I know the title of this post might raise an alarm for many of you but let me explain. It is known that gluten is too big a protein to be absorbed by the skin and most Doctors will tell you that there is no need for you to be so careful. However, lipsticks and nail polishes are something which we might accidentally ingest…shampoo’s too at times. If you have sensitive skin like me and have a local reaction to topical application of gluten, parabens(sometimes) or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) then you need to know what you are putting on your skin. I discovered this over the years that my skin does better with less chemical and no gluten. Over the last few years I have discovered, explored and experimented with a few products and I think I have finally found quite a few which work for me and I think if you are a Celiac/Coeliac or suffer from sensitive skin then this is for you. It’s taken me months to put up because of all the time involved in getting in touch with companies via e-mail and phone calls. When it came to Lakme it took me almost two months of going back and forth with their customer care personnel to finally get my answers. I must add my research is specifically with reference to India because many MNC’s manufacture products for the Indian market in the country itself and their formulations might have a few variants or substitutions.
One of the things I am really happy about is how there are a lot more companies in India focussing on using natural ingredients and are cruelty free as well. However there is a disadvantage to it as a few organic ayurveda based brands use wheat germ and protein extensively in their ingredients. So when it comes to skin care you need to read your labels.
All that said here is a list of brands which you can consider using –
I had been seeing advertisements for this brand for a long time and my friends have been singing praises of the quality of it too. However since its an ayurvedic brand I wanted to know if it would suit me. They have make up, skin care and hair care products. My experience interacting with this company was a breeze compared to many others. I wrote to them and within a day or two I had my answers.
All their products are gluten free except for
- Indian Rose Face Wash
- Sun Protection Cream
- Hair Repair Shampoo
For more information on the brand, log onto www.soultree.in
One of the biggest names in the beauty segment in India. I liked how the company rang me up a couple of times to clearly understand what information I was looking for after I e-mailed them. That kind of response from a Unilever brand is praiseworthy because there are a many Indian MNC’s I have reached out to in the past but most of them have never given me satisfactory answers. I am listing their products which are gluten free
- Lakme sun expert Ultra Matte SPF 50 pa+++ gel
- Lakme sun expert Ultra Matte Compact SPF 40 pa+++
- Lakme Absolute Argan Oil Serum Foundation with SPF 45 – Natural Light / Honey Dew
- Lakme 9 To 5 Primer + Matte Nail Color – Crimson Matte / Green Matte / Rosy Matte / Magenta Matte
- Lakme 9 To 5 Weightless Matte Mousse Lip And Cheek Colour – Candy Floss / Blush Velvet / Fuchsia Suede/ Plum Feather
- Lakme 9 To 5 Primer + Matte Lip Color – Fuchsia File / Scarlet Surge / Pink Post
- Lakme Absolute Argan Oil Lip Color – Ruby Velvet / Caramel Custard / Buttery Caramel / Lush Rose
- Lakme Enrich Lip Crayon – Shades – Mauve Magic / Berry Red
If you want to know about any of their other products you need to write to them specifically regarding it. Being a big name in the cosmetics space it has a huge number of products so unless you are specific it’s going to be difficult to get an answer. I know that 99% of their products are gluten free because I have used many of them over the years. The list above is based on the new products they have launched in the past few years. One of the advantages of having this information handy is that Lakme is easily available throughout India and most of their products do not burn a hole in your pocket. Personally I feel their Argan Oil products are the best products in their line.
Sugar cosmetics have some brilliant lip colours and their eye make up really lives up to it’s name. I was impressed by their eye make up products as their kajal and eyeliner do not smudge at all, the only product I must confess which has stayed on for me without a smudge. All their product ingredients are listed on their website, so it is easy to make a decision. How I wish it were SLS and paraben free so I could use it more often. For more information log on to https://in.sugarcosmetics.com/
Plum is a new name in the cosmetics and skin care segment in India. It is a phthlate, paraben, SLS free brand and is also Vegan. I have used their kajal and moisturiser with SPF, the moisturiser is definitely something I will be using unless they discontinue it or change the ingredients. All the products have no gluten containing ingredients except for Plum’s Hair Care range which include shampoo, conditioner and hair mask. Log onto https://plumgoodness.com for more information.
