Gluten Free Makeup List v3.0 is here!

And here it is! A little late, but here at last!

In this edition of the Gluten Free Makeup List, I’ve added a full page’s worth of info. Bearing in mind that the list has been 3 pages long since the beginning, that’s quite an accomplishment!

If you’re already signed up for the Gluten Free Makeup List, you should already have it in your inbox!

If not, fill out the form above, or to the right with your name and email. I have it set up that way so that whenever a new edition comes out, I can send it right to your inbox. I never share your email with anyone, nor will I ever spam you myself. Promise!

If there’s anything you’d like me to add to the list, or if you have a scathingly brilliant idea for it, spill it in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Arbonne is not Gluten Free after all

Yep folks. This is the company I took off my list. Arbonne has not told us the truth about their “gluten free” products.This whole saga began when an eagle eyed reader contacted me via my contact page:

“Did you realize that several products on Arbonne’s gluten free makeup list have wheat protein as one of the main ingredients?” She sent me the names of the products.

“… Oh my gosh.” She was right.

First off, the history of why I approved them in the first place:

When I first contacted Arbonne, they gave me their list of gluten free products, but had trouble answering my further questions. Frustrated with them, I gave up for a month or two. I eventually tried again and then finally started getting some answers. Only the products on their gluten free list were safe, and those they told me were tested for gluten in order to ensure the purity and lack of cross contamination from their gluten products.

OK, that fits the criteria. I read a few of the ingredient lists and though was surprised at the extreme length of the lists for a single product, I saw nothing of concern. I added them to the list.

Now, to clarify, I don’t usually go through companies lists of products and read all the ingredients. Why? Because gluten can hide in dozens of ingredients, not all of which are always derived from gluten.
Case in point: Tocopheryl acetate. This an extremely common ingredient that is basically vitamin E. Sometimes it’s derived from rice, sometimes from wheat. You can’t tell by reading the ingredients. You have to talk to the company to find out.

So in most cases, reading the ingredients does nothing to help determine if a product is safe or not. But in this case, it most certainly would have.

Because sure enough, upon hunting down the ingredients of the FC5 line, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein stared back up at me from the ingredient list.

So why would Arbonne say that their products are gluten free when they have wheat in them?

In this case, it is exactly the same idea as Mineral Fusion’s gluten free claim. Arbonne subscribes to the theory that removing gluten from wheat protein in the lab can make the wheat safe for gluten sensitive people. The problem with that?

We have one ruling alone in the US about gluten free labeling. It was done by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), of all people. It was a ruling on gluten free beer. The result?

TTB will not allow products made from ingredients that contain gluten to be labeled as “gluten-free.”

Kinda says a lot, doesn’t it? I wrote a whole post on that HERE, if you want to read more of what TTB said.

In short, Arbonne claims that their products are gluten free due to a process so dangerous that the US government has outlawed it for gluten free beer.

If Arbonne has such questionable beliefs on their idea of “gluten free”, how do we know that anything on their gluten free list is safe? Do they actually even use a reliable “test”, if they even test at all?

Because of these doubts, Arbonne has been struck from the Gluten Free Makeup List.

check the Ingredients? – Urban Decay

Now, I’ve heard a lot about Urban Decay. Some of my fav YouTube makeup artists just rave and rave about UD and it’s been at the top of my “to try” list for a while now. So, some time back (before GFMG), I sent off an email to them.

I received this in reply.

hello the gal,

thank you for your inquiry. here is a spreadsheet on all of our items. hope this helps! if there is a checkmark on a particular product in the gluten free category it is gluten free. if you have any questions please feel free to write back. have a wonderful day.

urban decay
customer service

Now, this was before I knew how to ask properly to get all the information I needed. 😛 What I really wanted to know was how they deal with gluten; do they account for cross contamination; etc. But at least they knew about the issue, right?

However, because she did not give me a detailed answer and because I was still learning about gluten free cosmetics myself, I held off on ordering UD.

But recently, I really needed new eyeliner bad, so contacted UD again with more specific questions; hoping to be able to use some of theirs. Here’s what I got in reply:


thank you for your email. unfortunately not all our product are gluten free. please look at the ingredient list to see which items do not have gluten in them. if you have any further questions please feel free to reply to this email.

urban decay

I was a bit shocked by this reply. You’re kidding, right? I can’t just look at the ingredient list and know what has gluten in it! It can hide everywhere, in everything, and though I can look at a label and tell whether or not it might have direct gluten in it, I can’t know for sure! There are too many variables in cosmetics and only the company can know which way they go.

I’m hoping this particular UD support person is just new, or something. Because the last gal at least gave me a good answer to the question I asked.

At any rate, Urban decay is not gluten free. As far as I know, they do not bother with cross contamination issues and like most other large companies, previously “gluten free” products are not always going to be gluten free. Even though most of the eye shadows (for instance) were gluten free Spring 2011, it doesn’t mean they always will be.

So if you want to avoid gluten in your cosmetics, don’t buy Urban Decay. It’s not worth the risk. 🙁

10 Facts about Eating Gluten Free your Friends and Family Must Know

if this shouldn’t be the statement sheet of every gluten intolerant person on earth, then i don’t know what should be.

You need to go check out Gluten Dude’s “Celiac Rants”, if you haven’t already. If you’ve ever felt alone in your gluten free struggles, the stories there will remind you that we are all in this together. Gluten Dude’s readers share their tales of frustration, tears, indignation and plain ‘ol bull**** under varying levels of anonymity and there is something magical about it. Go read them. Seriously.

The other day, someone sent in a rant that stated they had had “some frustrating discussions with my husband and a co-worker who said I better stop talking about gluten free foods or people will start talking about me”. In honor of this, they composed a letter that should be set to music and sang from the rooftops. It hit home so hard for me, I got permission to translate it to infographic(ish) form.


check out the original post at gluten dude’s website here.
On a side note, Gluten Dude has recently become an Associate Editor of Simply Gluten Free Magazine and I’m really excited to have him join us!

Does Your Makeup Contain These Possibly Gluten-filled Ingredients?

You already know gluten could be lurking in your makeup. That’s why you’re here. But do you know how to find where that gluten is buried?

There are literally hundreds of ingredients that could contain wheat, barley, rye, or oats. Figuring out which ones are the danger ones is a tricky business. Some of them are obvious, like Wheat Germ Oil. Others much less obvious, like Triticum Vulgare. Some are definitely gluten-grain-derived, like Hydrolyzed Barley Protein. Others may or may not be gluten-grain-derived, like Vitamin E.

Just like in food, just because a product is made with “gluten free ingredients”, doesn’t mean it’s safely gluten free. Cross contamination can happen even in makeup products.

That said, it can still be useful to have an idea which ingredients to keep an eye out for.

Whether because you’re not incredibly sensitive to cross-contamination, or you just want to cut out the biggest sources of gluten, this list can help you get started.

Just for the record, I am not a chemist, nor do I formulate makeup products. This list is as accurate as possible, but there may still be errors and it almost certainly is not complete. Still, it’s a good place to start and will hopefully be helpful!

Did this List make Your Heart Sink?

Sorry. Mine too. But there is still hope! If you haven’t already downloaded my Gluten Free Makeup List, now is the time. I’ve gathered dozens of companies that are safe and free of all gluten-grain ingredients, so you are saved the massive headache of figuring it out for yourself.

Find Makeup, Skin Care and Hair Care that is Truly Gluten Free

Use the form below to get your copy of the Gluten Free Makeup List!

Want the danger ingredient list from the infographic in copyable form? Have at it, brave soul. It’s freaky long & a pain to deal with. 😉