While a small amount of gluten can be toxic to some people, that’s true only of gluten that’s ingested. “There is no evidence that gluten crosses the skin barrier,” says Bast, suggesting that glutenfree cosmetics may be a choice, but for the majority of celiac and gluten-sensitive individuals, they’re not a necessity.
Carol Shilson, executive director of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, agrees, suggesting that manufacturers may be jumping onto a consumer-driven bandwagon that’s not really a necessity. “From the science that’s available, for most people, gluten-free cosmetics aren’t necessary,” Shilson says.
“There’s a lot in the media, but there are no studies that suggest you need to use these products,” adds Donna Bilu Martin, MD, a dermatologist at South Beach Dermatology in Miami Beach, Florida.
That being said, if there is a chance the cosmetics you use could inadvertently be ingested or if you are simply more comfortable using gluten-free products, read the labels on cosmetics before making purchases and avoid products, including shampoos, toothpastes, and mouthwashes, with any of the ingredients listed in the sidebar. If there’s no ingredient list, check the company’s website or call its consumer hotline. Some gluten-free product lines include those from Kiss My Face, Burt’s Bees, Afterglow, Ecco Bella, and Bare Minerals.
Whether or not you choose to use gluten-free cosmetics, Bast says the bottom line is to use common sense. “If something bothers you, just don’t use it.”
|COMMON GLUTEN-CONTAINING COSMETIC INGREDIENTS|