a makeup product? Cross contamination is something to be aware and concerned about for those living with celiacs disease.

      I can reference specific research, but I don’t want to be flagged as spam for adding links. 😛

      1. Coeliac sufferer

        Absolute tosh – take this from a Coeliac – you twats call it celiac ?? – one can only assume that shampoo will find it’s way down your upper GI through to your lower GI and then to your lower intestine! Seriously?

        You DO ACTUALLY NEED TO EAT GLUTEN – swallow a mouthful – not slap a slick on your lips !!!

        Never mind – when your attention span blows off of gluten (as it did with MSG – gluten being the new MSG) – maybe you can go back to sticking tin foil hats on your head – or, better still stay away from the internet as it can seriously do you harm!

    2. I echo your thoughts here, Diana. 🙂

      Gluten molecules are too large to “pass through” the skin.

      Seriously, if our skin could “absorb everything”, imagine what would happen when we bathed or swam in a pool or the ocean?
      We’d be like giant, drippy sponges……

      That said, if someone has an IgE-mediated wheat allergy or a topical allergic reaction to wheat, hydrolyzed wheat protein in shampoo and makeup will be a problem for them.

      Hair spray, which can be inhaled and swallowed, may also cause some people breathing problems.

      Lipstick is the major concern in cosmetics– as it is the one most likely to be swallowed.

      They are expensive, but CLEURE makes GF & SF products, including hypoallergenic lotions.

      I switched to a coconut oil- based shampoo my hairdresser makes– mostly because of her suggestion that sodium laurel sulfate in hair products is abrasive. Her little bar of shampoo? Costs $2.50.

      Like everything else regarding gluten & celiac and what’s good/bad for us–everyone has an opinion— and there’s plenty of $$$$ to made while preying on people’s fears.

    3. Even though the gluten molecule can’t pass through your skin, there are plenty of opportunities for certain products to get into your system. I personally always ensure my lipstick and mascara are gluten free. Mascara with gluten in it (often the Vitamin E is wheat germ) causes an immediate reaction for me.

  9. I’m totally loving this blog! Ive been hit with its all natural products at the beauty counter and the numerous here try this you’ll love how it feels on your skin or you’ll never go back to your old makeup. Has anyone ever been just left standing there while the rep moves on to another customer because they think your crazy? Yes it’s happened to me. I have DH and had to eliminate my gluten makeup and body products. My question is what products are GF? And are inexpensive?

    1. Hey Denise! I don’t have celiac’s disease, but I work for Red Apple Lipstick and have cut gluten out of my diet recently. Our makeup is lab-tested gluten free, paraben free and cruelty free!

      Our prices are very fair since they are mineral based, paraben free, gf, vegan and just plain awesome! In addition to that, we offer a few discount programs and hold regular sales.

      I hope you’ll at least stop by our blog and website! 🙂 I’m not trying to sell you anything, just spreading the news that there are truly 100% GF cosmetics out there!

  10. Thanks for the shoutout Jen! 😀

    Lots of Red Apple Lipstick recs, so suffice it to say that they always test their products for gluten and I would love them for that reason alone, but top it off with HQ products and you can’t go wrong.

    Finding gluten free makeup is a real pain and very VERY few companies in stores are safely gluten free. Ecco Bella (not tested, but uses no gluten ingredients) and Gabriel Cosmetics (ZuZu Luxe and a few others, TESTED) can be found in health food stores, or sometimes your local grocery store if it has a health food section. But there’s only ONE company widely available that is gluten free and I only just learned about them.

    NARS *is* safely gluten free. They are dedicated, they use no gluten ingredients and they periodically test for gluten to ensure their suppliers are being honest when they say “gluten free”.
    Never used NARS myself, but just the fact that I can walk into a beauty store and walk back out with SAFE cosmetics is kinda staggering.

    So check out NARS, ladies! And I do have a list on my site, as Jen pointed out above, if you’d like to see what other brands I’ve discovered to be gluten free. 😉

    1. I know this is an old post, but Nars is not produced in a gluten free facility, and they are not a safe choice. I had really bad reactions to NARS.

    2. Have you heard of Rejuva minerals. I just started wearing their powder foundation. Now I just need to find a good cleanser and moisturizer. Have tried so many and I either don’t feel good after using or just break out or they don’t work. Ugh. So hard. I was also told all Tarte cosmetics are gluten free. Not sure if this is true

      And to all those that don’t believe you cannot be glutened by a product on your skin think again. Your skin is the largest organ in your body. Medicines can be delivered straight into your blood stream through tiny transdermal patches, what do you think happens when you put large amounts of chemicals and gluten on your body in the form of makeup and especially lotions etc.

      PS love Red Apple lipstick

  11. My biggie was lip balm as I was addicted to Kiehl’s #1 and it’s choc full o’ wheat. I replaced it with Malin + Goetz. With regard to skincare, they take allergens very seriously across the board so I’ve had a lot of luck. I also really like Mario Badescu (you can buy at Nordies in Chicago) as they use a lot of natural ingredients and usually relatively few ingredients so they labels are easy to read. REN is another good one for higher end skincare – you can get it at Sephora.

    For makeup, I just research the fool out of every product before I go to the store. I’ve recently moved from Chicago to Hawaii and I can say that in one month here I’ve met more educated, empathetic SAs then in 4 years in Chi-town (and Celiac here is a RARITY). I use a lot of Laura Mercier products and for lips there is an awesome brand called ColorScience Pro that makes a really great, safe lipgloss but I order that online.

