Recently I was pitched (offered to review something) by a company making beauty products. This was great except nothing they made was gluten free. When I turned down the offer on the grounds that I have Celiac and couldn't use the product, I was given the reply "There has been no proven reaction to absorbed gluten and you don't eat your makeup." This got me thinking.
Yes you do eat your makeup, on a regular basis; you do so without even thinking about it. You touch your face or your hair, you scratch your skin and then you touch your hands to your lips. In my case I sometimes bite my nails. That means that whatever was on my skin, or hair is now in my mouth, since you lick I lick my lips. This means if I am using makeup containing gluten, I am eating small amounts of gluten throughout the day. I don't see how I can ever get better. I can't heal from something that I am consistently exposed too. Whatever companies think that you "don't eat what goes on your face or in your hair" would be very wrong.
Not only that, we currently have little information on how gluten when entered into the bloodstream affects those with some form of gluten intolerance. Think about it this way. You digest most breads and simple carbs before they have even fully hit your stomach. The reason for this is that simple carbs are often broken down by saliva. So that means at least some of the gluten is into your blood stream before you start digesting your food. I know when I get into gluten I know within 15 minutes, sometimes as quickly as 5 minutes. Now digestion takes six to eight hours depending on the product. If I didn't react to the gluten in my blood it would take around an hour before I started to feel any effect from eating gluten.
This means that if I am absorbing products through my skin there is going to be some type of reaction. Now, if I notice that reaction or not is not really the point, it doesn't have to be a violent reaction for the gluten to do any damage.
The safest thing and wisest thing to do is to keep gluten off your skin and out of your hair if at all possible. This means avoiding any beauty products that contain gluten. My health is much more important to me than the latest shade of blush. Now if that latest shade of blush is gluten free...