Like trans-fat and carbs before it, gluten in our times has been shunned. What’s so horrible about a protein found in wheat, you may wonder? About three million Americans suffer from a chronic condition called celiac disease wherein they cannot digest gluten. For them, gluten not only wrecks gastrointestinal havoc—bloating, diarrhea, vomiting—but it can also cause skin rashes, depression, and fatigue. What’s more, 18 million Americans are gluten-sensitive, and exhibit mild forms of the above symptoms.
In the past, one of the most pernicious aspects of celiac disease is that it went undiagnosed. Imagine being sick every time after you eat and not knowing why. It’s certainly a more enlightened world we live in now. Our society in the last few years has become hyper-sensitive to gluten. In some circles, you’ll hear skepticism about the enthusiastic way celebrities have embraced gluten-free lifestyles. If you’ve ever hosted a dinner party where there was a gluten-free guest at the table unbeknownst to you, we feel your pain.
If only a fraction of the population is actually allergic to gluten, how do you explain its wide-spread popularity? Advocates say by eliminating wheat, like pasta and store-bought bread, it opens you up to discovering new foods, including fruits, vegetables, and other grains (quinoa anyone?). Seeking out gluten-free alternatives has led to more mindful eating and an overall healthier approach, something we’re totally behind.
According to Dr. Leslie Baumann, a board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami, many patients with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity have reported reactions to gluten in skincare products. “There is a form of celiac disease called dermatitis herpetiformis that results in an itchy, blistering rash,” she says. “Though it is still unclear whether it is caused by ingesting gluten, or the result of gluten coming in contact with the skin,” Dr. Baumann advises that “anyone who experiences dermatitis herpetiformis may want to steer clear of skincare products with gluten.”
At Madison Reed, our mission is to create non-toxic formulas, so in addition to being free of PPD, sulfates, and ammonia, we excluded gluten from all of our products. We are sensitive to those who suffer celiac disease accidentally ingesting a product like shampoo during rinsing. Also, for some people with skin conditions like eczema, gluten-free personal care products have been know to make their skin feel better.
In the same way being careful about gluten raises nutritional awareness, for those seeking a gluten-free beauty routine, it makes you more holistic in how you think about beauty and wellness. Anything that makes you more conscious of what you’re slathering on is a win for your health.
Try our nourishing, gluten-free shampoo and conditioner today.