Can gluten be absorbed through the skin from Makeup?

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Celiac disease or celiac disease is a rare inherited disorder that makes people intolerant to gluten, a substance found in all foods that contain wheat, oats, barley, and rye.

For their organisms, gluten is poison. In this way, if you eat any food or even medicines that contain it, your small intestine will become excessively inflamed and will lose part of its villi.


The same happens with the products they use, so the makeup or use, for example, toothpaste that contains gluten, takes the skin and the absorbent this substance.

According to specialists, the condition is painful and serious, since the villi of the small intestine are responsible for absorbing nutrients from food. Without them, a person cannot fully obtain the vitamins and minerals they need.

People with celiac disease should not only maintain a diet free of normal flours and many processed products. Medications, creams, shampoos, and cosmetics must be added to the long list of care, gastroenterologists warn.

There are several ways in which a medicine or beauty product contains gluten.


The first is that, in their composition, the ingredients do mention this substance directly; Another is that they have traces of gluten, such as starches, preservatives, and dyes.

Gluten is absorbed from the intestine and oral and nasal mucosa, which is why you should replace your personal care products that could be consumed or inhaled (toothpaste, mouthwash, lipstick, makeup powders, sprays) by a gluten-free brand. If this is not possible, read the label and make sure it does not contain hidden gluten. Body lotion could be harmless unless you're one of those people who put their hands in their mouths. If you want to change all your products, you can do it, but it could be an unnecessary and expensive purchase. In fact, I know people with celiac disease who have never changed their personal care products and have been doing well for decades.

Most researchers agree that gluten is a very large protein and cannot be absorbed through the skin. That is, if you are not swallowing the product, it should not hurt you because you are celiac or sensitive to gluten. But beware ... there are people who have allergies to wheat contact and can have adverse skin reactions. But they are reacting to wheat and its parts in the product, not gluten (as long as they don't consume it, of course). In the case of wheat allergy ALL products must be wheat-free. Gluten-free personal care products are usually wheat-free, which is why looking for "gluten-free" products is a good starting point.

 Now, why might your skin itch if you are not allergic to wheat? It is very possible that you are allergic/sensitive to any of the other ingredients. Some that commonly cause irritation, sensitivity, or allergy are acids, preservatives/preservatives, fragrance, dyes, and chemicals. I recently learned that Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS or Sodium Laureth Sulfate), which is the most common chemical in personal care cleaning products (such as soaps and shampoos), is also used to decrease the car's engine. Aaaaaaah! My logic tells me that that could cause allergy and irritation, at least in some people. In my case, it seems to be!

A note on dermatitis herpetiformis. For those who don't know it, dermatitis herpetiformis is an extremely itchy (itchy) rash made up of vesicles that usually appear on the elbows, knees, back, and buttocks. The important thing to remember is that it is caused by the consumption of gluten and not by the contact of the gluten with the skin. In other words, to avoid dermatitis herpetiformis, you should avoid eating gluten.

Bottom line, unless you have a wheat contact allergy, there's no need to worry about switching all personal care products to those gluten-free (or wheat-free) except for those that come in contact with the mouth and nostrils, as we mentioned previously.

Celiac disease is a disease that prevents the absorption of nutrients from the food by intolerance to gliadin, a glycoprotein that is present in the gluten of certain cereals: wheat, oats, rye, and barley (TACC). Although it has not been shown that hygiene and cosmetic products with TACC can harm celiac people, certain cases of adverse reactions have been observed, so many brands have started to specify if their products are TACC free.

This protein is only harmful if ingested, so there is no reason for celiac people to fear adverse reactions if they use hygiene and cosmetic products with TACC since although many of them are used daily they are topical, so in principle, it is ruled out any kind of danger. However, cases of allergic reactions or contact dermatitis have been detected when you are very sensitive to gluten and for these cases many brands have gluten-free products, generally specified on the packaging, although in case of doubt it is best to consult the manufacturer or distributor Of the brand.

Body hygiene products and cosmetics usually contain moisturizing agents such as starch, wheat germ oil, and oat derivatives, which in the case of TACC-free cosmetics are replaced by other equally beneficial ones such as quinoa, olive oil, the coconut or the cottonseed.


If the fear is not generated by a contact reaction but by a possible accidental intake, especially when it comes to children, it is best to resort to personal hygiene brands that have developed gluten-free product lines.


With regard to cosmetic products, the precautions should be the same as those for personal hygiene, that is, in principle none, although there are those who affirm the contrary for two reasons. Firstly, there is cross-contamination: if gluten-free creams are not used, precautions must be taken when handling food. On the other hand, there is an accidental intake, which although in the case of facial creams, body creams and make-up removers are not totally crazy, in terms of lipsticks it can be up to 80% of the product (according to what we eat between 1.5 and 4 kilos of lipstick over a lifetime).


These are the reasons why some manufacturers of cosmetic and facial and body care products (around 40%) have opted to create gluten-free lines. Among the 100% safe ones, those that guarantee to be gluten-free in all its ranges, are Benecos, Maybelline, Shiseido, Welleda or Deliplus. There are other manufacturers that guarantee that their cosmetics are gluten-free but not that they are free of traces, which is why their managers prefer not to recommend them for people with celiac disease.


Sonia Corredor/Shimarz Blog Writer 

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