This question comes up a lot in clinic so it bears repeating here. I encourage you to read the Q & A for a review of cosmetics and the gluten-free diet to help clarify the confusion around potential exposure to gluten in cosmetics and body care products.

And then, if you are concerned, use the following tips from the January 2018 Q &A to check on your favorite brands, as you like. Keep in mind that a cosmetic or body care product does not necessarily need to be labeled gluten-free in order to be safe to use.

  • “Read the ingredients listed on cosmetics looking for the words “wheat,” “barley,” “malt,” “rye,” “oat,” “triticum vulgare,” “hordeum vulgare,” “secale cereale,” and “avena sativa.”
  • Look for off-packaging ingredient lists when the product packaging is too small to include this information on the label. This may be in the form of tear sheets located next to the product display case.
  • Contact cosmetic companies when ordering products by mail order and ask whether their products contain any derivatives of wheat, barley, rye, or oats.
  • Use cosmetics labeled gluten-free. An increasing number of manufacturers are labeling their products.”1

Reference:

  1. Thompson T, Grace T. Gluten in cosmetics: is there a reason for concern? J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Sep;112(9):1316-23.

Reviewed October 4, 2022.