Could Your Make-up and Hair Products Be Making You Sick?

If you have celiac disease or avoid certain foods because of food allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities, then you need to know that it is not just food that could be affecting you. Many beauty products, including makeup and hair products, could also cause you to have an adverse reaction.

Due to the large number of people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivities, there are a slew of gluten-free beauty products hitting the market. A small amount of gluten in your lip gloss or mouthwash could be all it takes to cause a reaction.

Skeptical? You’re not the only one. Even beauty experts have long thought that gluten issues and food allergies were only related to food. Using natural and food ingredients in beauty products, like makeup and body care, didn’t matter. But research has shown otherwise.

Gluten is a wheat protein that is not only found in wheat products and as an additive in other foods, it is also used in cosmetics and shampoos as a binding agent. Shampoos that promise to strengthen hair and skin creams that firm skin both use gluten as a key ingredient. Thanks to an increased outcry from consumers, more brands have created gluten-free products, including Murad, Dr. Hauschka, EO, MyChelle, Suntegrity, Acure, and derma-e. More affordable health-care store favorites have followed suit, including Avalon Organics and Jason.

Although interest and demand for gluten-free, body-care products has increased, there are still plenty of cynics. This is largely because it seems unlikely that large wheat protein molecules are able to penetrate the skin. However, patients who have a skin issue, such as eczema, may be more likely to have a reaction if they have a gluten intolerance or food allergy. For products that are used on or near the mouth, it is likely that some unwanted protein molecule will be accidentally ingested causing a reaction.

In some cases, how the trigger passes through the skin is unknown and requires further study, but it seems to be a real issue. Natural beauty product manufacturers are finding that there is an increased demand for gluten-free products as more people are discovering that they still have reactions, such as rashes and respiratory issues, even though they are following a diet free of their triggers.

To protect against reactions, if you have allergies, intolerances, or sensitivities, be sure to read labels closely to avoid products that contain allergens or their derivatives. Check labels on body-care, haircare, and face-care products that you buy, as well as items like toothpaste and deodorant. Talk with your hairdresser or skin-care exert about the products they use. Sometimes, these professionals warn their clients about using a natural product that may contain a nut oil or fruity scent because of food allergens.


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