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Does it really matter if gluten or my allergens are in skincare and bath products?

Absolutely – here is the rationale in three concise statements: 

1. Gluten or other allergens easily transfer to your mouth from the hands, hair, face and lips. 
2. Gluten or other allergens can enter directly into your body when your skin integrity is compromised such as through cracks in the skin, cuts, scrapes, rashes or from shaven areas. 
3. Children will put almost anything in their mouths – even the top of the lotion bottle. 

For children, the unintentional transfer of gluten and other allergens to their mouth is a daily problem, as they put their hands in their mouth, lick their skin or chew on a strand of hair. Bath and hair products that run down the face and lips or are rinsed off into tub water also pose a problem for children as they will suck on wash cloths, drink bath water or put tub toys in their mouths. 

Adults may find it easier to control unintentional exposure from skin and hair care products that contain gluten or their particular allergens, however there are many considerations and you may not have considered them all. For example, lip products are obvious, however you may use hand lotion that contains your allergens or gluten and then prepare food with that lotion on your hands, or just absent mindedly chew on a fingernail; in either case you will directly transfer gluten or allergens to your mouth in the process. 

A certain percentage of people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance simply cannot tolerate products that contain any gluten on their skin. This is true despite conventional wisdom stating that gluten is only a problem when eaten. People sensitive to topical gluten may not be aware that the gluten in products they are using on their bodies is the cause of their itching, dryness, rash or other skin problems. Over the years we have been surprised by the sheer volume of customers who tell us that they have resolved their skin or scalp issues by changing to gluten-free products. 

Our advice is to evaluate your skin and health: if you are doing well then this is most likely a non-issue for you. If you experience symptoms despite a gluten-free or allergen-free diet or if you have persistent skin and scalp problems, then a change to gluten-free or specific allergen-free skincare and bath products may be just what your body needs to feel comfortable and well. 

Regardless of your age, with severe allergies, celiac disease or gluten intolerance, it is important to avoid bath and skin care products containing gluten or your allergens when any of the following conditions exist: 

• If the gluten or allergen containing product can reach the mouth directly, or by a direct transfer from another source such as kissing, your hands, hair, or bath water. 
• When the skin barrier is broken. Gluten proteins and many allergen proteins are large enough that they will not move through healthy skin, but can be absorbed through damaged skin such as when skin is cracked, scraped or cut, or through rashes and shaven areas. 
• If using products containing gluten or your specific allergens causes you uncomfortable symptoms. 

With conventional lotion, soap, shampoo, conditioner or lip products, transparency becomes a problem and you will find that is not an easy task to obtain a complete ingredient list to identify if that product is the right choice for you. The three product lines manufactured by In The Potter'sHand Inc. offer you complete and full disclosure of all ingredients used to formulate each product.