Celiac and cosmetics – part 2

Celiac and cosmetics – part 2

When it comes to cosmetics and people with celiac sprue one thing is clear, it is not totally sure if cosmetics containing gluten are harmless or harmful to people with celiac condition. Mainly it is believed that as long as the cosmetics are not swallowed, they present no danger to the body (Gluten in cosmetics – part 1). On the other hand, another theory exists saying that people with celiac condition have a leaky gut which allows undigested and harmful substances (or microorganisms – this is why it is possible that the probiotics are not so good for everyone) pass through the gut and reach other organs in the human’s body. Gluten reaching other organs/glands in the body can causes an autoimmune reaction in another place (e.g. thyroid)(I explained it in a previous post). Now, what if gluten gets absorbed through our skin to enter our body (similarly as through the leaky gut)?

Here might be a problem since most cosmetics are applied on the skin. Substances (like gluten) can enter the body through the skin as well. It is called ‘dermal absorption’. ‘Some chemicals can be absorbed in enough quantity to cause detrimental systemic effects’. It is still not known how to translate this in regard to gluten and Celiacs. What is the ‘enough quantity’ of gluten to constitute a threat to people with celiac condition? Is the body balsam, that one applies every day on entire body, containing ‘enough quantity’ to make one sick? I don’t like to risk getting ‘glutened’ while I can choose another cosmetic that is surely gluten free. Besides, I try to use as little cosmetics as possible and when I do I choose them carefully. But about that another time.

Ingredients of cosmetics that might contain gluten

  • Avena sativa – kernel flour, extract, oil or bran (usually from oats contaminated with gluten)
  • Dextrin palminate – emulsifying starch that can be gluten based
  • Fermented grain extract –wheat
  • Hordeum vulgare – barely
  • Laurdimontum hydroxypropyl –wheat
  • Hydrolyzed malt extract –barley
  • Phytosphingosine extract – barley
  • Samino peptide complex – barley
  • Secale cereal – rye
  • Stearyl dimonium hydroxypropyl – wheat
  • Triticum vulgare – wheat germ oil = rich in vit E
  • Vitamine E – might be derived from wheat

* Source: FSM-May 2014 Issue





  1. I barely check the ingredients from cosmetics. But I do notice when I use shampoo with wheat in it, my scalp gets itchie. So thats the only thing i avoid.

    • Hi Chantal, thank you for your comment. It is good to know (not good that you react to it) that other people also react to some cosmetics. Not many people pay attention to it and I was already thinking that perhaps I am exaggerating with choosing the cosmetics so carefully. I also have terrible skin rash on my scalp when I use a shampoo containing wheat. Based on that, I decided to be more selective when it comes to my cosmetics. Besides gluten, they hide other ingredients that are bad for our body.

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