What Contains Gluten? You Might Be Surprised

what contains gluten

If it does contain gluten...why should you care?

What contains gluten? Your cosmetics, perhaps? Before we dive into this one, I want to give you a little background as to what gluten is and why it’s something to be avoided in your cosmetics.

What the heck is gluten?


First off, gluten is a protein in wheat which has many negative health effects for people who are gluten sensitive or have Celiac Disease. 1 in 3 people may be gluten sensitive and not even know it! It can cause so many problems that many people who remove it from their diets see incredible improvements.

For a list of the symptoms of gluten intolerance please see this article: Gluten Intolerant. You’ve probably been hearing a lot lately about gluten, gluten-free foods, and the like. It’s getting a bit of attention lately, especially since Dr. Oz mentioned it on his show. And we all know how most people take what Dr. Oz says as the word of God!


A Little About Me and How I Became Gluten Free


Let me tell you a bit about my journey and how I came to be gluten free. Throughout my life I consumed a great deal of carbs in the form of wheat and grains, such as crackers, cookies, breads, pastas, and cereal. All my life I’ve had weight problems as well. No matter what diet I was on, I couldn’t seem to drop the extra pounds.

Then when I was 25, I decided to go on the South Beach diet. Do you know what that is? It’s a diet of no grains or sugar. You eat meats, dairy, and vegetables. After being on that diet and integrating exercise, I lost 60 pounds! What could have been the key? (Hint, hint…it has something to do with eliminating a certain food from my diet!)

I’ll tell you in a bit….so when I went back to eating wheat (when I say wheat, I also refer to gluten) I gained back some (but not all) of the weight. But it seemed like I gained weight easily even though I thought I was still eating healthy. I guess I wasn’t ready to learn the truth yet…

Two events changed the way I eat forever. I went to a holistic M.D. and she told me I had sensitivity to wheat….even after I learned this, I continued to eat wheat products. I had symptoms like fatigue, bloating, gas, and lord knows what else going on inside my body. What would it take to get me to stop eating wheat?


Wheat, Wheat Everywhere…


Wheat is everywhere and it seems if you cut that out, there’d be nothing to eat! I then heard an incredible interview on Sean Croxton’s Underground Wellness radio show with Dr. William Davis. If you read my last post on What Causes Wrinkles, you’ll remember I referred to Dr. Davis’ book, Wheat Belly. After hearing what Dr. Davis had uncovered about wheat and the damaging things it can do to the body, I immediately cut all wheat and gluten out of my diet.

What were the results when I cut all wheat and gluten out of my diet?


Weight gain, fatigue, sneezing, and that nagging pain in my right knee were gone! I’ve been wheat free for about a year and I’m never going back!

By now, you might be thinking, what the heck does this have to do with cosmetics? Well, I’ll tell ya. I made a conscious effort to avoid all gluten in my foods and never once thought about other products I use that may contain gluten.

One day when I was washing my hair, I decided to look on the ingredients label. I was using one of my favorite products, Aubrey Organics GPB protein conditioner and saw wheat germ oil on the label…my hair had been kind of limp and dry lately. Was this the reason?

Can wheat or gluten in your cosmetics actually affect you internally?


Let’s explore this further…

I found this post on The Gluten Free Blogger that said for even people with Celiac Disease, gluten in their cosmetics should have no effect on them because the gluten is not ingested. There’s been a huge surge of gluten free beauty products lately and this is all for nothing? I don’t know if I quite agree with this one.

I’ve heard that people who are gluten sensitive cannot even be around wheat especially if it’s in powdered form, like flour, because it can be inhaled and cause problems that way.

What carries more risk is things like lip glosses or lipsticks, since we unconsciously lick our lips and end up eating our lipstick while we eat. It’s also been reported that those of us who are gluten sensitive can develop rashes or skin irritation if we use lotions with gluten, so it’s also best to avoid those.

What do docs have to say about gluten in cosmetics? Check out this video from The Doctors: Makeup Concerns for the Gluten Free

My Conclusion on Gluten in Cosmetics


So I’ve concluded that maybe the wheat germ oil in my conditioner didn’t affect me the way I thought it had…but I still gave it to my friend to be on the safe side. If you are gluten intolerant like me or have Celiac Disease, your best bet is to check your products to see what contains gluten and chuck it if it contains any form of wheat. If you’re thinking well just a little bit won’t hurt, think again. For someone who is gluten intolerant, just a speck of wheat ingested can cause problems. Here’s a quick list of products to check:

  • lipstick
  • lip gloss
  • toothpaste
  • body lotion
  • facial moisturizer
  • facial cleanser
  • shampoo & conditioner


Now it’s your turn! Do you think gluten in cosmetics can affect you if you are gluten intolerant? If so, what changes have you made to avoid gluten in your makeup or personal care products?

