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1. What you need to know about gluten-free make-up

When it comes to having a gluten-free diet, many would think of A-listers and celebs such as Kourtney Kardashian (although reports say that she has recently introduced gluten back into her diet but she was previously abstaining from it), Katy Perry and Gwyneth Paltrow who have made the switch for supposed health reasons. But besides ingesting it, there has been a whole new trend of gluten-free makeup. And if you have no clue about it, we break it down for you.

First and foremost, yes, makeup does contain gluten. In fact, it plays a key role as it helps bind the ingredients of a product (from foundations, lipsticks to eyeshadows) together. Gluten-derived ingredients include wheat and oat extracts, which are commonly known to soothe and calm irritated complexions. Additionally, vitamin E – a superior ingredient that hydrates and protects your skin from harmful environmental aggressors – is usually derived from wheat and contains gluten.

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2. To use or not to use?

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Now, if gluten is equipped with such benefits for the skin, why are some people opting out of it and why is gluten-free beauty becoming a huge trend?

One of the main reasons is because some people might actually have celiac disease or are intolerable to gluten. The former is a disease in which the small intestine is hypersensitive to gluten, making it difficult for one to digest food properly while the latter simply means that they are allergic or unable to accept gluten into their bodies. However, since gluten molecules are generally known to be huge, they are not able to pass through the skin barrier when applied as makeup. So technically, applying skincare or makeup with gluten should not affect anyone who is allergic to it.

The only time it may affect someone who has celiac disease is when they apply lipsticks, lip glosses or lip balms that contains gluten. These makeup products are easily ingestible and may affect one’s health.

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3. Have a go at these products

If you are interested in trying out gluten-free makeup, Afterglow is one such brand that offers exactly that.

The brand was started because the founder’s mother and sister, who both had celiac disease, found it hard to find natural and gluten-free cosmetics that they could use. The products are said to be 100 per cent gluten-free and only uses vitamin E derived from organic olive oil and cotton seed oil.

Hourglass Cosmetics also has a whole range of gluten-free products, including eyeliners, primers, blushers, mascara and lipstick among others, although they may not all be available in Singapore.

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Pai Skincare also claims that its products are gluten-free (all except for the Stretch-Mark System set), but they are all skincare products such as moisturisers, serums and cleansers. Others to try include Oribe Gold Lust Repair & Restore Shampoo and Conditioner (approx. US$155-189), Kjaer Weis Lip Gloss (approx. US$30) and Wander Beauty Exquisite Eye Liquid Shadow (approx. US$25), all from Net-a-Porter Beauty and specifically stated gluten-free.