  12. Wierdly enough I too am in Chicago! We should start a club or something. 🙂

    I bought a RedApple lipgloss at a recent GFExpo and LOVE it! I was just realizing yesterday that I’m about to need more! Thanks for the info above – will order soon! I love that it isn’t sticky, looks great – nice & shiny, and has a great minty taste! Keep it up!

    Personally (NCGI) I haven’t had an issue with makeup or other toiletries – and my symptoms are IMMEDIATE when I get glutened – like fall out of my chair vertigo while still at the table! (I’ve had to be *walked* out of restaurants a few times.)

    I only wear 2 face products daily – that mousse foundation and liquid eyeliner. I’ve never even checked them, but I’d assume they contain gluten!

    Good luck to those of you who can’t get away with G in your cosmetics – I feel for you.

    1. Awesome!!! The celiac bloggers are such a tight-knit group. It’s so cool to make and keep connections!

      Make sure to check into our discount programs and sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of our website! LOTS of discounts! 🙂

  13. Yup! Absolutely, GF makeup/etc. products have been amazing for me. Some of the issues that I thought were just ‘default’ for my skin/hair/etc. went away when I started using GF – think dry hair, flecks on my skin, itchiness at any makeup, etc. But the biggest difference was in the hair… not dry anymore, thicker, and just overall healthier. I use Desert Essence for hair and Red Apple for lip products.

    I’ll join in the rant that it is so hard to find safe companies, so special kudos to those who work to test for not just the ingredients, but also cross-contamination, etc.! I do feel furious sometimes going in to get stuff with a huge list in my hand of safe/not safe and can’t just pick a selection that would look good on me.

    It is one of the hardest things for me to explain to people who don’t get that GF is not just about what goes in the mouth, but also the factory/production of the food/makeup, the component parts, the cross-contamination and suppliers, etc. And

    1. Totally understand that, too! We wash our hands constantly to make sure we don’t even get a trace of gluten on the packaging! Yes, we love to provide awesome cosmetics, but we can’t market ourselves GF if we don’t make it a priority! 🙂

  14. The grocery store – Plum Market here or Whole foods are great places to shop for GF cosmetics. You can read the package and look at ingredients and the gluten free designation. I had a knowledgeable sales associate help me find a whole line of hair products and lipstick. I think they are well trained in knowing what celiac disease or gluten free is. I’ve had ups and downs and skin problems so I like covering all the bases and ruling our one more variable. My products all work very well.

  15. My skin definitely reacts to gluten in makeup. The skin around my eyes gets dry and flaky. I have had my eyes look like I have pink eye and ooze green goo. Before I changed my makeup I was putting cortizone on my eyes daily. I finally ditched it when I changed to gluten free. The skin problems occured at the same time as my stomach, anxiety, bloating, etc. etc. began.

    I am one who grew up having the best of the best in cosmetics and I decided a long time ago that spending the money at the department stores was a big waste of money and the sales girls love to pull you into buy the most expensive crap. Yes, some of it is worth it, but I don’t like dealing with people on commission. So I have made an effort and have found drugstore lotions and makeup that work just as well for me.

    This is what I switched to when I cut gluten out of my skin products:

    Facial lotion: Garnier with sunscreen.

    Mascara: I am not crazy about using Maybelline mascara, but it is what I now use as I read it was gluten free. And I am no longer reacting to mascara.

    Eye-liner: By Almay. I have no idea if it is or not, but I don’t react to it.

    Foundation: Botanics found at Target.

    Powder: Botanics

    Lip Gloss: Kiss My Face I also use their hand soap.

    Lotions: Kiss My Face, Jergens and Desert Essence – which I found at Whole Foods.

    Hair Products: Garnier or Desert Essence.

    Body Soap: Dove for Sensitive Skin

  16. My doctors told me not to worry about topical products :/ That didn’t make sense to me because your skin is your largest organ and its slightly porous.
    I’m a really no fuss kind of girl, and I loathe the cost of expensive cosmetics. I used to use some of the aforementioned brands but they’re so perfumey that they feel like they’re choking me off. There’s this really nice organic lip balm that just hit the market called Ecos though. I’m feeling the pod-like container.
    I’m down to Neutrogena, and I have to keep checking their list because it changes each year.
    I was using Liggits shampoo bar, but my hair is getting longer and I’ve had better luck with the chemical-infused Organix brand.
    Is there a place listed in this post where I might find a reliable and frequently updated site for listings? It’s odd to me that we wouldn’t have an online database, as the Halal Consumer group literally has people working around the clock.

  17. I don’t want to disturb anybody and I’m not trying to be rude, but I have one advice for celiac people who think that makeup products could be unhealthy: Stop wasting your money for expensive so called gluten free products. I’ve been having a celiac for 18 years now (I’m 20) and I never had this makeup problem which seems to be in the air nowadays. I wear normal makeup products; I never read the ingredients from makeup products for my celiac. There is no doctor who has told me to be careful with makeup products and there was never gluten found in my blood in yearly inspection because I have been following my diet perfectly since I got diagnosed and still I have been using normal makeup products for 6-7 years ( since I started to use makeup). And I read from somewhere (i googled this thing earlier) that the gluten molecule is too big to get through your skin. And yes, there is still the risk that you for example lick your lipstick from your lips but the amount of gluten is so small that I don’t think that it’s any harm at all. In my opinion this is just some trend right now or then it could be one way more to get your money out of your pockets because I have never had problems with my skin and I wear the same products that everybody else. Of course we all do our own decisions but this was just something I wanted to share with you and you to think about.