Stay natural…stay beautiful…go green!

Robin started her career as an educator of children and has now become an educator for adults everywhere who want to know the truth about what they put into their bodies through the skin. She is passionate about educating people to make better health and beauty choices.
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  • Jan

    Your skin is the largest organ in your body. Think about applying a nicotine patch or hormone patch or nausea patch: that is transdermal medication that is absorbed by the bloodstream directly. So putting something on your skin can be similar to ingesting it, but without waiting for stomach acids to break it down. I guess the gluten issue in face and body products would depend on just how sensitive to gluten you are.

  • http://www.bareskin-beauty.co.uk Juliette

    Under both Ayurvedic and Western medicine, it is know that any products applied topically will be absorbed by the body, deep down into the bones. Areas of the body that have thinner and more sensitive skin like the face and scalp will react more strongly to chemical toxins or to irritants.
    It make complete sense that a product with wheat in would affect you in this way. We need to connect with our bodies to switch on our intuition, so we can understand what products will work in synergy with our bodies. In any event choose raw, bioactive skincare that will feed the skin with what it needs to be naturally beautiful.

  • http://www.pureessenceorganics.com carmen revelo

    Hello Robyn,
    What a wonderful article and yes it does make a lot of sense.
    My son was suffering for a while with being so tired and having headaches and someone said Gluten might not be good for him as he does loves his bread and yes sugar is in everything.

    A light bulb has flashed and now I’m determined to do what you did, slowly cut away the grains and sugar. His doctor said’s it’s growing pain as his only 10,
    another doctor said it was his eyes and to get it checked which we did and it’s all good. Now I am convinced and will see how we go.

    Thank you so much for that article and letting us be more aware.
    That’s the reason I have launched a organic online store and to educate more people out there.

    Keep up those wonderful articles.
    It’s a inspiration to read them.

    Kind Regards
    Carmen Revelo
    Pure Essence Organics

  • http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com Natural Organics

    Hi Carmen,

    Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this comment. I am so glad you realized what it was that was causing your son’s discomfort. It’s really hard to believe how many people think the effects of gluten and wheat are just “normal” when in fact, they are NOT! I really appreciate your kind words and will definitely check out your website. Thanks for joining those of who who continue to shine the light on the benefits of organics and gluten-free living.


  • http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com Natural Organics

    Hi Juliette,

    Thanks for your comments…even though after doing research for this article and found most people said gluten shouldn’t affect you, I still had my doubts and your insights help me to believe I was correct in tossing the conditioner.

  • http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com Natural Organics


    Thanks for adding to the debate. The more I read these comments, the more I see that those who are gluten intolerant or Celiac should totally avoid gluten containing cosmetics.


  • http://toxicbeautyblog holly

    I have celiac disease with DH rash, so definitely I stay away from hair and skin care products with wheat and oat products in them. Those ingredients make my skin & scalp itch etc.

  • Marcia Schrader

    Recently a lady called the salon that I work at and asked if she could bring in her own color because she is gluten intolerant. My manager allowed her to do so. I, being a professional hairstylist for 25 years, had a hard time accepting this, since we are a “professional hair salon” and the lady was bringing a “box” color from the drug store. I have not been able to find any professional hair color to contain wheat and would like to know if you have.

  • http://www.toxicbeautyblog.com/about?rel=author Natural Organics

    Hi Marcia,

    I don’t use conventional hair color anyway due to the carcinogenic, toxic ingredients….but I’ve never heard of hair color containing wheat, You’ve given me some food for thought!


  • http://radiant-brown-beauty.com Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty

    I’m so happy I’m not gluten sensitive. I don’t think I could ever give up multi grain bread. I love the Udi’s brand but it’s just not the same. I do however eat moderate amounts. As far as it being in my beauty products, not a concern for me but this good information to share
    Michelle@Radiant Brown Beauty´s last blog post ..Do Blemishes Mar Your Beauty or Give You Character?