Gluten-Free Skin Care: Fact or Fiction?
One of the most common questions we receive as a skin care company is whether we have a gluten-free skin care line. While we don’t utilize gluten or its constituents in most our products, it hasn’t been until recently that we’ve been faced with the questions around certified gluten-free skin care. So what’s with all the hype? Read on as we unveil the truth about gluten-free skin care and cosmetics.
Gluten is the mixture of proteins found in products containing wheat, barley or rye. Its two main components, glutenin and gliadin molecules, link to create a cross bridge, creating elasticity in gluten-containing products. Simply put, gluten is what gives your favorite donut its perfect doughy, chewy texture.
But there’s a dark side to gluten for those who suffer from Celiac Disease (CD) or other Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivities (NCGS). In 2015, it was reported that 1 in every 100 Americans suffer from Celiac Disease. While Celiac can easily be identified through a blood test, no clear diagnostics for those with NCGS currently exist. So while 1% of the population can succinctly say they have CD, there’s a large subsection that is uncertain, but manifests similar symptoms.
Because CD is characterized as a condition where your body is unable to digest nutrients from food, symptoms primarily include those associated with your gut flora (think abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, etc.). Now with the inclusion of NCGS, symptoms have expanded to include acne, hives, psoriasis, dermatitis herpetiformis, etc. Basically, a skin nightmare.
And with the incidence of gluten sensitivity at an all-time record high, it’s no surprise that the “Gluten-Free” phenomenon has transcended foods into the beauty realm. Gluten-free skin care brands are popping up left and right, all touting their gluten-free beauty products as the best way to combat these skin-related symptoms all while preventing gluten toxicity.
Despite the hype, the fact of the matter is that from a biological standpoint, gluten proteins are too large to bypass the skin’s barrier, meaning they cannot be absorbed through the skin. So, unless you have a contact allergy to gluten or its constituents, those that suffer from CD or NCGS shouldn’t be concerned with gluten in skin care products. The potential exception to this is in products applied directly to your lips (i.e. lipstick). Throughout the day, small amounts are ingested as you perform normal daily functions. But even then, these trace amounts should not impact your gastrointestinal symptom.
Instead of focusing on gluten as a harmful ingredient in your skin care routine, consider first simply eliminating it from your diet to determine if your gastrointestinal and extraintestinal symptoms improve.
Instead of focusing on finding gluten-free skin care products, it is more important to pay close attention to the products in your current skin care regimen that contain known toxins and other aggressors, which could be exacerbating your skin conditions. Common chemicals to avoid include but are not limited to: sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, triclosan, petroleum derivatives, mineral oil; the list goes on and on.
Have you switched to a gluten-free diet and identified and eliminated any potential aggressors in your skin care regimen, but your skin is still not the beacon of perfect radiance? If so, the next step is to find naturally-based products that address your specific skin concerns.
If you’re plagued by adult acne, try a salicylic acid based acne cleanser with vitamins to prevent dryness typically associated with this ingredient. Follow it with a moisturizer containing similar ingredients to double up on salicylic acid’s healing power, without causing irritation. Another product you may consider adding to your regimen is a Glycolic Peel, which exfoliates to remove dead cells while providing an extra layer of defense against environmental aggressors.
While these recommendations may work for some of us, at InstaNatural, we believe that not all products work for everyone. Instead of taking a one-size fits all approach, we’ve created an extensive line of unique products designed to address every skin type and concern. Instead of jumping on another beauty bandwagon, call us today and speak to one of our dedicated Customer Care Consultants to discuss your unique skin concerns and craft your perfect regimen.
Beautiful winter skin, here we come!