This is an area in which I have been extremely remiss, like the ostrich with my head in the sand. Since I have not had any symptoms of dermatitis herpetiformis with my celiac disease, I have remained woefully, inexcusably stuck in my old (pre celiac) manner of thought when it comes to skin care and cosmetics.
The only area I have been careful to check about gluten in an ingredient list when it comes to my skin care and cosmetics, up until recently, had been lip products. Even though the average women does NOT ingest 6 pounds of lipstick during her lifetime, it stands to reason that we most likely ingest at least a little bit. And I am a big fan of lip gloss. So I figure with daily wear, gluten in my gloss is something to be concerned about.
I’ve also become more aware of what I put on my skin. After all, our skin is our largest organ. We certainly can and do absorb molecules through our skin, which is how transdermal drug delivery systems work. Hence, we are absorbing what is on our skin to some degree, and I have been trying to minimize my exposure to things I cannot pronounce in all areas. If it’s not edible, for the most part I am very cautious about putting it on my skin.
Even more so now, as at the recent American College of Gastroenterology meeting a new paper was discussed titled “Information about Cosmetic Ingredients is Difficult to Obtain: A Potential Hazard for Celiac Patients.” In the study, the top 10 American cosmetic companies were examined for the availability of ingredient listing and the accessibility of gluten free products. [Since I began writing this post, there have been more and more articles covering the issue of gluten in skin care products. Apparently, lip care, foundation and powders are the ones to be really careful with.]
Of these top 10 cosmetic companies in the US-not one-NOT ONE!!!!-specifically offered labeled gluten free product options. For the most part, ingredient information was unavailable. I know personally I have run into the same problem. I know what to look for in a food label, but when it comes to cosmetics I do not know what to look for, even if I could find the damn ingredient list.
The good thing is that there are many smaller companies out there who are transparent with their ingredients, and also label products specifically gluten free. Healthy-Family.org posted a list regarding gluten and corn free cosmetics that you can find here. Also, I’ve taken to making my own skin care stuff if at all possible. I have found CrunchyBetty.com to be an awesome resource.
I have also worked with two companies who have been just a pleasure to talk with, and provide awesome, clearly labeled products. The first, Made On Hard Lotion, is a small specialty company created by a lovely woman named Renee, to care for her family. The second, Mineral Fusion, is a skin care and cosmetics company that has been growing since 2007, taking care of it’s customers along the way. Both of these companies very kindly sent me samples of their gluten free wares to try.
First, Made On.
Renee makes products out of ingredients you can pronounce and recognize. In fact, she will even tell you how to make it yourself if you are so inclined, she’s that cool. The name “Made On” is because each product is labeled with a “made on” date, telling you exactly what day your product was born. How cool is that?!
Hard Lotion simply means that the ingredients have been made to be in a solid form when being stored, and then liquify when warmed against your skin. I tried the Bee Silk and Au Chocolat hard lotion bars, as well as the lip balm. These are just so handy to have, because you don’t have to worry about spillage. Just toss it in your bag and you are good to go. Especially good for traveling since they are not liquids, too. Here in South Florida I don’t get extremely dry skin very often, but I did use it on my feet (barefoot) and on irritated skin from cycling (never you mind) and it worked extremely well. The bar warms against your skin and then applies easily.
My buddy Shirley over at Gluten Free Easily also recently reviewed Made On products, so check out her take on them too.
Moving on to Mineral Fusion.
I really love Mineral Fusion’s mission statement, so I’m going to copy paste here from their website:
“Our approach to cosmetics and personal care has four goals:
First, we aim to bring our customers the revitalizing and protecting benefits of minerals, such as magnesium, copper and zinc, which also provide antioxidant defense against damaging free radicals.
Second, we aim to leave the skin in better condition than we found it. This includes providing active ingredients that heal and care for the skin and hair, as well as making our products free of gluten, parabens, talc, artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, SLS, and phthalates.
Third, we want our product to contribute a level of social wellbeing and have officially partnered with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to support women in need.
Fourth, we are committed to sustainability and utilize wind power, soy inks, packaging from recycled materials and packaging that is recyclable.
We are dedicated to creating naturally effective, healthy and safe personal care products while contributing to the wellbeing of our community.
We call this pursuit Minerals on a MissionTM”
Really, how cool is that?
Katrina at Mineral Fusion has been awesome, kindly sending me some samples to try as well as answering my questions about ingredients and terminology. It’s a whole new world out there once you start looking into skincare and cosmetics. The nice thing about Mineral Fusion is that they are very clearly labeled. In fact, all of their products are free of gluten, parabens, SLS, phthalates, artificial colors and synthetic fragrances. All of the products are 100% Vegetarian, and most are even 100% Vegan. I really love the scent that is in the facial cleanser, and one of my many questions to Katrina was “what exactly is an “aroma blend.” Essential oils, of course, which is what you would *think* but I have learned to take nothing for granted.
I am fortunate that Mineral Fusion is also carried at my local Whole Foods, so I trotted myself over there and purchased one of the pressed powders to try as well. Living in South Florida, I feel like I have a perpetual case of shiny forehead and am on a never ending search to rectify that.
Here’s a quick rundown of the products I’ve tried:
- Pressed Powder Foundation-This is a very nice powder foundation. I applied it with a kabuki brush. You can give as light or heavy coverage as you like. I did get less shiny with this than the previous mineral powder foundation I had been using, but still got the forehead shine. I think I have to live with it unless we move.
- Purifying Gel Facial Cleanser- This had the scent that I adored. You truly only need a tiny dab of this, don’t disregard that part of the directions. I used too much the first time. It rinses clean, but doesn’t leave your skin tight or dry. Love.
- Mattifying Oil Control Facial Moisturizer-I used a sample packet of this, so I couldn’t tell what it would be like if I used it regularly for a week or so, but for the one day there was no big change in my forehead shine. But, it was a nice light moisturizer that is perfect if you live in the subtropics like me.
- Lip Gloss (wands)- These are awesome. Not too sticky, but sticky enough that it sticks to your lips and not to your drinking glass. I often run into the “my hair is stuck in my lip gloss” issue as well, and that did not happen with these. Beautiful, flattering colors give “pop” without being over the top bright. I am a lip gloss junkie, and these are flat out awesome. I know, I said that. Twice. They are.
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