Makeup is one of the greatest things ever. It can make a horrible night’s sleep look okay. It can be an art form. It can be a confidence booster. But it can also contain gluten. Now according to Mayo Clinic, gluten cells are so large […]
If you have an allergy to gluten, you’ll likely know the pain that goes with being “glutened.” It’s. A. Bitch.
Seriously, I know a lot of people are still extremely skeptical about gluten allergies and let me tell you that physical reactions you can see are enough proof.
Fair warning to anyone with a queasy stomach or anyone who doesn’t want to read about the horrifying symptoms of a gluten allergy, best to click to another article now — check out my free printables.
Still with me? Cool. Let’s talk about the unflattering part of Celiac and gluten intolerance.
I try to be careful. I try to read ingredients and do as much research as I can. I try to ask waiters and restaurant staffs to make sure my food is safe from gluten. But stuff happens. Even cooking at home can sometimes be a gamble if I forget to check a nutrition label.
I get it, gluten free is labeled as a trendy diet, but getting glutened isn’t just a fad. For me, within ten minutes, sometimes less, my stomach will start to bloat. I end up looking four months pregnant — seriously, check out the photo on the right, that reaction isn’t a good thing. It’s terrifying how quickly your body can react, change and shut down.
Then the sinuses kick into gear. A wicked headache forms. The hives pop up.
Only one thing helps me with the instant pain and discomfort. A capsule full of Young Living’s Digize essential oil blend gives relief of the bloating and pain — though just because it helps me doesn’t mean it’ll help the next gluten intolerant person. After all, it’s really just a bandaid for a more significant problem.
I’ll likely develop a sinus infection from getting glutened. Toss in a dozen or so bruises on my body, swollen ear glands, fatigue and it makes for a *fantastic* time.
If any of this resonates with you or sounds eerily familiar, you might be gluten intolerant.
This by no means is a replacement for going to a doctor and receiving a diagnosis; however, Celiac.org has a great symptoms and conditions checklist to encourage you to remove gluten from your life.
I’ll be the first to admit I still am astounded by connections of gluten to my health. Until about a month and half ago I had no idea my swollen ear canals were being caused by an allergic reaction. But scrolling through gluten symptom checklists I keep seeing more correlations.
I can look back at different illnesses from high school and the light bulb goes off. All the canker sores I would get that doctors had no idea the cause of? Probably gluten. All the sinus infections, even after having sinus surgery? Probably gluten. All of the muscle aches? Probably gluten (though playing hockey definitely helped with that too).
And the migraines. Oh my god, the migraines. If you’ve ever experienced a debilitating migraine that made you want to hide in a dark room and cry, you know how miserable they can be.
If you’ve ever been in the same spot as me where you’ve had gluten wreck your body, I am so sorry. It’s not something I would wish on my worst enemy.
But here’s the good news:
- You’re not alone.
- There are food options, even to replace your favorite glutenous treats.
It’s easier said than done to avoid gluten though.
You can prepare and ask all the questions you want in order to avoid all of those horrible symptoms and side effects, but gluten is hiding every where. Makeup? Yup. Seasonings? Yup. Hair dye? Yup.
So what do we do?
As a group, we investigate and learn about our foods and products so that we are prepared for everything.
While research shows you cannot absorb gluten through the skin, some people do develop a rash called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH). Products that can be easily ingested, such as lipstick and toothpaste, definitely need to be gluten free if you have an intolerance.
But it’s also extremely easy to ingest accidentally other products such as lotion, sunscreen, etc. How many times do you wash your hands after applying lotion? Ever grab some ice for a drink right after? You’ve just ingested trace amounts of gluten if your lotion isn’t safe.
So, here are some of my favorite gluten-free products, broken down by a few common categories. I’ll go into more details in later posts.
Disclosure: While this post contains affiliate links these are all products I highly recommend if you’re looking to live gluten free. I won’t advocate anything on this page unless I have verified and/or personally used it.
- California Baby Super Sensitive SPF 30: Listed on their FAQ page: California Baby products are free of common allergens such as gluten, milk/casein, egg, peanut, walnut, cashew, almond and pecans, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen: Available at places like Amazon, Target, CVS, etc. Blue Lizard FAQ’s page claims: “Yes, all Blue Lizard® Australian Sunscreen formulations are gluten-free. Additionally, there are no wheat proteins found in any of our products.”
Many over-the-counter medication companies do not have gluten or wheat as an additive; however, several will not claim to be gluten free due to shared manufacturing machines. So proceed with caution if the company doesn’t claim to be gluten free.
This is one of those times that reading the ingredient label isn’t enough. Something to keep in mind though:
“Manufacturers often include a gluten grain (wheat, usually) as an inert filler or ingredient in both prescription and non-prescription medications, and they’re not required to disclose its presence.” — VeryWell.com
- up & up brand ibuprofen: It sure is nice when bottles and labels have the “gluten free” words on them, huh? Target’s up & up brand labels its painkillers as gluten free.
- Kirkland Brand: Anyone else obsessed with Costco? I sometimes make my mom go with me to Costco as a fun trip outside. Anyways, I noticed Kirkland labels its products gluten free. I’ve seen it on both the ibuprofen and mucus relief bottles, but always check the bottle before you take anything. Companies change ingredients and formulas all the time.
While research shows your skin does not absorb gluten, it does not mean you cannot get sick from it. You could develop DH, a rash mentioned above, but you could also accidentally consume the products: i.e. foundation/lipstick on the lips, mascara/eyeliner could get in through the eye ducts.
In my opinion, it’s best to stay away from any and all products containing gluten.
- Afterglow Cosmetics: They have a whole page dedicated to talking about gluten free on their website. Afterglow Cosmetics is the first makeup line to be certified gluten-free by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (GFC).
- Physicians Formula: A reasonably priced “drugstore” option for makeup is Physicians Formula. On the FAQ page: “Yes, all of our products are gluten free.”
- Ecco Bella:
From EB’s FAQ page: “There is no gluten or wheat protein in any Ecco Bella product. All our products are safe for customers with celiac sprue.”
- Too Faced: Despite the name, Better Than Sex is easily my favorite mascara out there. It’s great for those with contacts — other brands seem to flake off into my eyes and dirty my contacts. But it also looks like fake eyelashes with the fantastic coverage. Add in a gluten free claim and you’ve got a golden product.
I called Too Faced’s customer service line to ask if their products were gluten free. I was told, as have many other bloggers, everything but the Borderline Lip Pencil is gluten free. I’m slightly skeptical of why they would not list this on their website if it’s a true claim though. My thinking on this: if they’re not willing to put it on their website, there must be some cross contamination. Especially on similar products to the Borderline Lip Liner.
These are just samplings of areas to think about removing gluten. With the skin absorption thing, it’s easier to be less scared than having wheat flour in your pantry, but it’s still a concern to consider.
Good luck with your gluten free living and check back soon for more tips and tricks.
Everything changed four years ago. I graduated from college in May, turned 21 in July, left my first full-time job in October and in November I moved to a new state for a new gig. In October I went to see a naturalpath doctor. I […]