Most women use makeup throughout their lives. Some use it every day and won’t be seen in public without wearing full makeup, including foundation, eye shadow, and blush. Other women just use makeup occasionally, or use one product regularly, like mascara. Whatever your preference is, a diagnosis of Celiac Disease or a gluten intolerance should not have to impact your ability to wear makeup! Whether you consider makeup just a fun thing to wear on the weekends, or essential to your everyday life, it’s important to know that the makeup you use will not impact your health and wellness.
There’s Gluten in Makeup?
Prior to a diagnosis of Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance, most of us never even think about whether there is gluten in makeup. As most of you know, gluten is found primarily in wheat, but can also be found in rye, malt, oats, and barley. Makeup and beauty companies use these ingredients which are finely milled and then used in cosmetics as binders to help all of the ingredients stick together. Many cosmetics also use emollients in the form of gluten-derived oils.
So, as you can see, many current makeup products can contain small amounts of gluten. To make matters worse, you practically need a Ph.D. in chemistry to understand all of the various ingredients used in most common makeup products, and whether or not they contain gluten. For instance, here are some of the ingredients that are gluten-based:
- Triticum Vulgare (wheat bran)
- Secale cereale (rye seed extract)
- Jordeum Vulgare (barley)
- Avena sativa (oat bran)
- Dextrin Palmitrate
- Polygonum G
Most of us would not recognize these ingredients as ones that contain gluten. Therefore, it is important to choose a beauty brand that understands gluten intolerance and certifies its products as gluten-free. If you are really interested, the Gluten-Free Makeup Gal prepared list of over 100 ingredients that contain gluten and should be avoided.
Why Gluten-Free Makeup Matters
You might assume that since makeup is applied to your skin, it cannot cause gastrointestinal distress. According to the Mayo Clinic, gluten molecules are too large to be absorbed through your skin. However, it’s not that simple. Makeup is often in a powder form, and this powder can be breathed in or end up getting on your hands where it can then be transferred to your food. If you wear lipstick, you might lick your lips occasionally, or food may pick up some lipstick as you are eating. Hand lotion could end up on your sandwich when you pick it up. Foundation, or pressed powder makeup could end up under your fingernails and then be transferred to your food.
So, if you are trying to maintain a gluten-free diet and are still experiencing symptoms, it makes sense to limit all gluten products in your life, including makeup products that could contain gluten as well as hair care and skin care products.
Here are four different beauty companies that offer gluten free makeup products. All of these products are available online, making it easy for you to order and try them in your own home.
1. Afterglow Cosmetics
Afterglow was founded by Kristin Adams, whose mother and sister both have Celiac Disease. She watched them struggle to find gluten-free products, and when she decided to start up Afterglow Cosmetics, Kristin made sure that all of the company’s products were gluten-free. The products are all made in a 100% certified gluten-free manufacturing facility, so there is no danger of cross-contamination. They use Vitamin E obtained from cottonseed oil and organic olive oil, not from wheat.
Afterglow Cosmetics is the first makeup brand that has been certified as gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO). The GFCO’s purpose is to inspect products and manufacturing facilities for the presence of gluten. According to the GFCO’s website, their certification seal “stands for the independent verification of quality, integrity, and purity of products. Products carrying the GF logo represent unmatched reliability and meet strict gluten-free standards. The GFCO is the leading gluten-free certification program in the world.”
- Available in 16 wearable shades for all skin types
- Layers and blends easily without settling or creasing
- Infused with soothing organic botanicals
- NO parabens, nanos, bismuth oxychloride, gluten or talc
- 100% natural ingredients
Afterglow’s products are also paraben-free, fragrance-free, use certified organic ingredients, and are perfect for sensitive skin. They offer a full range of products for the face, eyes, and lips. Though their products are more expensive than common store brands, the peace of mind that comes from using certified gluten-free makeup seems quite worthwhile.
2. Ecco Bella
On their FAQ page, Ecco Bella states that “There is no gluten or wheat protein in any Ecco Bella product. All our products are safe for customers with celiac sprue.” In addition, Ecco Bella products are dairy-free, paraben-free, preservative-free, petroleum-free, and fragrance-free.
