If you have gluten sensitivity, you are probably vigilant about watching what you eat and drink in order to prevent flare-ups. However, are you extending that same watchfulness to your skin care?
Many people find that cosmetic products made with gluten or gluten derivatives may cause skin irritations, rashes and other problems. With an estimated 3.1 million people in America on gluten-free diets, there’s been a proliferation of gluten-free foods on supermarket shelves in recent years—and that trend is extending into gluten-free skincare.
Why People Go Gluten-Free
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye grains. It can negatively affect people in a couple of different ways. The most severe condition is celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder often passed down genetically that can damage the lining in the small intestine. If it continues unchecked, celiac disease can cause problems with food digestion and may lead to other issues, such as osteoporosis and infertility. There is no cure, so the only way to lessen the impact of celiac disease on your health is to go on a gluten-free diet.
It’s estimated that about 3 million Americans have celiac disease, but the vast majority don’t know they have it because it’s easy to misdiagnose. So while people who have a confirmed diagnosis of celiac disease live gluten-free, there are many, many more people who abstain from gluten for another reason: non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
Gluten sensitivity doesn’t harm the small intestine as celiac disease does, but the two have similar symptoms in common: stomach pain and bloating, fatigue, headaches, irregular bowel movements, rashes and more. Unlike celiac disease, there’s no specific test to diagnose gluten sensitivity. People who suspect they may have this problem—and who have already ruled out celiac disease—can eliminate gluten from their diet for a few weeks. If they do this and their symptoms go away, that indicates gluten sensitivity. As with celiac disease, a gluten-free diet is the best way to treat this issue.
Benefits of Gluten-Free Skincare
With so many people affected by gluten-related digestive issues, it was probably only a matter of time for the focus to expand beyond what they eat to what they put on their skin. Generally, gluten or wheat products are used as a moisturizing and hydrating agent in beauty products ranging from shampoo to face cream to foundation. Many people find that gluten-free skincare is a great way to ensure that they live an entirely gluten-free lifestyle, and it may help them avoid many of the painful symptoms that can be triggered by gluten.
There are people who say they have experienced rashes, dry patches, acne and other skin irritations with products that contain gluten. That could be, especially for people with celiac disease, because the body’s autoimmune response that damages the small intestine may manifest itself on the skin. In fact, some people with celiac disease suffer from the skin condition dermatitis herpetiformis, a type of rash, if they are exposed to gluten, while certain skin conditions such as eczema may be exacerbated.
People sensitive to gluten may also want to use gluten-free skin care products to avoid inadvertently ingesting the protein. For instance, it’s common for lip balms and other products to wind up inside your mouth when you eat or lick your lips. Hand creams can also pose problems if you frequently touch your fingers to your lips. By using gluten-free products, you eliminate the chances of accidental ingestion.
You don’t have to be gluten sensitive to experience the benefits of gluten-free skincare. Some people with sensitive skin, for instance, find that natural skincare with fewer toxins and no gluten may reduce irritation or breakouts. Others may not have a problem with gluten but they can develop contact dermatitis if it’s an ingredient in their skincare products. Usually, the adoption of a gluten-free skincare regimen can resolve those issues.
If you’re thinking about transitioning to a gluten-free personal care routine, it can be time-consuming to read the labels on your current products to figure out if they meet the criteria. While the label may not say “gluten” in the ingredient list, if you see wheat, rye, barley or the wheat/rye combination triticale, it’s best to avoid it. It’s much easier to purchase skin care that specifically says it’s gluten-free.
At DERMA E, we are proud that all of our products are gluten-free, which fits our mission to create natural skincare that is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. In addition to gluten, other ingredients you won’t find in DERMA E products include parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, GMOs, mineral oil, petrolatum, soy and artificial colors. We clearly state all of this on our packaging, so you don’t have to waste time deciphering labels to see if there’s any gluten ingredient listed.
DERMA E is committed to providing you with skin care solutions that give you healthier-looking skin. If you think going gluten-free is the best choice for you and your health, we have a wide range of products for every skin issue. You’ll have the assurance that comes from using skincare with only the best natural ingredients.