    And forgive me my english because I’m from Finland and english is not my native language.

    And I truly mean no harm with this message and this is not for annoy people. This is just my opinion.

    Oh, and thanks for the interesting website I just found. ?

    1. Sorry, but you were misinformed. You’re right-gluten probably isn’t absorbed through the skin. BUT it IS ingested from makeup-especially lipstick! You HAVE to think about cross contamination! Some celiacs even have sensitivity to airborne gluten! Do what works best for you, but how dare you attack those who manufacture and use GF makeup.

      Red Apple Lipstick is a phenomenal company with perfect customer service. Even my non-GF friends love them! And they have coupons and sales and stuff so the prices are no higher than any other quality brand 🙂

      1. Hi Sam.

        I did not attack for anybody. I thought that I told that it’s just my opinion and clearly said that I trouly mean no harm and I don’t wanna be rude. And I said same you did that make your own decisions.

        Your opinion does not annoy me, does my opinion annoy you Sam? I’m not here to fight with anybody, I just wanted to share my opinion with others; the people who has the same thing I do. All I have to say. Sorry if I somehow hurted your feelings; didin’t mean to.. I feel fine the way I’m living now, if you feel fine too the way you do things please continue.

  18. I personally am so concerned about exposure- I recently read an article (on celiac.com?) that said there were 50ppm in a breadcrumb. I’m so ignorant as to which chemicals contain gluten and which do not because I simply cannot memorize EVERYTHING. Sometimes I feel like my brain is going to explode just from grocery shopping. It’s not just about reading labels, it’s developing a hot-list in your mind of stuff you know is safe (and to hell with whichever else, which may or may not be…). I’m down to using the same products for everything I do, no variances without careful research :/ That’s why I like that Ecos lip-balm, it’s clearly labeled organic and gluten free. PHEW!

    1. Just be careful! There’s a good chance what you’re using is a-ok, but some companies don’t actually TEST their ingredients or make sure that there isn’t cross contamination!

  19. Marcelle, Clinique, Stila, and Too Faced all carry products that do not contain gluten in them. They are made in facilities that products containing gluten are made also, so there is a risk but I feel better knowing that the product itself at least doesn’t use gluten at all.

    1. And they are not lab tested! Good point! There’s always the risk of the product being manufactured on a machine that has traces of gluten!

  20. I don’t understand the swimming metaphor- plastic is porous and it doesn’t absorb things when it’s submerged…

    Does anyone have any reliable source indicating that gluten cannot be absorbed by the skin? I’d be thinking, ok, anything that goes on the mouth should not have gluten (I’ve had DH outbreaks from kissing a chronic beer-lover), and what about sores, like around the fingers or on the scalp- wouldn’t THOSE provide access to contamination? What about hand lotion and eating a sandwich?

    I don’t know, maybe I’m thinking about this all wrong, but it seems to me that if you’re going to great lengths to make sure gluten doesn’t get IN you, that maybe you should be considering gluten ON you. Just my opinion.

  21. For all those saying that gluten cannot enter through the skin… There HAS been a study to that effect by the Mayo Clinic. That is ALL is concluded. It did not conclude that topical gluten cannot affect a Celiac, it only concluded that it cannot be absorbed through the skin.

    However, a NEW study is in progress that indicates that although gluten cannot enter through the skin, Celiacs still can have trouble with topical gluten.


    Don’t discount the body outwardly reacting to gluten if you are Celiac. Many, many, MANY Celiacs deal with terrible allergy type symptoms just by touching gluten. I have personally spoken with them and experienced it myself and in my own family.
    Remember: mainstream doctors historically have been behind the curve on almost everything Celiac. It’s hardly surprising this is an area that has not been studied much. Though it’s interesting that only a cursory glance is showing Doctors that topical gluten could be dangerous, isn’t it?

    1. In a similar vein, after my sister had been GF for about 6 months, she started reacting (skin rashes) to handling her dog’s food, which contained gluten. Back in the 90’s when I was diagnosed with CD, wheat protein was all the rage in grooming products of all sorts. There’s a lot less gluten in grooming products these days, but it still pops up – for instance I found some in Kirkland brand shampoo. I’m concerned about accidentally ingesting gluten from these products or contaminating my environment with gluten were I to use them.

  22. I appreciate you guys want to sell products, but let’s stop attacking Tanja–she is a veteran celiac telling you the truth of her experiences.
    She has been very polite in her responses.

    and please, let’s just review what celiac disease is, shall we?

    It is a disease of the small intestine. THE SMALL INTESTINE.

    Dermatitis herpetiformis aka Duhring’s disease
    is a skin form of celiac, which arises from INGESTING gluten, not rubbing it on the skin.

    Treatment for DH?
    An antibiotic called dapsone may help most patients.

    A strict gluten-free diet will also be recommended to help control the disease. Sticking to this diet may remove the need for medications and prevent later complications.

    Certain immunosuppressive medications may be used but are less effective.

    Okay….so, where does it say “avoid gluten containing lotions”???

    so, one more time–you could also be allergic to wheat!!–a totally different mechanism than celiac disease–and that may cause you skin eruptions. It is not the same thing!!.

    Lipstick should absolutely be gluten free,
    and yes, shampoo, too (in case you have some run in your mouth, I guess)
    and possibly sunscreen –as you could sweat and it could maybe run into your mouth and you could ingest it.

    But I do not know when I have ever, ever licked my own eyelashes or the lotion off my legs.