Areev is a brand which believes in using natural ingredients.It is a Bangalore based company started by Ahalya (Ally ) Matthan . I must confess their products feel great on the skin and all their products are gluten free. For more information log onto – www.areev.co.in
Herbal Essences is an international brand in the hair care space. The good news is all their products are gluten free and it’s clearly labelled on the bottle. Their products are available on amazon, flipkart and many other e-commerce sites.
Sebamed is a international brand whose main USP is their PH balance factor apart from being paraben, SLS free and against animal testing. I have tried and wasted my money on many shampoos over the years but the Sebamed shampoo, is the only one which has worked for my oily scalp, dry and frizzy hair. If you have a severe problem with dandruff please do try this, in a month you will notice a difference. They have a whole range of baby care products and have got excellent reviews from mothers. All their products are gluten free except for Repair Conditioner, the Cleansing Bar and the Baby Cleansing Bar. Sebamed is available on Bigbasket, Amazon and many other e-commerce websites.
They are a paraben free handmade herbal brand. They have a range of hair and skin care products.Their soaps and body washes are mild and worth a try. All their product ingredients are listed on their site www.khadinaturals.com .
I love supporting small businesses especially if they are local. One of the reasons I like doing so are because most of their products are top notch, they are really good at answering your questions and sometimes even go out of their way to customise a product for you. Organiq is run by Kavya and it’s based out of Bangalore. Organiq has a range of hand made, vegan, cold pressed skin care products which are reasonably prized. I absolutely love the body butter and double butter soap. Kavya couriers the products so I am sure it will be available across the country, if you have any doubts about ingredients Kavya will make sure she can suggest what will work for you. For more information please log onto to www.facebook.com/organiq .
Clinique needs no introductions. Their products are good but are little on the expensive side. Some of their products use barley extract, so it is best if you check the ingredients first. Their store skin care consultants are well informed and will help you through the process of selecting a product which is suitable and free from allergens.
Dove is against animal testing and most of their products are gluten free and safe to use. Their ingredients are listed clearly and it is generally allergen friendly.
MAC, Lancome, FACES, Tresseme, Maybelline are all international brands and most of their products do not have gluten. MAC only has lip gloss with gluten containing ingredients. These brands all list their ingredients clearly and you can make an informed choice. Revlon is a brand I would stay clear off because it does not suit me and if I remember correctly its products do have some gluten containing ingredients.
If you are reading labels, watch out for these gluten containing ingredients –
- Beta glucan (frequently derived from wheat)
- Barley extract
- Hydrolysed wheat protein
- Hordeum vulgare (barley)
- Laurdimonium hydroxypropyl (hydrolysed wheat protein)
- Malt extract (barley)
- Stearly dimonium hydrooxypropy (hydrolysed wheat protein)
- Secale cereale (rye)
- Triticum vulgare (wheat)
- Vitamin E (sometimes derived from wheat)
- Wheat germ oil
- Wheat protein
- Wheat starch
I want to make it clear that if you do not notice a local reaction and you are sure about your lipsticks and lip balms please go ahead and use products you like. My post is an effort to bring to light products which are safe for people who have sensitive skin and get a local reaction to gluten.
I am going to be updating this list from time to time as I hear from more companies. So if you are reading this and are sure you know the products you use have no gluten containing ingredients please drop in a comment with the brand and product name and I’ll add to it to this list.
I have written about my adventures with make up and more in my book ‘ A Gluten Free Life, My Celiac Story’ (Harper Collins India ) here is the link to buy the book it if you would like to know more https://tinyurl.com/yal5o7hv
Disclaimer : I have approached most of these companies on my own accord and I am not being paid, for promoting any company.