I’ve been chatting a lot about finding gluten free makeup and switching over my face products to gluten free products, but I haven’t explained to you why or how to do such a thing. First, as someone who has just taken the dive into this and who is just skimming the surface, let me say, this is NOT an easy task. Especially when I see all the cash I’ve spent on gluten-containing products in the past going down the drain after containers go into the rubbish bin. I do have a guide, as such, to this process though and she is helping me tremendously – so I thought, who better to explain this to you than the Gluten Free Makeup Gal herself? Right? So please welcome her to the blog.
Her guest post will be split in two because there is just so much to say about this topic that neither of us could figure out how to make it shorter for you! SO, below is the first half, basically FAQs and answers to the questions that would come up when you are told you should use gluten free makeup. Enjoy – I hope you learn something, I know I certainly have!!!
To say that finding gluten free makeup is challenging is almost an understatement.
It’s learning to fight your way through phrases with the same words, but totally different meanings. It’s deciding where you stand and then standing there like a rock. It’s being willing to ask tough questions and decipher cryptic replies.
It’s taking your health firmly in hand and keeping it, no matter who tells you what.
Why is something that sounds so simple actually so difficult?
The term “gluten free” can and does mean something entirely different to one company than it means to another. For instance, Company A says product A is gluten free, but what they mean is that this product does not currently contain gluten ingredients. Even though it was processed on the same equipment as the wheat germ oil containing products, and packaged in the same facility, they still call it “gluten free”.
On the other hand, Company B says their entire line is gluten free, and what they mean is that their facility is gluten free, their ingredients never contained gluten in them (no “glutenless barley”, thank you very much!) and their suppliers are gluten free certified.
The reason for this wide difference is there are no standards, no laws in place anywhere specifically pertaining to gluten free makeup. The term “gluten free” is legally recognized only in food, in only some countries. Europe and Canada have gluten free laws, though the US does not. And even in Europe and Canada, these laws apply only to food.
And so, with no specific standard for gluten free makeup, we have dozens and dozens of companies with extremely varied ideas as to what “gluten free makeup” means.
So, what does gluten free makeup mean?
Say you have a peanut allergy, and if you walk into a store that has peanut M&M’s out in the open, your throat will start to constrict. What does peanut free mean to you?
Now say you have Celiac, and if you set your spoon down on your best friend’s non-gluten table (though freshly cleaned right before you sat down) then put the spoon in your mouth you will gain a pounding headache due to trace amounts of gluten. What does gluten free mean to you?
Here in America, our FDA is considering creating laws similar to Europe and Canada, with a <20ppm limit. However, right on their website, they have this statement:
“Based on the data and other variables included in the analysis, the safety assessment resulted in an estimate that a level of 0.01 ppm gluten in food would be protective of even the most highly sensitive individuals with CD. This estimation of risk to individuals with CD associated with very low levels of gluten exposure may be conservative and highly uncertain.”
The FDA- the people who are supposed to be protecting my health –admit that 20ppm may not be good enough for any Celiac. Their reasoning for this is that it makes it easier for companies to jump on the gluten free bandwagon. Yeah, that’s on the website. This is for the companies, and not for your health.
See, it doesn’t matter what the FDA says, or your doctor says, or the companies who want to sell you stuff says. Your health is yours and yours alone. It’s you who has to live with it day by day, not your “try to please everyone” health department.
So, as a conscientious Celiac who is taking your health in hand, here is what you have to decide: What is gluten free to you?
In all my research, in all my talking to other Celiacs and in all my personal experience, there is only one answer that is without compromise: None. And when I say none, I mean no cross contamination, no gluten-derived-now-glutenless ingredients, no gluten anywhere, anyhow, any way.
This is not something we should compromise on, folks. Gluten is poison to us. Why play with fire when we can avoid it entirely?
So if makeup companies can’t all be trusted to be really gluten free, how can we know which ones are?
Put on your deerstalker, your trench coat and your best poker face, ‘cause we’re gonna do some real digging to find out. This is the method I use to determine which companies go on my Gluten Free Makeup List.
So that was part 1 – a lot to think about already huh? Don’t worry, part 2 is as informative and as witty as this one! Just an FYI, the Gluten Free Makeup List referred to in the last sentence is available through the Gluten Free Makeup Gal blog. Cheers!