If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, do you need to use gluten-free skin care? Many skin care and beauty products are now formulated for this type of sensitivity. Here’s a breakdown of why you might choose to skip gluten across the board, as well as a gluten-free skin care routine to try.
What Is Gluten?
What is gluten, anyway? Gluten refers to a mixture of proteins found in cereal grains like wheat, barley and rye. Latin for “glue,” it is one of the most important components of bakers’ dough. In baking, gluten proteins - namely gliadin and glutenin - form a binding matrix which enables the dough to rise and gives baked goods their satisfying chewy texture.
For most, gluten is imperceptible; however, for those with gluten intolerance, it can trigger a range of unpleasant symptoms. The most well-known type of gluten intolerance is celiac disease, a hereditary autoimmune disorder that is estimated to affect one in every one hundred people worldwide. In individuals with celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an immune response that damages the inner wall of the small intestine. Over time, this cumulative damage can prevent the small intestine from properly digesting and absorbing vital nutrients.
The signs and symptoms of celiac disease differ from person to person and can range from diarrhea and digestive discomfort to more serious complications. In rare cases, it can even affect the skin. According to the Canadian Celiac Association, 10-15% of patients with celiac disease also have dermatitis herpetiformis, an itchy, blistering rash that is triggered not by ingestion but by physical contact with gluten-containing foods and products.
Gluten In Skin Care
Some skin care products include oils and extracts derived from grains that contain gluten, such as wheat, barley or rye. You may spot these sources of gluten on some of your skin care products’ ingredient lists:
- Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
- Triticum Vulgare (Wheat)
- Hordeum Vulgare (Barley)
- Secale Cereal (Rye)
Should Your Beauty Routine Be Gluten-Free?
If you’re sensitive to wheat in your diet, you may already be thinking about avoiding gluten in your skin care as well. Although the jury is still out on whether gluten can be absorbed through your skin’s surface, it can still pose problems for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Here, the danger lies in accidentally ingesting a product that contains gluten, by licking freshly glossed lips or applying a beauty product with your hands and eating immediately afterward.
Gluten-Free Skin Care Routine
If you’ve made the decision to eliminate gluten entirely, we’re here to support with many gluten-free products for your skin. With this gluten-free skin care routine for all skin types, you can feel reassured that you are treating the largest organ in your body - your skin - with the same attention that you give your daily diet.
Please note that if you are showing sensitivity or reactions to your skin due to your diet or any product that you're using on your skin, we advise you to see a doctor first before making any major changes to your lifestyle.
As the first step in your gluten-free skin care routine, use our Mangosteen Daily Resurfacing Cleanser to remove impurities without overstripping your skin. The lactic acid (an alpha hydroxy acid) in this milky gel cleanser gently resurfaces the skin and refines pores. Antioxidant-rich mangosteen fights the visible aging effects of free radical damage for radiant and youthful looking skin.
Exfoliate (1-2x per week)
Add additional exfoliation once or twice a week with our Strawberry Rhubarb Dermafoliant. Simply add water to this powder exfoliant to transform it into a luxurious exfoliating paste. Rice powder absorbs excess oil while lactic and salicylic acids gently remove dead skin cells, revealing a smooth and polished complexion.
Keep your skin hydrated and conditioned with a gluten-free toner or facial mist. Eminence Organics fan Meredith K. loves our Stone Crop Hydrating Mist. She says in her five-star review:
I mist this on my face after cleansing and before I apply my nighttime moisturizer or daytime sunscreen and LOVE it! I have pretty sensitive skin that gets easily irritated and itchy and this always calms, hydrates and smooths my skin. It is amazing how much better my skin looks and feels after misting this on! I can't be without it!
Mask (1-2x per week)
Indulge in a facial mask once or twice a week to boost your skin’s health. Our Firm Skin Acai Masque is gluten-free and packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients like acai, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry. This smoothie for your skin will firm and hydrate your complexion as well as reduce the visible signs of aging.
Serums, oils and concentrates can still be skin care saviors sans gluten. These potent formulas contain concentrated amounts of active ingredients to target concerns and enhance your skin’s overall health. Try a Biodynamic® facial oil like our Facial Recovery Oil to nourish the look of your skin with beneficial ingredients like clary sage oil, olive oil and sage leaf extract.
Keep your skin soft and supple with a daily SPF moisturizer. Our pick: Tropical Vanilla Day Cream SPF 32. This fragrant day cream pulls double duty to deeply moisturize the skin as well as protect it from harmful UVA and UVB radiation.
The most important part of a gluten-free skin care routine is lip care. Rest easy that your lip balm won’t cause unnecessary discomfort by applying our Citrus Lip Balm. Infused with shea butter, sunflower seed wax and botanical peptides derived from hibiscus, it leaves lips soft and perfectly smooth.
Are you ready to switch to a gluten-free skin care routine? Browse our full list of gluten-free products to find the skin care solution that is best for you!