Ecco Bella was founded as a protest against product testing on animals for the sake of cosmetics and its mission now includes a wide variety of products from organics and nutraceuticals. As an activist company, Ecco Bella sources their ingredients from ethical suppliers of organic and gluten-free materials, and they stay away from ingredients that can potentially cause harm to people or the environment. None of their products use any ingredients created from animals such as stearic acid, tallow, lanolin, dairy, or collagen.
- This mascara wraps around and lengthens lashes to their longest.
- It's water resistant, but not waterproof. Gentle, and easily removed.
- Comes with its own mirror. Excellent for sensitive eyes.
- Vegan. Gluten-free. Fragrance-free.
One of Ecco Bella’s most popular products is their lipstick. Reviewers think it is the cleanest, safest, prettiest lipstick around for those who love lipstick. It is made with a simple, healthy formula of vegetable oils, waxes, and mineral pigments that slide on very creamy and don’t feather. Like a lip balm, Ecco Bella FlowerColor lipsticks moisturize without flaking or chapping. All of the ingredients are gluten-free and certified organic.
Ecco Bella offers a full range of makeup products for the eyes, face, and lips. They also offer anti-aging and anti-blemish skincare products, toners, creams, and serums. Ecco Bella’s body care line includes water-free herbal body lotions in three natural scents, all of which are gluten-free. Finally, Ecco Bella offers hair and scalp therapy products, including shampoos and conditioners. If you want a beauty brand that offers a wide variety of makeup, skin, and hair products, try Ecco Bella.
3. Red Apple Lipstick
Red Apple Lipstick makes a lot more than just lipstick and states that all of their makeup is gluten-free and paraben-free. The company uses safe ingredients, carefully chosen from highly respected suppliers around the world. Every product is handmade in small batches in Texas. Their products are rigorously tested, aimed at zero parts per million of gluten, to ensure no trace of gluten shows up along the production line. Batches are also routinely tested to ensure that nothing leaves the factory with any trace of gluten. This is a beauty company that is truly devoted to ensuring their products are gluten-free and safe for those with Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance. Here is some additional information about Red Apple Lipstick’s products:
- No petroleum, no animal bits, no gluten, dairy, corn, harsh chemicals or GMOs
- Ingredients that effectively improve the health of your lip skin, like high-quality Vitamin E, that is gluten-free
- Effective, old school manufacturing processes – the kind BEFORE chemicals were introduced
- Small batches keep things fresh
- Stringent storage and handling procedures
- Each hand-pressed, mineral eye shadow is designed specifically for the most sensitive eyes
- Lab Tested and Certified Gluten Free
- Made in the USA
- Paraben Free - Soy Free
- Mineral Based
- Smooth, Silky & Moisturizing
Red Apple Lipstick offers a full range of beauty products including lip-gloss, liners, eye shadow, and mascara. But their most popular product is their stunning gluten-free lipstick.
4. Gabriel Cosmetics
Gabriel Cosmetics was founded in 1992 as a botanical skincare company, influenced by ingredients derived from the ocean and homeopathic processes. As the company has grown, Gabriel Cosmetics now offers several different types of gluten-free and vegan cosmetics, marketed under the names Gabriel Cosmetics and Zuzu Luxe. Both product lines have been certified gluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group, which is an outstanding achievement. According to the GFCO’s website, their certification seal “stands for the independent verification of quality, integrity, and purity of products”.
Gabriel Cosmetics offers a great selection of foundations, concealers, powders, blush, and primers. They also offer lipsticks, eyeshade palettes, and nail polish. Zuzu Luxe offers the same products but with a bit more pizzazz in their color selection. They also offer a fabulous liquid eyeliner and luxe lip gloss.
If you have Celiac Disease or gluten intolerance, it’s great to know that you have a wide assortment of beauty products to choose from that are gluten-free. As you learn more about gluten-free living, it is important to try and reduce all traces of gluten from your diet and lifestyle. At first, this includes removing all gluten-free foods from your cupboard and learning to read ingredients so you can make smart choices. By selecting gluten-free makeup products from one of the companies listed above, you will ensure that you are doing everything possible to stay healthy and beautiful at the same time!
Have any other great gluten-free makeup tips or brands? If so, let us know below!