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How Makeup Can Make You Sick And What You Can Do About It

LipstickI’m sure you’re probably thinking to yourself that being gluten intolerant is a real pain, because everything seems to be affected by that little protein.

Well, you’re right if you’re thinking that way, because gluten appears in the most unlikely places.  Did you know that it’s a filler in many cosmetics you use on your face?  Are you aware you can apply lip balm, lick it off your lips in the normal course of events, and end up exposed to gluten?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not giving up my makeup for any disease!  The cosmetics I’m talking about today are the ones you wear on your face only: foundation, concealer, loose and pressed power, blush, lip gloss and lipstick, eye shadow and mascara.

Please understand that it’s basically the same story as food.  You have to read the labels! You have to be proactive.

If you’ve been gluten intolerant for a while, you probably know already that Celiacs are prone to dermatitis herpetiformis.  If you’re one of them, you have to be careful about using lotions that can create an allergic reaction.

There’s a lot of confusion about whether you can absorb the gluten protein through the skin.  The answer is you can’t, because the gluten protein is too big.  So if you use a cosmetic and get a rash, you can’t blame gluten for once except ….

There’s always a “but” or an “except” in a sentence about gluten intolerance.  But you can be exposed to gluten when you use a cosmetic that has gluten fillers that finds a way into the body.  If you have a cut or eat your makeup, gluten can be ingested.  It’ll be small amounts, but that’s no consolation to those who cannot have any contact with gluten in any amount.

So do you eat your makeup?  If you wear lipstick with gluten and lick your lips, you just ate gluten.  If you put on gluten thickened foundation and have a scratch on your face, you were just exposed to gluten.  If you wear powder with gluten filler, touch your face and then lick your fingers for some reason, you were just exposed to gluten.  I think you get the point by now.

I have been using a cosmetic that is gluten free called Bare Escentauls.  It’s a good brand that can be purchased through QVC or online.  The face makeup is 100% pure, but you do have to be careful about the body and hand lotions.  Some of the lotions contain wheat gluten, which just proves you have to know about each and every product and not assume a whole product line is gluten free.

Yes, it’s complicated, but the best advice I have for you celiac girls is to make sure you use only gluten free makeup.  Then you don’t have to worry about scratches or eating lipstick when you’re getting those sweet kisses.

There are many cosmetics on the market that are gluten free.  Personal Basics by Andrea Rose are labeled gluten free.  Some of the major brands have gluten free makeup products, but you have to read the label and call the company to find out which ones.

Beware of thinking the cosmetic buzzwords have anything to do with staying gluten free.  Words like “natural”, “hypoallergenic”, “alcohol free”, or “fragrance free” don’t really mean a whole lot because the words are not controlled as to use.  There are lots of natural products that have natural wheat fillers.

Remember, the key to avoiding gluten in makeup is just like food – read the label.

Photo Courtesy of Jen, Wikipedia

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