With flashy models like Taylor Swift, Queen Latifa, Christie Brinkley and Drew Barrymore, CoverGirl and its ads draw the consumers eye where ever their products are sold. Taylor Swift even has a CoverGirl booth at her concerts where her fans can go and get a makeover. Their product line is extensive, their colors are gorgeous and the price is always right.
On CoverGirl’s Facebook page, someone asked about the gluten content in their products. A quick search uncovered several threads on some Celiac forums of some very disgruntled folks who got less than satisfactory answers to their inquiries.
Says one gal who started a thread-
I’ve been using CG cosmetics since I was 15. I recently sent an email specifically listing 3 products I use and if they were gluten-free, or if a product contained gluten, would they list “gluten” or “wheat” in the ingredient list (like they do with the mineral make-up–lists ‘oats’. Before I emailed them, I tried for 1/2 hour to get thru on a customer service line and never got thru. This is the response I recieved today and I’m VERY disappointed and will most likely end up switching brands–even though this is the only brand I don’t break out with
Thanks for contacting us.
I understand how frustrating it is to have allergies! We want to help and ask that you have your physician get in touch with us listing the ingredients you are allergic to, and the product you use that might contain them. I know this sounds unusual, but because of the competitive nature of our business, specific ingredient information isn’t generally released.
Please have your doctor send a written request on office letterhead to: P&G, P.O. Box 599, Cincinnati, Ohio 45201.
Or if you prefer, fax it to us at: 1-513-983-2881
That’s just one example of multiple threads from multiple forums. One thing all these threads had in common though was the date: This thread was from July 2008.
Since then, CoverGirl has changed their tune, to the relief of everyone involved.
Thanks for contacting CoverGirl, The Gal.
We know Celiac is a serious disease, so we want to give you clear information regarding the use of our beauty care products. If wheat and/or gluten aren’t directly added to a product by us, these ingredients won’t be listed on our packages. Like many companies, we often purchase the scents for fragranced products from outside suppliers, and the components of these substances are proprietary information belonging to those companies. Therefore it’s possible that a very small amount (generally parts per million) of gluten may be present.
We sought advice from physicians; they told us it would be very unlikely a person with Celiac disease would have a reaction from a trace amount of gluten coming into contact with his skin or hair. This is because wheat, rye, barley and/or gluten generally cause symptoms when they’re ingested. Since our beauty care products are designed to be used externally on the skin, their use shouldn’t be an issue for someone with this disease.
Since gluten sensitivity can vary among people, it would be best if you consulted with your physician about the use of all types of consumable goods, if you haven’t already. You might even consider using one of our fragrance free products that doesn’t list gluten or wheat extracts on the label.
Thanks again for getting in touch with us. I hope this response has been helpful to you. For more information about Celiac, you may want to check out http://celiac.com/ and http://celiac.org
Thanks again for contacting us!
Looks like the outrage of Celiac consumers may have had some effect. All I can say is that I’m glad they are upfront about it now. Their answer is truly a helpful answer, though I’m not sure what to think about the links to the sites at the end. Wouldn’t someone inquiring about gluten already know about them? Makes me wonder how well they know their Celiac customer. The same with the bit in the middle about speaking with their physicians. If I wasn’t concerned I may be having a reaction to gluten in their products, I wouldn’t be asking about it, would I? And if I’m having a reaction, all the doctors in the world saying it’s impossible wouldn’t stop it, would it?
Anyway… At least CoverGirl isn’t covering up gluten anymore. We Celiacs thank you for that much, P&G. 🙂
P.S. I’m still working on that article about topical gluten. There are some people I am trying to contact to get some official advice on it. Wish me luck and hope that I can finish it soon! 😀