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About Moelle

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  1. I know, I did the same thing. I'm like, am I out of a career?? LOL Everyone is different though, so I make no claims as to what others experience. I think it's safe to assume that what you're buying is gluten-free.
  2. Wow, I find this REALLY interesting. Long post ahead... grin. I'm a brand new member here who happens to be an artisan soapmaker by trade... and discovering gluten intolerance! I'm 37 and a 10-year vegetarian, immersed in health care as a separate career of 12 years, also a yoga teacher (busy me!), and I'm starting my journey toward narrowing my problems down. Anyway, this thread is sort of making me think out loud. Let me just share some of that, and maybe something will come of it. I've read in a few sources that it requires actual contact with the digestive system for a celiac to be affected by a gluten-containing substance. I don't personally have enough info to have formed a solid opinion, and clearly the postings of people on this board indicate otherwise. It's possible that a gluten-containing soap (if soap is the substance in question) was accidentally ingested, or that the things I've read are incorrect. As far as soap ingredients, there are very few gluten-containing materials that even are used in soapmaking. Soap is a combination of fats or oils and lye (sodium hydroxide). The only oil I can think of that would obviously be a factor is wheat germ oil. I've used it rarely in soapmaking, and dermal contact has never caused a problem for me. Indeed, I've put oats in soap, and they could be CC'd, and I suppose some of my other base oils could be CC'd. As for other additives (scents, essential oils, botanicals), they are gluten free, unless you are using wheat germ or bran as an additive, and this very rarely occurs in a soap. I personally do not sell any soaps presently (though might in the future here and there) with gluten-containing ingredients in them. It's just SO rare. They're expensive and the benefit they provide to the skin isn't that amazing to spend the money. Wheat germ oil is not as great soap additive as, say, avocado or apricot kernel oil. The latter are far more commonly used. Besides, soap isn't moisturizing. It's just milder than detergent. Here's the other thing I have to wonder about. There's a chemical reaction called saponification, when the lye eats up the oil/fat molecules, and turns the whole mess into soap. Even if any ingredients were CC'd, at that point, is there any gluten remaining, or did the chemical reaction mutate them? I think only lab analysis would tell us, and sadly I can't afford that! Do milk soaps still contain active casein? I personally use only soymilk, but it's another good question. The other thing is this. Most commercial soap isn't soap at all. It's synthetic detergent in bar form. So it's also possible that it is a reaction to synthetic ingredients. Anytime you see "moisturizing bar", legally that is not true soap. A soap can make claims of being moisturizing etc., but rarely does, because then the FDA calls it a cosmetic and it's subject to some seeerious testing and labeling requirements. So, read the label and make sure you are getting what you pay for In theory, it's easy to make a gluten-free soap, and in theory, all of mine and most of other soapmakers I know, are gluten-free. So... use gluten-free substances. Use separate utensils (even though all utensils used in soapmaking must be stainless steel and are sterilized), a dedicated working area, and gluten-free base oils... but here, the problem comes in of confirming they are "clean". I've never seen such info listed for suppliers, and remember I'm not buying oils at the grocery store... I'm buying them in 55-pound barrels at restaurant supply or soapmaker supply places. But it is an interesting thought. That's more than anyone wanted to know about soap! I hope some info was useful. This is such a fabulous resource here... been reading for 1 1/2 hours! It's very nice to meet everyone. Finally I realize I'm not crazy!
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