Is finding gluten free lip balm mission impossible? It seems that way some days. Yes, there are some gluten free labeled lip balms (bless their hearts), but seriously– trying to confirm whether a lip balm product is gluten free is very difficult. You with me??
My goal with this post was not to rant about the difficulties. In fact, it was aimed to be helpful and update my post from nearly two years ago entitled “Finding Gluten Free Lip Balm“. So in this case I guess it will be both.
Gluten Free Lip Balms as of January 29, 2014
EOS – EvolutionOfSmooth.com: Well this is a top vote-getter in our house. Known for it’s egg-shaped outer shell, it’s not exactly the kind of lip balm you can hide in your jeans pocket (unless you get the Smooth Stick version of EOS). The brand is widely available. All EOS lip balms are labeled gluten free and they come in a multitude of flavors and colors (ideal for the teen or preteen in your house)!
Red Apple Lipstick: They have lipstick, lip gloss and Rallye Balm (lip balm) and are a dedicated gluten free company!
Carmex: Good ol’ Carmex! For many years I always had some in my purse, desk at work and cupboard in the bathroom. And I LOVE the company statement about gluten on their FAQ page: “Nope, not even a speck. There is no gluten in any of our ingredients. We do not use flour in our manufacturing process, so there’s no chance of any trace of it on our conveyor belts.” By the way, both Carmex and Snopes say the whole Carmex addiction claim is false.
Blistex: This company got back to me on January 31st, 2014. They said “…all of our Blistex lip care products are gluten-free; meaning that they are free from wheat, rye, barley, and oats.”
Bonne Bell: Lip Lites are gluten free. But Bonne Bell is spreading some misinformation in its gluten-free list provided to the customer service folks: “The following Aspire Brands/The Bonne Bell Company, products can be used by people afflicted with Celiac disease. They do not contain any gluten containing grains: wheat, barley, rye, oats, amaranth, teff, millet, spelt, and quinoa.” UH…..say what???
Amaranth, Teff, Millet and Quinoa are all gluten free. I emailed the customer service agent back sending her the correction and I added two URLs as sources of my information. Hopefully that will get fixed soon.
On the Fence
I am not sure what else to call this category so here goes.
“DOES CHAPSTICK® LIP BALM CONTAIN ANY OATS, RYE OR BARLEY
No.” — Chapstick FAQ
Obviously left out of this question is wheat. So I called Chapstick. The customer service representative knew full well that wheat isn’t on the website. She said the company doesn’t claim Chapstick as gluten free even though the “raw materials don’t have gluten and they don’t add any gluten to it”. But the company also doesn’t test the lip balm for gluten when manufacturing is complete. Therefore, the company says, Chapstick is not certified and not called gluten free.
Not Gluten Free
Lip Smacker: I guess the photo of a gluten free labeled Lip Smacker from two years ago is seriously outdated. There is no more gluten free Lip Smacker.
I looked at the company website’s customer care page and it listed what each individual ingredient is used for. I have to give the company some credit, it seems tell it like it is. Including the specific line for us: it contains “Wheat Germ Oil – Rich in natural vitamin E, this refined oil provides antioxidant properties for your lips.” I did a follow up call here and the customer service person confirmed that all Lip Smacker products contain the Wheat Germ Oil.
Mary Kay: Lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm do not appear to be safe for gluten-free people. A friend of mine, who is a Mary Kay representative, looked up the information for me. She found an ingredient in the lip products that Mary Kay believes “…may potentially incorporate use of a gluten-containing grain or grain-related material during ingredient processing”. That ingredient is called Tocopherol.
No clear answer
These folks either didn’t answer the question or made things more complicated.
“While we can identify products in which we do not use raw materials containing gluten, we cannot certify that our vendors did not process these ingredients on equipment where contamination could occur. For the most accurate source of information, please refer to the list of ingredients on our website or on the product.”
In my opinion, this answer keeps you running in circles: the website tells you to email them, the email tells you to look at the product or on the website…and even if you do all that, neither the product nor the website will tell you which ingredient may have been cross contaminated by the vendor.
Nivea: Nivea doesn’t have any information about gluten on their website. So I sent an email. The good news is the company gave me the names of ingredients that contain gluten:
- TRITICUM VULGARE (wheat bran)
- SECALE CEREALE (rye seed extract)
- HORDEUM VULGARE (barley)
- AVENA SATIVA (oat bran)
The bad news is that unlike some other websites, Nivea’s does not have the ingredient list published for each product. So basically, I can’t use the information they gave me to research it online. I have to bring the list to the store and read each product. Don’t get me wrong, I know this can be done. But the companies don’t want to make it easy do they?
Maybelline: My daughter specifically asked about Baby Lips products….so I checked into it. There was no information on the Maybelline website, so I emailed. The response I received told me about how gluten isn’t absorbed through the skin, “There is no evidence that symptoms associated with Celiac disease can be caused by the topical application of gluten containing products such as cosmetics, skincare and hair care products. Scientific research shows that proteins such as gluten are not absorbed through the skin.” This is something I know. But I wasn’t asking about foundation or mascara. I was asking about a lip product which as we all know we consume through our mouth and cause a reaction in someone with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Then the company gave me the full ingredient list of the Baby Lips product.
POLYETHYLENE…. Plus another 40 or so ingredients….
I guess now I start digging to see if any of these indecipherable words actually mean gluten.
I am still checking into Avon as well. What you are reading here was my experience trying to get to the bottom of the Is there Gluten in Lip Balm question. Yours may be different. Feel free to add to your favorite gluten free lip balm below in the comments!