People used to often ask me if they ought to go gluten-free with their cosmetics and skin care products, if they are gluten intolerant or gluten sensitive. Today people are making the connection much more intuitively. And with an estimated 30-40% of Americans affected negatively by gluten, more and more gluten-free cosmetic, skin care and hair care products are popping up every day.
I am severely gluten intolerant and have huge improvements in my skin by going topically (and dietarily) gluten-free, and love hearing from others who suspect that gluten is also causing their skin ailments. Here are a few resources to help make the transition a bit easier:
Perhaps more to the point, why did I go gluten-free with the products that I was using? Well, I am no doctor, so you’ll have to take my word for what it’s worth as a natural beauty expert as well as someone who also suffers from severe gluten (and dairy) intolerance, but here’s how it began:
It was my digestive problems that began first, but they were soon reiterated by severe acne on my back and chest, unbalanced oil production on my face as well of patches of rosacea. So once I was diagnosed with severe gluten intolerance, I intuitively went through all of my products weeding out anything that may have contained gluten. Within a few weeks my skin was looking gorgeous again!
For some the idea of going gluten free topically may seem overwhelming. But in my opinion, with the number of great natural companies producing gluten-free products and even some who are labeling as such, it doesn’t have to be too difficult. And if you have suffered any topical symptoms due to gluten sensitivity, it just might clear things up.
I have also consulted some of the experts, here’s what they had to say:
Dr. Kenneth Fine, M.D. of EnteroLab.com:
Gluten sensitivity is a systemic immune reaction to gluten anywhere in the body, not just that entering the body via the gut. Therefore, topically applied lotions, creams, shampoos, etc. containing gluten would indeed provide a source of gluten to the body, and we therefore recommend all such products be discontinued for optimal health.
Dr. Vikki Petersen, Author of The Gluten Effect:
There are those people who have what’s called an IgE response to gluten, meaning even a topical application is going to bother them. . . There are others who don’t have that topical problem who use a lotion and get their common gluten response as if they ate gluten, so they didn’t eat it, but they put it on their skin, and their body reacted the same way. So even though science is telling us that that molecule is too big, people are having reactions . . . I think it’s wise to err on the side of conservatisism. It’s especially important with certain cosmetics that you unwittingly ingest.