Sunday, November 25, 2007

Gluten Cross Contamination Does Matter for Cosmetics and Skin Care

OK, I think I've mentioned this in almost all of my posts thus far, but I just want to make a completely separate post on this one issue just to emphasize its importance. For anyone with gluten sensitivities, cross contamination does matter! If avoiding gluten were like avoiding excess sugar (for a diabetic), you check your labels and avoid whatever ingredients are sugar-likeand ask about sugar residue. If avoiding gluten were like avoiding excess salt, you'd check your labels, avoid sodium in any form, and ask for salt/sodium residue.

I'm no dietician, but from my general knowledge about other food related health issues, peanut allergies and gluten problems are the only two sensitivities I know of where you have to check beyond just ingredients. (If you know of other sensitivities, please correct me!) 20 parts per million is a current general standard that you hear about. Only Oats, an oat company in Canada, rejects anything that is 5 parts per million and over. 5 ppm in something as small as a speck of gluten is tiny tiny stuff!! If it didn't matter, why would people be checking? And if a cosmetic or skin care company says it doesn't use a gluten free facility and they don't check for it and they can't answer for the cross contamination risk, could 20 ppm or more sneak into a product undetected? You bet. It's not like stray gluten molecules have neon green beacons on them.

Now I am not saying that every cosmetic company who uses a non-gluten free facility has problems and gluten running around all over the place. But if they don't have a very good handle on that "next level" of information, trust me - there are plenty of other places to spend your money and get good products. I'm sure it hasn' always been that way. But thanks to the internet and greater awareness, much more info is available at the push of a button and click of a mouse. And some companies are really responding to this. Hopefully, even a few of the smaller companies that hadn't realized they were a good "gluten free cosmetic" candidate will learn a few more ways to promote themselves to people who need them.

Well, those are my thoughts after a nice Thanksgiving break. I'll get some more info requests rolling and share some info I've had waiting.



Rowan said...

I wish more people understood the risk of cross-contamination. It is a huge problem not only with cosmetics but food / restaurant dining, etc.

If anyone is looking for a safe soap/bath product line I highly recommend the "Gluten-Free Savonnerie" ( No risk of cross-contamination here and great products. Also, for soaps/bath products - Obermeyer Naturals ( They carry the best Provence, France soaps!

Anonymous said...

What about the fact that gluten molecules can't penetrate the skin? Wouldn't that make gluten free cosmetics (except lipstick or chapstick) unnesessary?

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