    There is no scientific or medical evidence whatsoever that a celiac is at any significant health risk from absorbing gluten THROUGH the skin. YOU have to EAT IT, so it causes the inflammatory process that erodes the villi.

    But really, if you are worried, JUST DO NOT USE it!!

    … but do not insist that people are being glutened through the epidermis.

    IT”S IMPOSSIBLE!! How can it somehow penetrate all those layers and wind up in the small intestine???

    Saying such things just proves you have no clue how the digestive tract–or the human body–works at all.

    From the Mayo Clinic:

    Question: I have celiac disease. Do I need to be concerned about sunscreens, shampoos and cosmetics that contain gluten?

    Answer from Michael F. Picco, M.D., gastroenterologist


    Gluten-containing skin care products and cosmetics aren’t a problem unless you accidentally swallow them. For this reason, avoid using such products on your lips or around your mouth. Also, avoid using gluten-containing dental products, such as certain mouthwashes and toothpastes. If you’re uncertain about whether a product contains gluten, check the ingredient list on the product label or contact the manufacturer.

    Some people develop a form of celiac disease called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), which causes an itchy, blistering rash. This skin disorder is also linked to gluten intolerance. But although it involves the skin, DH is caused by ingesting gluten, not by skin contact with gluten. So, eliminating gluten from your diet will help clear up DH as well.

    If you use a cosmetic or skin care product that contains gluten and you develop a skin reaction, see your doctor or dermatologist to identify the cause. It is possible to have an allergy to wheat or another grain that could cause a skin reaction.”

    1. I agree, attacking Tanja is not right and is completely out of line. I also agree that it’s very likely some Celiacs also have wheat allergies which causes them to react to topical products. AND I agree that it doesn’t make sense for a disease of the small intestine to be able to be affected by topical gluten, especially after one of the few studies to be ever done on the subject (I’m currently only aware of TWO) shows that it cannot even penetrate the skin.

      However, the other study I mentioned was done on a Celiac by a Doctor from the American College of Gastroenterology. Said study was specifically about topical gluten and how it seemed to affect Celiacs in strange ways.

      Quote from the article:
      “Dr. Borum said this study was prompted in part by one of her patient cases, “Body Lotion Causing A Celiac Exacerbation and Dermatitis Herpetiformis: Natural is Not Always Healthy,” where a 28-year old woman experienced exacerbation of her celiac symptoms, including gastrointestinal complications and a recurring skin rash after using a body lotion advertised as “natural.””

      You can read the original press release here at this funky and ugly link.


      And BTW, I am NOT affiliated with Red Apple Lipstick. I’m not affiliated with any company; I’m just another Celiac who discovered that gluten in cosmetics, face and body care caused headaches, boils, rashes and puffy eyes, among other nasty things.

      Just sayin’… Not all gluten free cosmetic advocates are trying to sell a product that may or may not be useless. Some of us actually need them.

    2. I disagree with this (Mayo Clinic) advice. Using gluten-containing toiletries means you may possibly ingest them during use or afterward, and you may contaminate your environment with them and eventually ingest gluten that way. While I understand there’s a difference between CD and wheat allergy, I don’t think it’s safe for a person with CD to use gluten-containing toiletries.

  23. I have to correct you Irish. Celiac’s disease is NOT a disease of the intestine.It is an autoimmune disease that causes antibodies to ATTACK the intestine, damaging the villi. IBS is an example of an intestinal “disease”.

    And Dapsone is used to treat DH, not cure it. Throwing medicine at a condition for comfort or to reduce likelihood of infection is not the same as preventing a condition. As you mentioned, that is only possible with a gluten free diet.

    And also, your source is wrong. DH is an autoimmune related (and herpes related) condition that is NOT caused by gluten intolerance. A food intolerance is not characterized by an IGE or IGA response, nor is it characterized by a histamine response. Celiac’s disease is NOT the same as gluten intolerance. That is why Dominos can still sell cross-contaminated food- because there are people out there, like people who can’t have cheese because of lactose intolerance- who are gluten intolerant.

    Maybe it’s stupid, but I wouldn’t rub wheat flour all over my face. Therefore, I won’t rub concealer that contains wheat as a conditioning agent on my face. Because in order to do that, I’d have to make sure I didn’t have any acne, cuts or sores on my hands or face, that it did get near near my mouth, or that it wouldn’t be residual on my hands in the event that I touched something else and therefore that might end up in my mouth ie my toothbrush or a sandwich.

    Now, if someone wants to go ahead and rub gluten all over their body, have at it. But it’s just a risk I’m not willing to take. And ya, I’m willing to pay $25 for mascara to make sure I don’t get gluten in my eye.

    1. You snarkiness does not impress me.

      ??? I do not know see at all that what you have just said and what I said are any different.??

      You just like to argue with me for some reason.

      I do not need you to instruct me about Celiac Disease, thanks.

      Saying it is not the same as gluten intolerance is technically incorrect. Yes, CD is an autoimmune disease— but NCGI is a part of the spectrum (apparently you have not read much about the spectrum of gluten sensitivity??)

      For someone who tells us so much info with great “authority”, you never provide any resources and you get irate and nasty when asked for any.

      How is that helpful???

      “Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.”

      from the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)

      And that’s exactly what I said.

      My “source” for info about DH??–is a leading celiac expert, Dr. Peter Green.

      Are you a celiac expert? An expert in DH?


      DH is an autoimmune related (and herpes related) condition that is NOT caused by gluten intolerance.

