Are you sensitive to the Gluten in your Make-Up?

After being diagnosed with Celiac disease over six months ago, I have gone through a transition in the way I eat, and live, which I have blogged about here over the past couple of months.  However, I have not yet explored the world of gluten-free cosmetics.   As I have been exploring food options I have seen references to gluten-free cosmetics, but decided that I would explore that option later. Just eating gluten-free has been enough for me to digest (pun intended).  Now that I am comfortable with my new lifestyle, I am starting to think about changing my cosmetics to be gluten-free as well.  It makes sense to me that if your body is reacting to gluten when it is inside of your body, it might also react to gluten on your skin.   I have discovered through my initial research that even though the gluten molecules are scientifically proven to be too large to penetrate the skin, some people with sensitivity can end up digesting their lipstick, or touching their face and transferring the make-up onto their hands which ends up inside their bodies.  Also, there may be an allergic reaction or an autoimmune reaction to gluten on the skin in some people.

I haven’t been overtly allergic or overly sensitive to many things in my life.   In fact, I never had the types of overt symptoms that many people have that clue them in to their Celiac disease.  The only reason I discovered that had Celiac disease was because I was on a protein only diet for a week and noticed a difference in my skin and general health and asked my doctor about it.   Anyway, the thing is, I have been having difficulties with my make-up over the past few years.  Whereas, when I was younger I could use any make-up and it made no real difference to my skin, I now am sensitive, and most make-up puffs up my skin, dries it and/or wrinkles it up.   I am truly not a make-up person, but since I am getting older, I am thinking that maybe I’d like to try and cover up some things.  So I am on a mission to find out whether gluten-free make-up might work for me.   Maybe the gluten in the make-up is the problem, and I will be transformed into a make-up wearing Diva over the next few months!

My initial research into gluten-free make-up has been eye opening, and has underlined the need for labeling of mainstream products.  And it has been frustrating.  Silly me, I thought I could do a few web searches, find a couple of lists of gluten-free cosmetic product lines, find a list of all of the mainstream cosmetics which are gluten-free, and just choose some and try them.   Not exactly.  This is going to take some time to figure out.  I did find a website which seems to give a good overview of the gluten-free cosmetics market –   This blog has a gluten-free make-up brands list, which I was able to subscribe to for free.   I found Afton Jones Gluten Free Make-up Gal website through an article about gluten-free make-up in US News and World Report.  Afton Jones has also written for a new gluten-free magazine called Simply Gluten Free Magazine.   What I had been hoping for was to figure out which mainstream make-up brands had gluten-free products.  However, there may not be any mainstream make-up companies which provide a truly gluten-free option; even though some do say that they have gluten-free products.

I did write to one of the top cosmetic lines that I was interested in trying, and received back a list of ingredients that they use in their products that contain gluten.  I was told that I could review the ingredients on the labels for each of their products to find those products that did not contain items on the list they were providing.  Tired already.   I guess there isn’t enough market share for this to be something that cosmetic companies would put some time into for their clients.

While I was researching gluten-free make-up I found a small start-up company called Intuitive COLOR which is a new gluten-free make-up line.   It is one of the companies on the Gluten-free Make-up Gal’s list.  I think it may be one of the first make-up products I try.    It also stood out for me because the owner is using Indiegogo which is a crowd funding platform to grow her business.  Madame Deals and I went to an Entrepreneur conference recently where we learned about crowd funding.  It is currently a way to raise money for a project, charity,  or start-up business through donations. In this case you can try Intuitive COLOR at a discounted price by donating through Indiegogo.   Crowd funding may potentially evolve into a way to invest in small businesses in the future.  I am not recommending Intuitive COLOR, because I haven’t tried it yet, but I just love the idea of enabling people who have ideas and energy to do what they love to do and crowd funding is one way to do that.   Also, I like the idea that this product’s focus is gluten-free.

Stay tuned for future blogs about my adventures with gluten-free cosmetics and gluten-free living!


Katherine: I am a Stay at Home Mom. I have been married to my husband for 11 years and have a son who just turned 10. I have recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and have started cooking gluten-free meals for my family, which has been an enormous adventure and learning experience and I am eager to share all of my discoveries and tips with other families. Our family is also living with autism. My son has autism and seizure disorder, and we have been very involved with the use of applied behavioral analysis teaching at his wonderful school, and at home, since he was two.

– Katherine writes a weekly column about gluten-free information for MadameDeals.

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