Are you living gluten-free? Are you still getting sick or having “off” days? Maybe it’s time to think more broadly about the source of your possible gluten exposure. Have you checked your cleaners and cosmetics?
I know this idea is controversial, but I’m a firm believer in eliminating every single source of gluten. I believe because I have seen the results in my life. I’ve been gluten-free for over seven years due to health reasons, and the journey yields frustration from time to time. You think you’re avoiding gluten. You’ve avoided restaurants and you’ve hosted dinners. You’ve read labels and called companies, yet you’re still getting sick.
What’s left to do? Look outside the kitchen. When mysterious symptoms continued to manifest in my body, I turned investigative. I read and re-read every label in my house. Everything I touched or put on my body became suspect: lotions, makeups, soaps, cleaners, hair products, etc. What I found surprised me. Some products clearly contained wheat and others contained hidden, derivative ingredients. It didn’t even cross my mind to check.
Overwhelmed, I delved into brand researching and slowly traded out unsafe products for new ones.
I found that Method products are ALL gluten-free from soaps to cleaners. Huge score!
Next, I moved on to shampoo/conditioner. This took more work as I tried products that seemed safe only to find myself breaking out or losing hair. Not cool. I decided to only use clearly labeled gluten-free products. I was giddy when I found a line that didn’t make my hair feel like straw. My search ended with Desert Essence .
My hair looks and smells good when I use it. I don’t have to settle. A lot of natural soaps and shampoos leave a lot to be desired, but Desert Essence gets the job done without leaving an unpleasant after-scent.
Finally, I searched for makeup, and I’m not going to lie. I haven’t mastered this yet. More times than not, I’ll go without when I can’t find a safe product. Makeup is the most disappointing in the gluten-free department. You don’t want to spend a lot of money, and there’s no way to know if you’ll like a certain brand without trying it.
So far, I’ve found a few go-to brands I know are safe. Physician’s Formula clearly labels all their products. If it’s gluten-free, you won’t have to guess. You can even shop online.
Another fun find is Illuminare. They offer gluten-free products, but what sets them apart is their offering of trial sizes. Don’t want to commit to a whole tube of lipstick without seeing if it clashes with your skin tone first? No problem. They offer trial size lip gloss, lip color, and foundation. Nice, right?
I’ve even tried the homemade route at times. Gluten-free lipstick is hard to find, so I made some out of crayons and coconut oil. Yes, crayons. Crazy, right? But Crayola crayons are gluten-free and so is coconut oil, and making lipstick with your daughter equals instant fun.
The most important thing to remember is that you know your body. You know when something is off. Listen to your gut, and take an inventory of every single thing you’re coming in contact with. The culprit is there somewhere. You’ll find it, and when you do, you’ll also find an alternative. Keep your head up, and never stop watching out for yourself. You know your body better than anyone. Take care out there! It’s a crazy, gluten-filled world.