      DH is caused by ingesting gluten and creating antibodies.

      ” What Causes DH” (celiac sprue association)
      There is within the immune system a genetically-based sensitivity to gluten. When gluten is in the diet, the body makes IgA. The IgA or the Iga-gluten (antigen-antibody) complex circulates in the blood stream. The IgA or the complex settles in the skin causing the intense reaction labeled dermatitis herpetiformis. It is not known why some individuals with celiac disease do not also develop the skin rash and the DH symptoms.

      The pathology of the gluten-sensitive enteropathy (GSE) associated with DH and that in ordinary GSE (celiac disease) are essentially the same, although the lesions in the jejunum (12- to 14-inch section of the small intestine) in ordinary GSE (celiac disease) are usually much more severe. It is important to note that lesions in the jejunum for both dermatitis herpetiformis and celiac disease in no way represent the skin lesions of DH and that the IgA deposits are not found around the lesions in the gut membranes. Most patients with DH are symptom-free as far as the gastrointestinal tract is concerned; only 14 to 20 percent of patients with DH have malabsorption of fat, D-Xylose, or iron, or any combination as is typical of patients with GSE (celiac disease).

      You can keep arguing with me all you want 🙂
      it’s your prerogative.

      —but I am not going to indulge in paranoia about “gluten getting in my eyes” from mascara and causing me villous atrophy.

  24. Wow it’s getting heated in here. I have to say Irish is correct on this one. Thanks Irish for setting the record straight with actual facts. I love this Irish girl.

    1. Lol. That’s what I said yesterday GD. Its been hot for quite a while. I’m just gonna say, Wow and leave it at that.

  25. Hi Kate.

    I admit I have not read everything (but most of it) you people have been writing here (cause I have to translate lot of words in Finnish) but if you mean me when you are saying
    “’I’m not here to toot my own horn, like some people who like to talk about being a “veteran Celiac.” then this is for you:

    Like I told I’m not here to insult people and I’m definitely not here to “toot my own horn” like some people who like to talk about having “nearly 9 years of med school in their hat”.
    I just told you my age and how many years I have been living with celiac cause the truth is that I have a very long experience of living with celiac (I’m not saying that you don’t have) and it was because I told you that I’m having no symptoms from makeup since I started using makeup products. Celiac is just something I have been living practically my whole life and it would be strange if I had not learned anything about living with it.

    And btw, this was first time I contact other celiacs because I never had courage before even I wanted to share things with others who has the same thing. Now I almost feel like I regret it. It’s not like I’m collecting “points” with this but I just can’t hold this anymore: Living with celiac 18 years and never having a “community” like this or any other support from other people with the same disease started to feel kind tough. Of course it was my own fault because it was me who was not contacting others.

    Okay, I did it, I started to rant about my feelings. I think I just keep following people at internet but stay silent because I don’t want to argue and this is kind of sad.

    And thank you who did not take my first message as an attack.

    And ps. When did I actually say that I am a “veteran-celiac”?

    1. Tanja…I’m not sure who Kate was referring to but you are ALWAYS welcome in this community. Please don’t shy away because of one troubling experience here. It’s actually a real great crew we have here and I think we’d all benefit in numbers.

    2. Tanja,

      I fully appreciated your comments most of all and I am grateful that you took the time to tell us about your real-life experiences.

      I am sorry that anyone jumped on you and. I referred to you as a “veteran celiac'” and I meant it in the highest esteem possible. I am one myself, but you have more years under your belt.

      What you tell me– if far more important than anything else anyone has to say. 🙂

      Warm regards,

    3. There is so much we don’t know about celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity (my opinion). We all have had different experiences, tested positive for in various ways, or not tested positive either (as am I). We all have different symptoms.

      It is easy for all of us to take sides, but we should not jump on each other. We are all dealing with gluten issues on different levels period. We should all avoid it.

      Tanya ~ you should not back away from the one time you joined in. We all need to have a community and we all should feel welcomed here and throughout our other celiac/gluten intolerance sites.

      I have skin issues with gluten and I had no desire to tell you that you were wrong. I don’t think you are wrong, but I do think some people have issues with it and yes, maybe mine is an allergy. If some of us choose to wear gluten on us … so be it. If some of us choose to not wipe it on us …. then so be it.

      Why must we argue? I think all the points you all have brought up are all worthy of reading, but arguing about no. It just makes me tired….and I have had enough of that during the past 2 years through brain fog! : )

  26. I wasn’t referring to you directly. I thought it was moot to argue being a “veteran” Celiac, because having a disease for a long time is no reflection of your capability to deal with it proportionately. In comparison to medical training, experience is only a piece of the puzzle.
    Sorry for the confusion.

  27. Fucking, fucking, fucking, fucking, fucking, fucking, fucking, fucking, fucking celiac disease! IT’S NOT FUCKING FAIR!

    1. Thank you LIsa, my sentiments exactly. I have been sick since last Sat. b/c I ate some almonds, Kirkland brand from Costco, did not read the part that states, “packed on equipment that also packages products that may contain milk, soy, WHEAT, peanuts and other tree nuts.” I’m still not well, but I do feel like I can do something today.

  28. Just to be clear, the above rant had nothing to do with the comments preceding it, I simply needed to vent. Thank you.

