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dantheman123

Why Can't You Use Gluten-Based Products On Your Skin/hair?

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Hi there, first time poster on these forums. I recently discovered I've had a thyroid imbalance for probably over a year now. My thyroid is mildly hyper but not enough to warrant treatment, so my doctor suggested it may have been brought on by celiac, or at least a gluten intolerance. I did some research and found that this was likely the case, as my symptoms extend beyond the normal symptoms of a thyroid imbalance, so I immediately cut out gluten from my diet. I'm now on a full blown elimination diet until my food intolerance test results come back.

Anyway, I was surprised to see people online talking about avoiding shampoos and cleansers that contain gluten. My question is, why is this necessary? If your body is intolerant to eating gluten, and your intestines get inflamed upon contact with it, what could that have to do with simply putting wheat based products on your hair/face topically? If it doesn't go in your mouth, how could it harm you?

One of my symptoms if facial redness, and now I'm wondering if maybe this is aggravated by the cleanser I'm using, as I know it's not gluten free. But I just don't understand the logic behind it. Looking forward to hearing from some of you on this, cheers. :)

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If it's on your skin it gets in your mouth. Pay attention when you wash your hair how the shampoo and conditioner water run down your face. Gluten sticks to things. It's so hard to get it off of wooden and plastic utensils, and teflon pans. It stays on your skin if it's in your soap and lotions.

I love my products and I did not want to get rid of my favorite Redken shampoos and conditioners. I did not start getting better until I got the gluten out of my bathroom.

Then one day I put a leave in conditioner on my hair that had wheat in it. I love that stuff and I wanted to use it so badly. Later I was working on the computer and absent mindedly running my fingers through my hair. I ate some crackers and got SO sick. I had glutened myself by that stupid leave in conditioner.

It's not worth taking the chance if you are having any symptoms at all. There are plenty of products that are safe for you. Look for wheat in them. I've never seen barley, malt or rye in anything. They are so proud of their wheat in products so they usually display it prominently and it's definitely disclosed in the ingredients.

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One of my symptoms if facial redness, and now I'm wondering if maybe this is aggravated by the cleanser I'm using, as I know it's not gluten free.

Sounds to me like you have just answered your own question, Dan. :)

For most of us, it is just not worth the extra risk of another source of gluten.

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why is this necessary? If your body is intolerant to eating gluten, and your intestines get inflamed upon contact with it, what could that have to do with simply putting wheat based products on your hair/face topically? If it doesn't go in your mouth, how could it harm you?

One of my symptoms if facial redness, and now I'm wondering if maybe this is aggravated by the cleanser I'm using, as I know it's not gluten free. But I just don't understand the logic behind it. Looking forward to hearing from some of you on this, cheers. :)

This is not a well studied and researched issue. Try googling and reading about skin(dermal) absorption of pesticides and consider whether gluten derived products might fit your "poisons" list.

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There's the possibility of shampoos and soaps (albeit very tiny amounts) getting onto your lips or in your mouth in the shower. Lip balm can get you too..but remember your skin is porous. If you use lotions or cleansers with gluten it can be absorbed, or you could have it on your hand and rub your eye, nose , or lips, which are all entry points to your body. Once in the blood stream it can get your immune system fired up, even if it's not in your intestine, causing symptoms.

There's also the probability that you may become more sensitive to gluten as time goes on and develope the DH (skin form of Celiac). It's miserable to have and is hard to heal. It's best to omit all gluten..even traces from your life.

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Gets in your eyes, too. Gets on your pillow - you roll in it at night (in my case, I drool.... :) ).

Wheat germ oil makes my hands, eyes swell.

My reaction to topical wasn't always there. I was about 2 months gluten-free when it hit.

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Plus I have thinning hair that is not thyroid related. I figure if my body has such a hard time with the gluten, it's probably easier on my hair to use gluten-free shampoo. And also I don't have to worry about accidentally ingesting any.

