The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is “what foods should I avoid?” But gluten exposure can go beyond gluten-containing foods. There are also beauty products and dental products that can all come into play when being on a strict gluten-free diet. So what products should you avoid? Bottom line: gluten-containing skincare, cosmetic and hygiene products should not be an issue unless there is a chance of ingesting them.

 

The gluten-free product rule

 Anything that goes in or around your mouth is recommended to be gluten-free. Think about how many times you lick your lips a day or accidentally swallow your toothpaste.

Products include:

  • Lip balm
  • Lipstick
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste
  • Anything else you use near your mouth

We do not have direct evidence gluten in skincare poses a risk to those with celiac disease, (unless accidentally ingested) or that it will absorb through the skin to create an autoimmune response. Products that contain gluten do not typically have amounts sufficient to cause a reaction though caution is advisable around open wounds. Given the skin is the body’s largest organ, investing in clean hygiene products can be a good addition to a wellness regimen but the chances of a direct gluten exposure this way are quite low.

Remember, you know your body best and can be the judge of your sensitivity to gluten. Read all product labels and avoid anything that includes oats, avena sativa extract, barley or wheat extract, secale cereale, triticum vulgare, hordeum vulgare and anything with the word wheat, barley or rye in it.

 

Pros and cons of gluten-free cosmetic & hygiene products

Pros:

  • Gluten-free skin care products are rich in antioxidants and contain anti-inflammatory properties
  • Gluten alternatives are credible and safe

Cons:

  • Despite there being little evidence of reactions to gluten-containing cosmetic and hygiene products, there is no complete certainty that there will not be a negative reaction
  • Your bank account may hurt – gluten-free products tend to be higher in price

 

At the end of the day, it does not hurt to use all gluten-free products (maybe except your wallet), but it is not necessary for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity unless the products come in contact in or around your mouth. It is important to listen to your body, and be aware of anything that can potentially cause an autoimmune response.