  29. I developed celiac disease 25 years ago, and I can say emphatically that pharmaceutical cosmetics induce celiac gut reactions that typically last days after exposure. And make-up IS ingested. Certainly parts per million. You can agree to disagree all you want with me on this, but in doing so you certainly are NOT helping those of us who are symptomatic, and are just trying to enjoy life again. If you are not reacting to European cosmetics (which have stricter standards by law), good for you! For the rest of us, (particularly here in the states where toxicity is a corporate game) gluten in cosmetics makes us SICK. OKAY?

  30. Wowza! I popped back in today to read the comments here hoping to find some more ideas for new makeup brands to try and was surprised / horrified to find the exchange that’s gone down int he comments section. I’m new around here but have to say (albeit, a little late), as Celiacs we already have enough problems and general crap to deal with outside our special, super fancy, uber-trendy clique so…

    Maybe a little more support and love and a little less arguing would be nice? It seems that since we are all different (from symptoms to sensitivity) that it might be nice to respect our differences. 🙂

    For my part, I was told by 2 nutritionists and 3 highly respected doctors to avoid gluten in lip products and lotions and any other products that might end up near my mouth so I’m going to continue to check ingredients, if that’s ok.

    1. Yes…this one got a little heated Amanda…unfortunately. People are passionate, which I can appreciate. But we are all on the same team…I think.

      1. After leaving a comment today, going back up through the thread, which was painful to say the least..once was enough..to copy and paste some info that would be of help, I really did have to wonder whether we’re all on the same team here. I’ve read a lot where people strongly disagree and take each other to task on other posts but holy cow…this is the first time I saw this kind of energy.

  31. Phew – I am new here and my head hurts after reading this blog.

    I was diagnosed with CD in July 2011. I dont care whether its an autoimmune disease or an allergy or any other fancy medical name – I just know that if I ingest gluten – I get sick! Its not nice, I hate having CD and everything that goes with it – including the constant anaemia I have to endure. I wish I didn’t, but I do and I am still learning to live with it – with very little support from my GP! (It was a locum doctor who spotted the connection and had me tested – thank god as I was at a really low point!).

    After I was diagnosed, I was still getting sick despite me being very diligent about any traces of gluten and cross- contamination. Eventually I traced the source of gluten to a “high end” brand of lipstick. It was a brand I had used for a long time. I collected all of the products from the brand and threw them away and emailed all the cosmetics companies for information as to whether their products were gluten free. Some were helpful, some not so. I like wearing makeup – its makes me feel and look nice and I have now found a brand I can use.

  32. I have read so many Pub Med articles, it makes my head spin. I find NOTHING to support the theory that mascara will “gluten you”.

    I tried to say this one simple fact and I got blasted for it… but I will try again.

    Do no use Gluten-containing lipstick or any lotions that could potentially end up in your mouth.

    But, there is NO evidence that mascara will “gluten” you…just not possible. And frankly, the potential for gluten even being in mascara is , um….NIL.

    Don’t you think that if they thought that mascara were a hazard to us celiacs that they would shout it from the rooftops? (they would)

    The one thing they do say is this:

    Check your lipsticks.
    Check your face lotion.
    Do not kiss someone who just ate gluten.

    The skin cannot possibly absorb a gluten molecule(it’s too big!!) and it cannot possibly go through your eyes and somehow enter the small intestine, which is how this process begins.

    “Gluten can’t be absorbed through the skin, but people may accidentally ingest small quantities of lotion, lipstick, or other products if they have the product on their hands or use it around their mouth.” —Marie Borum, M.D., the lead author of the study and a professor of medicine at George Washington University.


    Wash your hands after applying anything? Who doesn’t do that??

    Do not lick your eyelashes or legs.? easy enough.

    If you are worried about facial makeup containing gluten, then you should find a reputable company and buy what you need to feel safe. Okay? okay!.

    The bottom line: There is no scientific evidence that the use of gluten-containing products that are not ingested is harmful to persons with celiac disease. This includes individuals with dermatitis herpetiformis.

    According to Dr. Alessio Fasano, Medical Director of the Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland, “If you have celiac disease, then the application of gluten containing products to the skin should not be a problem, unless you have skin lesions that allow gluten to be absorbed systemically in great quantities.

    “The reason why this should not be a problem is that, based on what we know right now, it is the oral ingestion of gluten that activates the immunological cascades leading to the autoimmune process typical of celiac disease.”

    There aren’t too many individuals on the planet who know more about celiac disease than Dr. Fasano, so please, do not let anyone, including medical professionals convince you that gluten protein can be absorbed through the skin and cause a celiac disease reaction. It simply isn’t true.

    If you still need more convincing, check out what Cynthia Kupper RD, Executive Director of The Gluten Intolerance Group, has to say.

    “While investigating the possible absorption of gluten through the skin, I have talked with many regulatory organizations, and research and development people in the cosmetic industry. They all agree that gluten and all proteins are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, topical care products that contain gluten do not need to be avoided by persons with CD and DH.

    “It is also important to understand that it is possible to have celiac disease and other sensitivities. When it comes to products labeled hypoallergenic, this simply means that the product is ‘less likely to cause an allergic reaction.’ So if you have a skin reaction to a product, you may have a sensitivity that you think might be related to gluten, but is actually related to something else in the product.”

    As Cynthia suggests, you may have a skin reaction to any number of ingredients in any number of products for reasons other than celiac disease (such as an allergy). If this is the case, you should stop using the product and speak with your dermatologist.

    So using common sense, what personal care products might you ingest?

    Products that you use in your mouth, such as toothpaste and mouthwash and products that you apply to your lips, such as lipstick could be ingested.