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Many topical cosmetics are oily and hard to rinse off, besides containing gluten. My favorite glutening was when my husband took a shower and used some lotion on his hands afterwards (we do a lot of outdoor work, and we have to take care to keep our skin from not cracking) and then absentmindedly scooped some ice into my glass with his bare hands out of the bin in the freezer. He then goes and makes salads for dinner, again, handling all the vegetables bare handed.

Over a few days this is building up to where I am now waking up with the distinct feeling I have been glutened (which is neurological symptoms for me) and can't figure it out until I am watching him (casually, like surveillance... B) ) from the time he comes back in, to when he heads for the kitchen.... I can smell it.... I read the ingredients on this crappy lotion and it's obvious.... we threw the lotion out. I am now in charge of supplying the house with toiletries because he can't remember what to look for. Fair enough.

There is no way I am spreading a wheat or cc'd oat oil or protein goop all over my hair and skin, then when I get in the shower the water hitting me is going to make a mist which is going to get into my mucous membranes, and the liquid is going to be running all over my face. Then apply conditioner to the hair, which doesn't rinse out all the way, then you end up getting it all over the towels, etc. If I moisturize my hands it's getting onto the keyboard, and I am known to be eating here at the desk. Most of us do a lot of food prep with our bare hands. And I really don't want the allergic dog coming up and licking me, (I found a wheat free shampoo, which of course, has SOY OIL in it) because his reactions are worse, and may = vet bill.

Just like when I put on lipstick, I would rather it not have wheat in it, because it really doesn't make any sense to be spreading it on my lips. Most people do lick their own lips from time to time.... It may be only a tiny exposure, but all those tiny exposures add up to one larger one over a 24 hour period.

If your cosmetics are not bothering you, then there is probably no reason to do this - but if you're prone to skin and scalp reactions, or you are a super- sensitive gluten intolerant/celiac, and notice that eliminating gluten from your toiletries equals many fewer reactions, skin or otherwise, then there is no harm in it.

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A bit o/t but would you then recommend that people eliminate gluten containing personal care items automatically or elim food based gluten first and only elim the personal care products if symptoms continue? I am likely NCGS and just starting on this journey so I'm curious on how to best approach this. For example I noticed my new shampoo (just started using it the other day) has wheat protein in it. Do I ditch the shampoo or wait until I've given gluten-free eating a few months?

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Hi there, first time poster on these forums. I recently discovered I've had a thyroid imbalance for probably over a year now. My thyroid is mildly hyper but not enough to warrant treatment, so my doctor suggested it may have been brought on by celiac, or at least a gluten intolerance. I did some research and found that this was likely the case, as my symptoms extend beyond the normal symptoms of a thyroid imbalance, so I immediately cut out gluten from my diet. I'm now on a full blown elimination diet until my food intolerance test results come back.

Anyway, I was surprised to see people online talking about avoiding shampoos and cleansers that contain gluten. My question is, why is this necessary? If your body is intolerant to eating gluten, and your intestines get inflamed upon contact with it, what could that have to do with simply putting wheat based products on your hair/face topically? If it doesn't go in your mouth, how could it harm you?

One of my symptoms if facial redness, and now I'm wondering if maybe this is aggravated by the cleanser I'm using, as I know it's not gluten free. But I just don't understand the logic behind it. Looking forward to hearing from some of you on this, cheers. :)

You are correct Dan in that if it doesn't get ingested, it will not harm you. The issue of using gluten containing products is a personal choice one, unless you have additional, topical allergies where skin contact will cause a reaction. This is not the same reaction that a Celiac suffers but many Celiacs have topical allergies to wheat also.

