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Gluten-Free Makeup

Flour in your eye shadow, wheat protein in the bronzer, mysterious grain compounds in the mascara – aack! – what’s a gluten sensitive girl to do?

Going bare-faced is simply not an option, not if we don’t want to scare the neighbors. So get out the reading glasses and turn on the makeup mirror lights to illuminate the ingredients in your favorite cosmetics.

Do we really have to do that you may ask? Some folks discount the notion that products applied to the skin can cause an allergic reaction (many major cosmetics companies, in fact.) Doctors, however, remind us that skin is the body’s largest organ, capable of absorbing both toxins and nutrients. Both, &, claim that up to 60% of what is absorbed into your skin goes into your bloodstream.  In other words, ignore ingredients at your peril, even in lipstick.

Just like food producers, not all cosmetic companies are created equal when it comes to certifying the purity of their products. For instance, Nars, maker of the beloved two-in-one blush and lipsticks, doesn’t guarantee its makeup is free of gluten. Neither do many of the largest cosmetics companies -- Cover Girl, Lancome, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon and Smashbox, to name a few.

But that omission opens the door for enterprising companies who are making a name for themselves as allergen and cruelty-free. Bare Minerals, maker of the glowy face-powder, lists all its gluten-free products on its website. Afterglow and Zuzu Luxe are certified gluten free, while others like Ecco Bella, E.L.F. Mirabella Beauty and Too Faced advertise that they use no gluten in their merchandise.

Not sure? Pick up the phone – that’s what customer service departments are for.

Pamela Hasterok