    You really don’t need to worry about products you apply to your skin, such as body lotion, sunscreen, shaving cream, deodorant, makeup, and perfume.
    You also do not need to worry about products you apply to your hair, such as shampoo and conditioner.

    Hand lotion is one of those in-between cases. If you use a lot of it and often and don’t always wash your hands before eating (yuck!) then you could ingest some hand lotion. Or if you always apply hand lotion after washing your hands, including before eating than you could ingest some hand lotion.

    So using common sense how much toothpaste, mouthwash and lipstick might you ingest?

    When it comes to toothpaste and mouthwash, if you spit out the toothpaste and mouthwash and then thoroughly rinse your mouth with water, you probably won’t consume much product. When it comes to lipstick, supposedly each woman “eats” 6 pounds of lipstick during her lifetime. (I have no idea where this information originally came from but it doesn’t seem accurate. Each of my lipsticks weights 0.13 ounces so supposedly I will eat about 738 of the lipsticks I use!)

    I really have no idea how much gluten a lipstick might contain—to my knowledge lipsticks have never been tested. If for the sake of argument though, I assume that I eat 3 lipsticks a year (which seems reasonable only if I actually manage to ingest all the lipstick I put on my lips) then I eat 0.39 ounces or 11.4 grams (11,400 milligrams) of lipstick each year. If the lipstick I use is comprised of 1% gluten protein, my daily intake of gluten from lipstick is 0.31 milligrams. If the lipstick I use is comprised of 5% gluten protein, my daily intake of gluten from lipstick is 1.56 milligrams.

    To put these numbers into perspective, based on studies conducted on the daily tolerance level of gluten for persons with celiac disease, 10 milligrams of gluten is considered safe.

    Copyright © by Tricia Thompson, MS, RD

    1. The above information I have posted is from leading celiac researchers (not just my opinion) and I am just presenting it here for the Dude’s readers. Feel free to disregard.

      As with all things pertaining to celiac, it is up to the individual to decide what to do with the current medical and scientific information we have available about the disease and to choose what foods and products work best for your optimal health.

      Best wishes to all.

  33. I read this article as well. Actually had this info in my brochure about Celiac Disease. It is quite confusing what to do with cosmetics. I didn’t throw my out. I checked the labels and looked online if they contain gluten. But I don’t eat my shampoo,or my mascara. (And i don;t use a lot of make up in general).
    Maybe the lipstick would be the biggest issue. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe celiac should avoid gluten in everything. Not only in food. :/

  34. Thanks for the great post! I’m reviving it–a year later!
    I wanted to mention that I found a brand about 5 years ago when I didn’t know I had Celiacs and it was the only thing that would keep my skin clear and feeling good and “normal”.
    When I got my diagnosis I emailed the owner to check on their gluten status and got this back:
    “I’m pretty much in the same boat as you. I try to avoid gluten as much as possible. all of our products are 100% gluten free, with the exception of our Eczema cream, which has a small amount of Rolled Oats in it. I’m not sure there would be enough to make a difference. thank you!”
    I was really glad to hear this and now that I think of it I wonder if that’s why it made my skin so much better?!
    I use their day moisturizer, night moisturizer, eye cream, anti-aging scrub, acne scrub (if needed), natural soap, mineral foundation, bronzer, blush, and finishing powder, body scrub, tangerine lip gloss, and elder flower mask. I love every product. I do not work for the company, I just thought I’d share. Here’s the link to their site: http://www.clearandsmoothskin.com/shop/.

  35. Make sure you look for Tocopheryl or Tocopheryl Acetate in make-up. It’s a Vitamin E that can be made with wheat. I just had a serious reaction around my eyes from this ingredient. My eyes are swollen and inflamed like a burn.

  36. I know docs and a lot of you who contribute often to this blog state that gluten can’t be absorbed through the skin. I’ve been told that the reason why I break out around my hairline and on my chest and back is because I’ve consumed something with gluten in it. I’ve done the diet diaries, etc. and more often than not, I’ve concluded that my breakouts have to be caused by something I’ve put on my skin. Seriously…can someone have Celiac disease and also be allergic to it as well?

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Celiacs can also have a wheat allergy —or an egg, dairy or soy allergy– or an intolerance to any number of chemicals, foods, environmental toxins, etc—. just like everyone else.
      For example, I get breakouts from high histamine foods (shellfish, alcohol, soy, vinegar, tomatoes) if I have too many at once..

      Case in point: I use a spot cream on my cheek (all those days in the sun) It’s made by clinique and it contains “wheat germ oil”.
      The amount of wheat protein left after they break it down is so miniscule, so I am not concerned about it, but someone with a wheat allergy should not use it, of course.
      I have absolutely no problem with it but someone else may find it causes redness.

      Everybody’s different.

      Cleure products have nothing in them that would cause a problem.
      (not a paid spokesperson, honest!)

  37. If a patch, containing pain medication, is attached to your skin; your body absorbs the components which reduces your pain. Therefore, using the same logic, how can gluten NOT be absorbed through your skin? I’m so tired of dealing with “know-it-alls”. If you don’t have a problem using topical glutens, congratulations! To be honest, I’m not interested in hearing from you. I am in search of Gluten Free cosmetics. I have celiac, DH and allergies. Your rants do not belong on a Gluten Free Cosmetics forum.

    1. Hi Karen. What the celiac experts say is that it cannot be absorbed by your skin and enter the digestive system. Now…if you have gluten skin allergies, which many people do, obviously you need gluten free cosmetics.