I am a very sensitive Celiac but do not screen skin products other than hand cream and lipstick. Never had a reaction and my antibody counts are close to zero, after 6 years on the gluten-free diet. If I were ingesting my products, this would not be possible. You have to ingest gluten to react, which does mean your mouth but honestly, skin products do not taste good...why would you eat them? :blink:

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The way I think about gluten in products is like this: I would not walk around with e coli bacteria in my hair or on my skin :o , trusting that I would not ingest enough to make me sick so why would I walk around with gluten (a potentially harmful substance to me) on them? ;) (yes, I work in a hospital, lol)

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Oh my god - all this time I have been using night moisturiser that has wheat in it....I had no idea that I should be avoiding it!

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These threads always get long and they always get a rise out of someone or other who disagrees and insists that you can use whatever products you want (not that anyone said that yet, but I'm sure it's coming). The thing is, celiac reactions can happen from trace amounts of gluten. You need to give yourself every single precaution that you can in your own home so that you are always safe in your home.

There are enough products out there that don't have wheat in them, that it's really just one more thing you can do for your safety. You do ingest your soaps and lotions, just like someone else said. Wash your salad, touch your food, eat with your fingers. When you wash your hair with wheat and then wash your face your hands go over your lips. You can't rinse all that off. Gluten stays on things. Then your lips are covered in wheat. It's a vicious cycle.

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The gluten protein is too large to penetrate your skin but you may, distinct from a GI reaction, also have a skin rash brought on by wheat or the gluten protein.

If the latter then avoid toiletries with G in, otherwise you can use as long as you rinse away any that brushes over your mouth / lips.

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These threads always get long and they always get a rise out of someone or other who disagrees and insists that you can use whatever products you want (not that anyone said that yet, but I'm sure it's coming). The thing is, celiac reactions can happen from trace amounts of gluten. You need to give yourself every single precaution that you can in your own home so that you are always safe in your home.

There are enough products out there that don't have wheat in them, that it's really just one more thing you can do for your safety. You do ingest your soaps and lotions, just like someone else said. Wash your salad, touch your food, eat with your fingers. When you wash your hair with wheat and then wash your face your hands go over your lips. You can't rinse all that off. Gluten stays on things. Then your lips are covered in wheat. It's a vicious cycle.

I guess we have to agree to disagree on this one. Celiacs can use skin products safely which contain wheat without ingesting them and to imply that you cannot is silly. To be honest, I have no idea whether or not my skin care products contain wheat because it's not something I screen for. They probably don't as wheat is a cheap filler and thickener and more expensive products do not do this. I do know that testing one's antibodies, for those of us who are serio-positive, is proof on whether you are ingesting products. You cannot have an almost zero result if you are ingesting wheat on a daily basis.

If you wash your hands before you eat and assuming you rinse well with water, then there should be no problem. This is turning into the red wine debate.

If someone chooses to use completely gluten-free products, then that's fine with me. It's a choice issue. To imply I gluten myself on a daily basis is nonsense.

You cannot have recovery and stellar antibody counts if you eat gluten everyday. Doesn't happen. I just don't want others who are new to this to develop another layer of fear over their topical skin products. Think it out carefully based on your habits and make a decision you are comfortable with.

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Think it out carefully based on your habits and make a decision you are comfortable with.

I think that is hands down the most sensable statement I've seen on this thread!

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I guess we have to agree to disagree on this one. Celiacs can use skin products safely which contain wheat without ingesting them and to imply that you cannot is silly. To be honest, I have no idea whether or not my skin care products contain wheat because it's not something I screen for. They probably don't as wheat is a cheap filler and thickener and more expensive products do not do this. I do know that testing one's antibodies, for those of us who are serio-positive, is proof on whether you are ingesting products. You cannot have an almost zero result if you are ingesting wheat on a daily basis.

If you wash your hands before you eat and assuming you rinse well with water, then there should be no problem. This is turning into the red wine debate.

If someone chooses to use completely gluten-free products, then that's fine with me. It's a choice issue. To imply I gluten myself on a daily basis is nonsense.

You cannot have recovery and stellar antibody counts if you eat gluten everyday. Doesn't happen. I just don't want others who are new to this to develop another layer of fear over their topical skin products. Think it out carefully based on your habits and make a decision you are comfortable with.

