Friday, January 9, 2015

Gluten-Free Feature Friday: Do You REALLY Need Gluten-Free Skincare?

When you start a gluten-free diet due to a medical condition such as Celiac or gluten intolerance, it's obvious you need to remove all traces of gluten from your diet. However, I have also heard that you need to take gluten out of your skincare routine as well.

But, is gluten in your skin care products REALLY that bad for you?

For today's Gluten-Free Feature, I decided to put on my detective cap and do some investigating...

To Remove Or Not To Remove

According to the Mayo Clinic, those with gluten sensitivities do no need to worry about skincare products, such as shampoo and body wash, that may contain gluten. This is due to studies that show gluten molecules are too large to be absorbed into the skin. Therefore, the gluten does not cause internal inflammation as it does when ingested.

They do advise for those who have gluten sensitives to switch lip care and oral hygiene products to gluten-free due to possible ingestion, which will then trigger symptoms. They also recommend using gluten-free hand lotion to prevent possible cross-contamination with finger foods (or if you are a nail biter like me... I know I need to stop it!)

Conflicting Views

However, as with every great debate, there are two sides the story. Despite the research of the Mayo Clinic and other institutions, there are those who refuse to believe these studies. Many people with gluten sensitivities find that they are affected by using skincare products that contain gluten. 

Some people report breaking out in rashes or hives when using gluten-containing products that will disappear after switching to gluten-free brands. Professionals even say the worse the condition your gut is in, the more likely you will be affected by gluten-containing beauty products.

Dr. Vikki Peterson, a Doctor of Chiropractics, Certified Clinical Nutritionist, and co-author of The Gluten Effect, told magazine Better Nutrition that anyone with a gluten sensitivity should have a gluten-free skincare routine, regardless if you see these adverse reactions or not. Those people should do their best to stay away from gluten. Any gluten. Period.

So What Should YOU Do?

I am a believer of holistic medicine. Why? Because when you practice holistically, each person is their own study and has their own scenario. There is NEVER a one-size-fits-all prescription.

With that said, I feel you should take the above advice and decide for yourself. Do you notice you get a red, splotchy rash on your head when you use a gluten-containing shampoo? Then, by all means, find a gluten-free one! Do you find you can use any brand skincare product and not get adverse reactions, but still wish to be gluten-free just to be safe? Then go for it!

Keep in mind, that just because you don't break out in hives from using possible gluten-containing products doesn't mean your body is not still experiencing inflammation from the gluten. Just as when you digest gluten and have an intolerance, not feeling symptoms doesn't mean it is not still causing the inflammation in your body.

But, like I said, you decide for yourself! I would strongly recommend switching to natural, organic products, regardless of what you chose! We don't want to be loading our bodies with toxic chemicals, because that is not ideal for anyone! (Here is a great infographic on Mind Body Green on what to check against your body products.)

I would also say, at the very least, to switch your lip products, toothpaste, mouthwash, and hand lotion to be gluten-free, as mentioned above. Due to the possibly of you swallowing that product, you don't want to have symptoms when you are already trying so hard to keep gluten far, far away from your gut!

To check what specific ingredients to avoid if you are gluten sensitive, check out this article.

Here are some great beauty brands that you can trust are gluten-free!

Cosmetic Brands

Red Apple Lipstick
Afterglow Cosmetics
Ecco Bella
Gabriel Cosmetics

Skincare Brands

EO Everyone
Juice Beauty
Green Beaver
Dessert Essence
Yes To Carrots (NOTE: A handful of their products DO contain oat or wheat oil so be sure to double-check the label)

Which brands do you trust for being gluten-free?

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