Are these products Gluten Free? Research says it's hard to tell

We raised heck about food labels, we may need to stage another grassroots campaign to promote gluten free labeling of cosmetics.  Food and Drug Administration are you listening?  The FDA, which is currently planning to issue the final rule on gluten free food labels in this country, is also the agency that oversees cosmetic safety.

A new report that came out this week says because big cosmetic companies don’t reveal their ingredients (or say if something’s gluten free) many people with celiac are getting sick.

The report, unveiled at the American College of Gastroenterology’s Annual Scientific meeting in Washington, DC on Monday, and reported by newswise.com cited a patient study where the person was having GI symptoms and skin reactions.  Once the patient stopped using a body lotion (which was labeled with the word “natural”), the reaction went away.

“This case highlights the fact that celiac patients face a huge challenge in trying to determine whether cosmetic products contain gluten—and a risk of unknowingly exposing themselves to gluten,” the article said.

Researchers then investigated the top 10 largest cosmetic companies and found very few listed their products ingredients and there was no luck in finding out whether they were gluten free.

“The findings are alarming because gluten-containing cosmetics can be inadvertently obtained by the consumer and use of these products can result in an exacerbation of celiac disease,” said researcher Dr. Pia Prakash, of George Washington University. “This study revealed that information about the ingredients, including the potential gluten content, in cosmetics is not readily available.”

Dr. Prakash did say some smaller companies do advertise gluten free alternatives however, but she urged the large companies to get on board with gluten free labeling.

Finding Gluten Free Cosmetics

So now we know where you can’t find reliable gluten free cosmetics, but where can you?  There are some companies that can help.

Late this summer, a representative from Daisy Blue, Kathie Ziebarth, contacted me and said all of their cosmetics (soaps, lotions, and more) were gluten free and she asked if I would review them.  Ziebarth sent me four free samples: two lotions and two soaps.  They smell wonderful and so far I do like them all.  This company is one in which you can do an in-house party as well.  If you are searching for the right gluten free cosmetics for you, you should contact her or check out her website to learn more about their products. Perhaps a support group might like to have a party?  Ziebarth says anyone can purchase from her no matter if you live in Minnesota where the company is based or somewhere else!

But as for other gluten free cosmetic information, I haven’t found much.  Just doing a Google search on gluten-free cosmetics doesn’t reveal a whole lot. Triumph Dining had a good article from 2010 that could be helpful for make-up specifically.  Gluten Free RN had a good comprehensive post this spring on this topic as well.

Feel free to comment on the cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and more that you’ve found that are safe, or ones to avoid!  In the meantime we should start contacting the FDA and our favorite cosmetic, shampoo and lotion companies about revealing whether their products are gluten free.

 

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5 Responses to “New Research: Challenge of Finding Gluten Free Cosmetics”

  1. I’ve ordered cosmetics from http://glutenfreebeauty.com/ and have been very happy with them! Obviously it doesn’t cover everything, but I’ve had strong reactions to some products, and am very careful about what I buy now.

  2. The cosmetics NARS is gluten free, albeit expensive, but it is gluten free. I have verified it with several company reps. I also really like desert essence body and face lotions, it says gluten free right on the label.

    Most companies I’ve contacted have basically told me not to eat their cosmetics.

  3. My husband has Dermatitis Herpetaformis and I am gluten Intolerant with lots of skin issues. He had some problems until he changed hairspray just be reading the labels. We had a clerk in the health department of the grocery recommend “Aubrey Calaqula Fern Shampoo” It is wonderful with a fresh herbal scent. Expensive, but a dime size amount is enough for shorter hair. My scalp never itches anymore. I have not been able to find it in the grocery anymore but have stocked up online. Also the “Vanacream” lotions are great, I have used them for almost 10 years daily. They are not greasy and a friend who is a quilter loves that.

  4. I’m just like the woman described in the meeting. I experience celiac gut reactions to cosmetics. I can put something on my face and suffer gas and bloating from it, that lasts long after I take it off. After nearly 20 years of trial and error, I have no doubt that there is gluten in cosmetics at levels enough to cause illness. There are asymptomatic celiacs that get very upset and defensive over this issue, and swear by anything that lack of research and their doctor’s tell them, but that’s their maladjustment. This issue needs to be addressed finally, and we need FDA intervention. Thanks for posting it.

  5. And just to be clear, I have had gut pain, brain fog, etc from cosmetics. And I’m sorry, but the amounts I’ve read “pros” grapple with as being inconsequential, like in lipstick, I have to wholeheartedly disagree with. Who better to ask than the sufferer?

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