Celiac disease is a genetically transmitted disease in which the mucosa of the small intestine loses cells and its ability to absorb nutrients from food due to intolerance to a protein, gliadin, present in four portions of cereal: wheat, oats, rye, and barley. Gluten is a glycoprotein present in these cereals that acts as a binding, gelling and emulsifying element, which binds water molecules and functions as a structuring element, and is usually used as a preservative and texture improver.
The diagnosis of the disease is made through a serological test and confirmed by intestinal biopsy and can be detected at any time of life. Typical symptoms are chronic diarrhea, bloating, weight loss and malnutrition more common in children. Others are anemias, frequent thrush, dermatitis; It can lead to complications such as osteoporosis, anemia, intestinal lymphoma, growth deficit, and spontaneous abortions. The only treatment is to adopt a diet without TACC.
So far, there are no scientific studies that show that the use of cosmetics or body hygiene products that contain TACC can damage the villi in the celiac gut. But there is the knowledge that there are some celiac people who have reactions such as dermatitis or gastrointestinal problems when using them. The manipulation of these products can cause that in minimum doses by contact with the mucous membranes they reach the intestinal tract. For example, the use of a pencil or lip gloss, protector, cream or body milk, shampoo that accidentally reaches the mouth, nose or small wounds and penetrates the bloodstream and can exacerbate the symptoms of the disease.
Wheat germ oil is a natural makeup remover and has antioxidant properties; its starch, the perfect binder to give consistency to lipsticks; and oatmeal lowers inflammation of reactive skin. Just a quick read of the ingredients of a few cosmetics is enough to discover that, most of them contain products derived from cereals.
The number of brands that join this current is increasing. But should people with celiac disease really use cosmetics free of wheat derivatives?
A person diagnosed with celiac disease can not only react to gluten when ingested but also when certain substances that contain this protein, such as creams, masks, foundation or lipsticks, are applied to their skin.
The skin is one of the organs that also suffer from allergies and intolerances, in fact, the same celiac disease affects it in many patients. As a result, both celiac and gluten intolerant should pay special attention to the makeup products that apply to their epidermis, however, this has several connotations.
Gluten is a widely used protein and popular among the cosmetics market, since it is economical, emulsifies very well, provides a smooth finish and is also easy to obtain. Regardless of whether a person is a celiac or not, they can also develop a certain allergy to any cosmetic product.
Due to this, more and more brands are betting on the creation of gluten-free products. Simply read the ingredients quickly to ensure this. Many of them claim to do so to include celiac patients in their market, others, however, say that the only thing they pursue is to create products that are more tolerable by the population. Whatever the reason, is it true that coeliacs should use cosmetic products free of wheat derivatives? The truth is that this is not entirely true.
Reactions in celiac people only occur by direct ingestion of gluten, not by contact. Gliadin cannot be absorbed through the skin, due to the high molecular weight, that is, due to its large size.
The "gluten-free" labels have jumped into the cosmetic aisle and there are many brands that offer gluten-free products. But can body milk, which is used topically, affect the bowel of a celiac person?
According to some dermatologists, there is no study that reveals that they are harmful cosmetic products with gluten when they come into contact with the skin. Although tests are still being done to see if these ingredients, applied to the skin, can pass into the bloodstream and trigger some kind of reaction.
What makeup components carry gluten?
If you are going to buy hand creams, lipsticks, etc., pay attention that among the components of the product, there are not the following ingredients:
- Hydrolyzed malt extract.
- Hydrolyzed Proteins
- Vegetable Proteins
- Grain Extract
- Peptide complexes.
- Dry cereal.
How can cosmetics affect celiac people? Some laboratories have launched to sell cosmetics suitable for coeliacs. However, only those that apply, for example, in the labial and periductal area, as they could be ingested, would be a problem.
Only 40% of market lipsticks are suitable for celiacs
Did you know that, throughout our lives, we involuntarily ingested 80% of all the lipstick that we apply when we put on makeup? That is, if you paint your lips every day, you will eat about 4 kilos of lip pigments, so it is very important to know what these makeup products contain in their formula. And if you're celiac, you should still look more at it.
In the case of people intolerant to gluten or celiac, lipstick can be a risky sport. And no, is not a problem the contact of a substance that contains gluten with the skin, the danger appears in the case of lipsticks, which as we have told you we ingested (unintentionally, or so we hope ...) when we makeup
So you know, if you are celiac and you paint your lips every day, you should take maximum precautions. Do not forget that, regardless of whether it is a product labeled or not as suitable for coeliacs, it is convenient that you first try a lipstick before buying it to make sure that it does not cause you a reaction.
Celiac disease can affect the skin
If there is a risk of ingesting them, celiacs have to take precautions with cosmetics, since the problems derived from gliadin range from chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain or even the formation of intestinal ulcers. Even the skin can be affected.
How to know if a cosmetic carries gluten?
In many cosmetics, especially natural ones, you can find the "Gluten-free" or "Gluten Free" label. If it does not appear, taking into account that it is not yet mandatory, it is useful to study the composition.
If the cosmetic includes vitamin E, the manufacturer should be asked if it comes from wheat germ oil, the most common source of this active ingredient.
Some brands already have wheat germ cosmetics in which gluten has been eliminated by natural procedures.
Unfortunately, the lists of cosmetic components (like most products) are cumbersome and super technical, but there are some brands that guarantee that their products are gluten-free. If you do not suffer intolerance to this set of proteins, it is absolutely indifferent whether or not you use this type of product, but if you are celiac, it is recommended that even by the topical route, you avoid gluten. And for that, here are our cosmetic recommendations:
There are not too many studies about whether or not a celiac person can use cosmetics that contain gluten, but you can contrast the ideas and opinions of celiac experts. The reality is that few cases are known in which a celiac, allergic or gluten-sensitive person has had problems using without realizing cosmetics with gluten, although it is also true that not all of us have external symptoms, but, as a general rule, we do not there must be danger in the application of gluten products if it is topically.
In most beauty products wheat and oat derivatives are used, such as many creams, body oils, lipsticks, and soaps. There is a compound, tocopherol, which is clear evidence that this product contains traces of wheat.
It is also very common to find traces of starch in products such as mascara, skin conditioners, gels, shampoos, hair dyes and lacquers; and wheat bran is present in exfoliating creams and hair care products.
Well, as always, the best thing you can do is prevent it, it is the only way to be 100% sure and not to get upset. By using gluten-free cosmetics you will reduce to zero the chances, even if they are very small, that your body ends up having contact with some trace of gluten.
The supermarket lines are full of products that carry a label with a crossed-out wheat spike or the gluten-free inscription. It is not for less: it is estimated that around 1% of the world's population suffers from celiac disease, an autoimmune disease caused by gluten, the only great protein that our body cannot process. The number of people diagnosed with this condition grows at a rate of 20% per year.
Studies have clarified that celiac disease is activated by a reaction at the intestinal level, and not by contact with the skin or by allergic reactions. That's why celiacs must control what they eat very well. But also everything that is brought to the mouth, from toothpaste to forks or towels.
Sonia Corredor/Shimarz Blog Writer