  38. Glutendude, thank you for the very awesome site I’m newly diagnosed with a gluten allergy and your site has been tremendously helpful. I cut out gluten and in a few weeks I went from walking with a cane, in severe pain, being tested for peripheral neuropathy and MS to no cane, no pain, and more energy than I can burn. Unfortunately it also means when I come in contact with gluten my reactions are severe. Which brings me to make up. I have loved and sworn by bear minerals for almost twenty years, and Maybellene eyeliner/ mascara since I started wearing make up. I don’t wear a lot of make up, and I don’t wear it often but when I do I want it to look nice. About six weeks after changing my diet (and my life) I had a meeting to attend, so I pulled out my make up box and applied my face. After an hour my eyes and face were swollen, I had blisters and felt like I had rubbed onion on my eyes. I took the better part of a week to recover. I have researched make up and whether or not it should be gluten free. Most sites I’ve read claim that you don’t eat make up and it’s not absorbed through the skin, so it doesn’t matter. I call horse pucky, granted yes I have an allergy not celiacs but that was enough to show me it was important. I’m not trying to promote a product, though I have been fortunate to find a *shock* knowledgeable sales clerk and have replaced my make up. This has been interesting and sometimes frustrating turn of event on the whole. Again, thank you – T

  39. Whoa. Yes it got hot in here ladies. Bummer. Late to the game, only found Gluten Dude’s site a while back and I’ve felt blessed to have done so and connected with this community. Of course I’m still checking out tons of older posts and was just looking for some helpful advice. I’m not going to go into all the conditions and subsequent food allergies I’ve developed from a very late diagnosis. I’ve got a few skin issues..thank goodness for cold weather and clothes..but going out in public with my face looking like it does right now..it’s down-right embarrassing especially in mid-life. Yes, people have quite uncomfortably noticed. I just wanted to find suggestions when I stumbled on this. I recently changed dermatologists, was very pleased but he told me it’s going to take 6 weeks before it even starts to get better. Due to my health I work from home so most of the time only I have to see my face. Having never been much of a make-up girl, I was hoping to find info that would work better than the tinted moisturizer and translucent powder I use for coverage. I’m not going to name the brand..it’s pretty darn pure and reasonably priced..just not working anymore. I’ll copy and paste some of the suggestions but I must say I’m a bit shocked and depressed by some of the discourse and exchanges above. I’ve seen some disagreements on other posts but this took it to a whole new level. 🙁

  40. Hi ladies,

    Don’t know if this helps..I love this product line. I didn’t see it mention above. Is pretty affordable to me. http://www.bareescentuals.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-BareEscentuals-Site/default/CustService-FAQS#question15

    I read somewhere that gluten can be absorbed through mucus membranes. So yes..gluten free make up is pretty important. But also other things as well. Like body soap, sunscreen, and ..can I mention it..Personal lubricants??? Hope I’m not offending anyone here. I saw a big difference when I made these products GF. I’ve been GF for 7 years..But I was sick for 10.

    Hope this helps someone.


    1. OMG, I never thought about lubricants! Thanks, Leigh!

      What about fabric softener? What about wet wipes or antibacterial hand wipes? People don’t realize how often they touch their clothes, brush their hair back from their faces, etc. each day. For those of us with allergies and sensitivity to wheat/gluten, this may be a factor in our misery.

      I have always had a problem with mascaras causing itchy and sore red eyes. This area is a mucous membrane and is a straight avenue into the body.

      To anyone who dismisses the idea that topical things like mascara and lotions might be making SOME of us sick with allergic reactions, let’s do a thought experiment: would you recommend that parents of kids with peanut allergy buy all the shampoos, lotions, hand wipes, lip balms, sunscreens containing peanut derived oils and preservatives??

      Yeah, wheat is not a peanut allergy, but it’s still very inconvenient, extremely sneaky, frequently mocked and flippin’ miserable. So if YOU are lucky enough to not have it, please get off your soapbox (I’m looking at you, Irish) and let the rest of us exchange helpful information. Some of us have more going on than a simple Celiac condition, we found our way to the dude and this thread, and you are bringing me down.

  41. Try Red Apple Lipstick. I was thrilled to find it. It’s gluten free, paraben free, and awesome! I love the lip balm, lip stick, and the peppermint lip gloss.

  42. You are spot on. My wife has a severe allergic reaction to wheat and wheat based products. We were fed up of empty claims made by commercial companies on everything from Gluten-Free to Organic and Natural so we started making our own. Since that time 5 years ago we’ve gone mainstream due to demand and now offer what we make to others as well at affordable prices. If anyone is interested in checking us out, you can find more info at: http://www.riverstonestudios.ca/e-store. Since it’s a health issue in our family, we GUARANTEE we are gluten free.

  43. I was GF for a year before I realized that my shampoo had wheat listed in it (straight-up wheat), and then discovered that makeup can too…
    I dumped everything into a cardboard box except for 3 eyeshadow sticks and a blush. I have since found a few companies that are high-end, but affordable since they last a long time and are good quality.
    Tarte (ULTA, tarte.com (great sale items here), Sephora)
    Hourglass (spendy, but wonderful products) (Sephora)
    Bite Beauty (WONDERFUL lippies that are reasonably priced) (Sephora)
    IT Cosmetics (all but lip pencil or mascara) (ULTA)
    Too Faced (all but lip pencil or mascara – don’t remember which one is for IT and which is for TF) (ULTA, Sephora)

    I don’t shop the department stores for makeup, but I know that some of these are available at those kind of stores.

    I know this is a late post, but hopefully helpful!

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

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