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What to Avoid In Cosmetics if You Have Celiac Disease



Those of us with Celiac Disease are required to follow a strictly gluten-free diet. Okay. But what about the gluten that could be lurking in products we use daily? What about our cosmetics? This is a question that seems to never have an answer that’s set in stone. However, many Celiacs have reported experiencing a range of symptoms, such as rashes, hives, burning, itching, and even swelling–all caused by their cosmetics.

These reactions seem to be typical among many Celiacs, which begs this question:

Do Celiacs need to follow a gluten-free skincare regimen?

That choice is yours to make. If you’ve been using department store cosmetics and feel “glutened” afterward, or have experienced rashes, redness, burning, or swelling, perhaps it’s time to give gluten-free cosmetics a try.

Why Do Gluten-Free Cosmetics Matter?

Because the FDA rules that govern makeup are different than they are from food, it can be pretty difficult to understand if there’s gluten present in your cosmetics or not. The general answer for most of the well-known cosmetics manufacturers is yes.

What’s alarming about that is the fact that many makeup manufacturers can’t tell you where their ingredients come from because they don’t know. As a result, those of us with Celiac Disease are left to fend for ourselves.

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Some of the most common cosmetic ingredients are wheat and oat derivatives. It’s no secret that their use is widespread in the cosmetics world. What’s really important to remember is that even if a grain isn’t mentioned in the ingredient name, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain gluten.

In fact, the word “gluten” is highly unlikely to appear on the ingredient labels of cosmetics at all! As a result, you need to be diligent about reading those ingredient labels, and if you’re unsure of what to look for, we’re here to help!


The list above is pretty exhaustive, but there may be other ingredients out there, too. If you’re not sure about an ingredient (and it’s not on this list), do some research first. There’s always the option to just say no, and opt for cosmetics that you’ll know are good for you.

Two skincare companies that offer great lines of gluten-free cosmetics are 100% Pure and Acure Organics.

Are you opting for gluten-free cosmetics? Do you know of any other ingredients we don’t have listed here? Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!

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8 Responses to What to Avoid In Cosmetics if You Have Celiac Disease

  1. JSpice May 29, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Articles like these are misleading. The Celiac Sprue Association states that gluten cannot be absorbed into the skin. The only risk is that of cross-contamination from hand to mouth. So it is really not necessary to buy gluten free products. It is necessary, though, to buy organic or natural (clean) brands of products so that you aren’t getting chemicals, endocrine distributors, and toxins..

    • Erin Lee October 28, 2014 at 12:38 am #

      Agree it won’t effect celiac. It will effect gluten intolerance. You can have gluten intolerance and not have celiac. You can’t have celiac and think you don’t have gluten intolerance. In which case don’t use the above things. 🙂

  2. Gloria July 13, 2014 at 11:16 am #

    Seriously? Dextrin, maltodextrin, xanthan gum,yeast are even allowed in GF foods! But you can’t put them on your skin!

  3. Faith December 30, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    My daughter’s hands would start to itch uncontrollably when they came in contact with gluten. This was before she had ever heard of gluten intolerance or Celiac. Gluten may not be absorbed through the skin, but it may still cause a reaction. Keep in mind that everyone is different, just because something does not effect me, doesn’t mean that it will not effect someone else.

  4. Margaret June 7, 2016 at 10:36 am #

    I have the skin form of celiac disease–dermatitis herpetiformis. I also have the digestive reactions to gluten. So I am doubly affected. Lipstick is especially troublesome for me. There was a time when I listened to the naysayers who repeated the common information about how make up cannot affect you. And I had embarrassing skin even in my 50s and 50s. A dermatologist who supposedly understood the issues of celiac disease assured me make up could not be a problem. She was wrong. Once I quit using make up that contained gluten (so hard to find by calling the company or by reading the label) my skin cleared up. No more horrible itching. No more embarrassing welts on my face. I will no longer listen to anyone who says that gluten in make up cannot cause issues. It can and it does. Ask doctors and they will tell you it doesn’t make a difference. But ask the people who have celiac disease and they will tell you a different story. Thank you for posting this list.

    • Amanda June 10, 2016 at 10:08 am #

      Well said! I have Celiacs and there are many facial brands that I had to stop using. I also suffer from DH. My dietician even warned me about the possibilities of an adverse reaction to some makeup. Not only that, but there are GF foods that I have to stay away from as well.

  5. Christina benson January 6, 2017 at 9:57 pm #

    I’m a unspecified celiac with allergies to about 80% of all food, cosmetics, chemicals, even water with high amounts of clorine and Floride.
    My husband, both his Aunts, his father and both grandparents on his father’s side are all celiacs with multiple allergies on top as well…
    You can and will have allergic reactions I don’t care who you are….
    It might not be something as severe as vomiting or flu or dihrear or headaches….but ingredients in cosmetics can cause small things to start like nasal drip or sinus stuffiness…at first. Maybe an extra beat or skipping of beats in your heart that you haven’t really noticed…slight mood change, fluctuations in heat or cold tolerance….All these symptoms and hundreds more you least expect can be from any gluten, or chemical, or pesticide or Gmo unclean foods.
    It sometimes takes peopke a few times of using a product. ..for others it takes months or years before you start to notice your system attacking and when it does.. you will get full blown sick…..If you must wear makeup or hair or skin products. ..go 100 % organic, no gmo, glutwn free….and nothing else…don’t take the risk…it’s not worth it for a tube of lipstick. Your beautiful without makeup ! Go for confidence and clean health…not vanity and toxins. Xoxoxoxo

  6. Annie September 12, 2017 at 8:58 pm #


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