It's not about a layer of fear. It's just one more thing you can do if you're not feeling well. I think also the length of your hair could make a difference. I have pretty long hair so my hands are on it all the time, brushing it back out of my face, etc. I know for me my symptoms made a huge improvement when I got rid of my wheat containing products. I've seen this subject come up where there was someone who was constantly complaining of lingering symptoms yet they refused to change their toiletries. If you have lingering issues or you're very sensitive it's another layer of protection to you can afford yourself. If you are doing great on the gluten free diet alone and you have zero problems, then go for it. Use the wheat stuff.

Actually I am a total product snob and the more expensive salon products frequently contain wheat. They brag about it. Tri Wheat this, and wheat germ that. Nearly every product in the Redken line is full of wheat. They only have one line, the anti aging one, that doesn't contain wheat. I was a Redken girl for decades and I literally cried over my Redken. LOL I spent about 2 hours reading labels at a beauty supply and I only found a couple of lines that didn't contain wheat. Enjoy and Biolage. Just about every salon product in there was full of it and they often had it advertised on the front of the bottle.

Lots of lipsticks and make up contain wheat. Sometimes it will vary within a brand too. Mac has some lipsticks that are gluten free and some that definitely aren't. You have to check the ingredients and make sure.

Suave is cheap and I haven't found wheat in any of their stuff yet. I use their shampoo and conditioner for my doggy. LOL I also use their shower gel as hand soap because my skin is sensitive.

So no fear, just information.

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I accidently ingested some of my wheat containing facial night moisturiser the other night:( Honest mistake - I accidently got it on my lips and then licked my lips and thought - eww - what is that, that tastes gross! :D

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Interestingly there is a new salon line that says it's gluten free called Unite. They use hydrolyzed wheat protein and they insist it's gluten free. Lots of us know about the bogus studies on hydrolyzed wheat protein and how sick the participants got.

I decided to try it anyway. Spent like $120 on product. It gave me horrible migraines and made me so sick. I tried it like 3 more times to be certain because it's such a phenomenal product line. Of course that's also using not only shampoo and conditioner but the leave in treatment and the detangler.

For those who want gluten free products here are some suggestions. Please read EVERY label because there will always been that one scent of lotion they put wheat in or whatever.

Enjoy hair products

Biolage by Matrix

Redken Time Reset line (no other Redken products are wheat free)

Healthy Sexy Hair Reinvent line (most of their other lines have wheat)

Biosilk leave in treatment. Their other stuff contains wheat I think, but the leave in clear oil is phenomenal.

Check your hairsprays. Lots of them have wheat in them too. Right now I'm using Unite because it's one of their only products that doesn't contain hydrolyzed wheat protein.

Skincare - I use H2O Plus. Have used it for over a decade and my skin has not aged in 10 years. My skin started aging in my late 2o's and I found these products. It literally turned back the clock. I highly recommend it. They sell it limited at Ulta and then online. There are a few stores but not many. I swear by this skincare.

Bath and Body Works I've never found gluten in any of their products.

Victoria's Secret shower gels and lotions looked safe last time I checked, but read labels.

Mac Pro Longwear lipstick is gluten free but their cream lipsticks mostly are not.

Benefit has lots of gluten free choices.

Bare Minerals is another good choice.

IMPORTANT: these companies almost never will say their stuff is gluten free. Don't bother calling them unless it's to get ingredients. They are too worried about lawsuits. In all my ridiculous amounts of research I have never found gluten in any other form besides wheat in toiletries. Like I said before they brag about the wheat in their products usually so it's pretty prominently labeled.

As far as make up goes for the girls, I personally only worry about my base make up (Benefit Hello Flawless is my latest craze and yes it does make your skin flawless!) and my lipstick. I figure eye makeup isn't going to get into my mouth unless something really crazy happens.

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