By now, it seems that the term “gluten free” has permeated much of our daily lives. From gluten free menu options to gluten free personal care products, going gluten free has become much more mainstream than it was even a decade ago. Despite the popular lore surrounding gluten, though, misinformation surrounding this naturally occurring protein persists. Read on for more about what gluten is, why it’s worth talking about, and where to find truly gluten free, clean makeup you can trust.
What is gluten?
Gluten has become a bit of a buzz word over the last decade or so, working its way into dietary choices and our cultural lexicon. But while many people associate gluten with wheat, gluten is actually a protein found in many grains, including wheat, barley, rye, farro, einkorn, farina, and spelt, among others. Think of this protein as a kind of glue: Gluten acts as a binder, helping foods keep their shape and giving them a “stretchy” quality that prevents them from crumbling (think of biting into a piece of warm bread and how “elastic” the doughy part of the bread is).
Is gluten bad for you?
On its own, gluten is not bad for you. If you can tolerate it without any reaction, you can probably eat it as people have for centuries without any issues. However, as many more people are being diagnosed with gluten intolerance and celiac–an autoimmune disease–knowing where to find gluten so you can avoid it is becoming increasingly important. For those who have become intolerant of eating gluten, they may experience uncomfortable digestive issues, inflammation and skin issues, brain fog, fatigue, and even achey joints. Those diagnosed with celiac disease often experience common digestive issues–most frequently, diarrhea–but the most critical effect is on the small intestine.
Eating gluten with celiac disease causes an immune response that inflames the small intestine. When left unchecked, the villi–small hair-like structures in the intestine that stand up vertically to help us absorb nutrients–lay flat, preventing the small intestine from absorbing these critical nutrients. Over time, this can lead to fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, anemia, and even serious complications like bone weakness, infertility, nervous system issues, and cancer.
Finally, for those with celiac and gluten sensitivities, using gluten topically–in shampoos and conditioners, skincare, and even clean makeup–may also result in irritated skin or scalp, including flare-ups of eczema or other topical inflammation.
Why is gluten used in makeup?
Just as gluten helps to bind food, it also helps to hold cosmetics together and helps them maintain the right texture. Many natural cosmetic ingredients contain gluten, and it can be challenging to find clean beauty products that are gluten free.
Does gluten go by another name?
While checking ingredients on your clean beauty products and personal care items is always a good idea, scanning ingredient lists for gluten can be sometimes be tricky. That’s because gluten may be masked under a different ingredient than “hydrolyzed wheat gluten.” In addition to being found in ingredients like wheat, barley, or rye, gluten can also appear under botanical Latin names, as well: triticum, hordeum vulgare, or secale cereal. And, because oats–avena sativa–are often processed or cross-contaminated with gluten, those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease may want keep an eye out for oats, as well.
How can I tell if a product is gluten free?
The only way to truly know if a clean beauty product contains gluten is to purchase products from a trusted brand–like Inner Beauty Cosmetics–that are labeled “gluten free.” Unfortunately, trusting an ingredient label alone may not be enough to protect those with sensitivities or celiac disease, as gluten is naturally occuring in may be hidden in many natural ingredients.
Why is Inner Beauty gluten free?
“I know first-hand what it means to have both sensitive skin and an autoimmune disorder,” shares Julie Rice, founder of Inner Beauty Cosmetics. “My focus in founding Inner Beauty was to create the best clean beauty products that could be used by everyone. I want our easy-to-use, natural formulas to work not only for those with sensitive skin, but for those people who have other sensitivities, as well.”
Whatever your relationship to gluten, you can trust that Inner Beauty Cosmetics has formulated clean beauty makeup to work with your body–and to treat your skin with some of nature’s best skincare ingredients, too!