Gluten free beauty products are a hoax

A few months ago I splurged and bought a lovely bottle of Origins “Checks and Balances” face wash that cost an arm and a leg, but smelled amazing and was really highly rated.  Oh how I loved it so.  Every time I washed my face it was like a little moment of luxury.  Then I started reading about gluten free beauty products and started getting paranoid about if any of my shampoos, moisturizers, etc. contained gluten.

Long lost love

Of course, one of the ingredients in my prized face wash was actual “Wheat Protein” (say what?!).  I didn’t really see anything happening to my face since using it, but I figured to be safe I should stop using it.  And when I moved I gave it a tiny funeral in my head as I threw it in the trash can.


I stumbled upon the Washington Area Celiac Sprue Support Group Newsletter published in May.  And apparently the Mayo Clinic just discovered that the whole “gluten free beauty” trend is a complete sham!  Unless you actually ingest the product, it won’t do anything to you.

I feel so gypped!

The only thing that you have to look out for are products that go on or in your mouth, like toothpaste and lip balm.

Can someone please refund me $18.50 plus tax?    : /

*Note: I have heard of people having skin reactions to gluten in skincare products.  It might be a coincidence, or a DH reaction that manifests at the same time  (a rash/blistering of the skin that is caused by eating gluten), but some may say “why take a chance?” and choose to avoid gluten in products.  More power to you!  I think that going forward I’m going to try to avoid anything that screams “contains wheat protein or wheat germ”, but I’m just not going to be as anal about checking and Googling every ingredient in my shampoo.


5 responses to “Gluten free beauty products are a hoax

  1. I think there are a lot of differing opinions on this. I definitely have a reaction any time I use Aveeno products that are oat-based. Instead of soothing my skin, they make me break out like crazy. In our NYC Celiac Meetup group there are a lot of people that have broken out from gluten-filled skin products or shampoos. Perhaps this is more of a DH reaction, but it is still a reaction to gluten in products.

    • Erin – you’re totally right. This is the first scientific study that I’ve seen about it though, and it seems like it’s not as big of a deal as I had previously thought (at least for most people). But, you’re right – probably not the best idea to go spreading gluten all over your body, just to be on the safe side 🙂

  2. I recently tried clean and clear face wash-with an exfoliant grainy texture, and my face broke out in little pimples better known as hives the next day. Im a Celiac and apparantly very sensitive. I was eating raw for a few days prior to that so it couldnt have been any intake of food. Better safe than sorry. Thanks!

  3. Alyssa Benson

    There Are People With Celiac Disease That Is Affected By The Skin. There’s A Specific Name For It. That’s Why You Get Those Red Rashes On The Back Of Your Arms. Gluten Can Be Absorbed Through The Skin And Naturally Everything Eventually Hits Your Digestive System.

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