Gluten Free Cosmetics, Toiletries and Beauty Brands

Gluten is in more than just food and drink.  Unfortunately, gluten is also used in a lot of toiletries and cosmetics products.  This is not something to get alarmed about, because unless you get skin reactions to gluten, there is not a lot of evidence that suggest celiac and gluten free people cannot use these types of products that contain gluten. After all, we have all been taught that gluten simply cannot be ingested, so why would it be a problem to put it in your hair or have it in your mascara? There is a lot of debate about this and not a lot of scientific evidence yet to back it up, so it is basically up to you if you want to use gluten free cosmetic products or not. According to Mayo Clinic, gluten cannot be absorbed directly through the skin, but we still touch our mouths a lot and can accidentally ingest things.  For me, there are a few reasons why I am choosing to switch over to these types of products:

1. Gluten can still irritate my skin and I find that my acne may be caused by this.

2. I don’t want to risk ingesting gluten by having it in things like toothpaste, mouthwash, Chapstick, or lipstick.

3. I have found in a few instances that using hand sanitizers and lotions that may contain gluten have caused my skin to become irritated, as many others have reported.

4. Why risk the chance of being exposed to more gluten than you need to be?

So, whether or not you want to switch over to some gluten free personal products, or you are simply curious about trying a few out, I have compiled some brands out there.

Hair care brands:

  • Acure
  • Avalon Organics (one certified gluten free cucumber shampoo and conditioner)
  • Desert Essence
  • Dove (this is a Unilever brand, so they disclose all products containing gluten, so be sure to check but many of them are gluten free)
  • Jason (not everything they sell is gluten free but they have many certified products including also hand soap and lotion, body wash and face washes and lotions)
  • Kirkland Signature (from Costco, the Professional Salon Formula is gluten free and vegan)
  • Paul Mitchell (for this you have to check the products on their website). The brand is also cruelty-free.
  • Pravana (all of the products are labeled gluten free and vegan, and they use soy and quinoa protein in the products.
  • Suave (they also have to disclose if the products contain gluten ingredients like Dove, but most are gluten free).

So, what are some ingredients in cosmetics that are another word for gluten? Here’s a few to look out for: Triticum vulgare (wheat), Hordeum vulgare (barley), Secale cereale (rye), Avena sativa (oats). Wheat germ oil, Hydrolyzed wheat protein, Stearyl dimonium hydroxypropyl (hydrolyzed wheat protein), Laurdimonium hydroxypropyl (hydrolyzed wheat protein), Colloidal oatmeal, Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (may contain wheat), Dextrin palmitate (starch, possibly gluten-based), Vitamin E (frequently derived from wheat), Malt extract (usually barley), Beta glucan (frequently derived from wheat),Vegetable protein (may contain wheat, barley, rye and/or oats).

Additionally, even if products don’t contain these ingredients, gluten may be in things such as “fragrance” or other ingredients.  Basically, if you aren’t sure and don’t want to risk it, don’t buy it.

Now, onto gluten free cosmetics.  Again, the main risks here are lipsticks and Chapsticks as well as toiletries such as toothpaste and mouthwash.  For oral care, my favorite gluten free brand is Tom’s of Maine which makes a toothpaste and mouthwash labeled gluten free.

For cosmetics, here is a list of brands that contains all gluten free ingredients. Some companies say that cross-contamination may exist at the factories, so I have put a * next to those who do say so.  As always, check labels, but cross-contamination should not be an issue here.

  • Afterglow Cosmetics
  • Alima Pure
  • Bare Essentials (most products but look at labels)*
  • Bite Beauty
  • Covergirl (read labels as some products are from third parties but most products are gluten free)
  • Ecco Bella
  • E.L.F.*
  • EM by Michelle Phan*
  • Everyday Minerals
  • IT Cosmetics (except tightline mascara and hello lashes)
  • Lancome*
  • Lily Lolo
  • L’OREAL*
  • Maybelline*
  • Mirabella Beauty (except skin tint cream)
  • Pangea Organic
  • Peackeeper Cause-metics
  • Red Apple Lipstick
  • Sophyto
  • Too Faced (except Borderline Lip Pencil)
  • ZuZu Luxe

For additional resources and to look at the sources I used, visit:

https://www.verywell.com/gluten-free-shampoo-conditioner-and-other-hair-products-562439

http://urbantastebud.com/gluten-free-makeup-and-cosmetics-list/

To learn more about gluten free toothpastes look here: https://www.verywell.com/gluten-in-toothpaste-should-i-worry-562440

Chloe Dyer

About Chloe Dyer

Chloe is a senior at University of Maine Orono studying Mass Communication and Political Science. In addition to writing for BDN, she is the Editor-in-Chief of Her Campus UMaine. She has known about her Celiac Disease for a little over a year and has been eating gluten free as well as sometimes dairy-free. She is from Chebeague Island, Maine, where she grew up, but has also lived in Cleveland, Ohio and Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria in addition to Orono.