Changing makeup and cosmetics can be an arduous task when you first go gluten free. Researching makeup brands to find out if they contain gluten can take weeks, and most of the time, even the brands don’t know if their own products contain gluten. In this post, I’ll share the best certified gluten-free cosmetic and beauty brands so you can switch to gluten-free products you feel confident and know are gluten free. This post about the best gluten-free beauty brands is sponsored by Red Apple Lipstick and contains affiliate links. Please read my disclosures.
Once you get the hang of the gluten-free diet – and what you can and can’t eat – most people with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity are ready to tackle their beauty regime to ensure it, too, is gluten-free.
Please note that current research says that gluten cannot be absorbed into the skin. So you can touch gluten and be okay. Only by ingesting gluten will it cause an autoimmune reaction (celiac) or inflammation (gluten sensitivity).
That said, often what we touch gets into our mouths. Makeup on our face can rub off on our hands and then our hands touch our food and then, well, you get glutened.
Furthermore, any lip product, such as lipsticks or lip balms, must be gluten-free because they come in direct contact with your mouth and can be easily ingested.
Ingredients to watch out for in cosmetics and beauty products include, but are not limited to, oats (often used in lotions and creams), wheat germ oil (triticum vulgare), and barley extract.
What Does Certified Gluten-Free Mean?
In this article, I’m only listing the best gluten-free beauty brands that are certified gluten-free. While there are many beauty products that do not contain gluten, only a handful of them are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), a third party certifying agency (non-government agency).
When you see the GF with the circle around it, it denotes that the product is certified gluten-free by the GFCO. This is a trademarked label and brands that want to display the circle GF on their packaging or marketing materials must work with GFCO to get certified first.
The GFCO has certified tens of thousands of products worldwide. To earn a certification, the GFCO audits a product’s ingredients (including ingredients curated from suppliers) and the company’s manufacturing processes. GFCO regularly conducts onsite audits to ensure ongoing compliance.
While the FDA requires products to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten in order to be labeled “gluten-free,” the GFCO requires a stricter protocol; GFCO requires a product to contain less than 10 ppm in order to be “certified gluten-free” by its standards.
You can view a list of all the products certified gluten-free by the GFCO online.
Best Gluten-Free Beauty Brands
Now that you understand the difference between a product being “certified gluten-free” and simply labeled, “gluten-free,” let’s talk shop… beauty shop that is!
The following cosmetics companies are the only companies I’ve been able to identify as carrying certified gluten-free products.
While some mainstream products are labeled gluten-free or do not contain gluten ingredients, with the following beauty brands, you’ll know for sure they are free from gluten because they have been third party verified.
Remember, you speak with your wallet everytime you shop. Supporting brands that support the gluten-free community is critical if we want these products to continue to exist for the long haul.
(1) Red Apple Lipstick
I use Red Apple Lipstick for most of my beauty routine and especially when it comes to the company’s signature product, lipstick!
- The Lash Project Mascara – This is my go-to, can’t-live-without mascara. It goes on smooth and stays put (no raccoon eyes at the end of the day).
- Mineral Eyeshadow – So many colors to choose from, good luck deciding.
- Blush and Bronzers – Adorable and delicious colors await you.
- Eyeliner – Goes on very smooth without any fuss.
Shop for all these gorgeous beauty products online (and if you do, please use my coupon code, GOODFORYOUGF, for 20% off your entire purchase). Shop HERE.
PS: I’m asked all the time what is my favorite lip color … it is Red Apple Lipstick’s Paris. The color is rich and works well with my skin tone. Plus, Paris contains almond oil; I love the way it moisturizes my lips.
(2) Gabriel Cosmetics
Gabriel Cosmetics has plenty of cosmetics to choose from, everything from foundations, skin care products to nail polish, lipsticks and more. Everything is certified gluten-free so you don’t have to think, you can just shop.
I first discovered Gabriel Cosmetics at Sprouts (yep, it’s sold in a grocery store!) and personally enjoy Gabriel’s eyeliner. It stays in place all day long. The only issue is Sprouts seems to have trouble stocking the Gabriel products I love most, so it’s best to shop online.
I didn’t forget my direct sales homies in this article. Arbonne’s boasts an impressive collection of hundreds of certified gluten-free products and are adding news ones seemingly every day.
To find out which products are certified gluten-free, simply look at the GFCO’s latest catalog. In 2019, Arbonne’s has certified gluten-free foundation, cc cream, concealers and lipsticks, as well as a certified gluten-free self-tanners, toothpastes and various skincare products.
You can purchase these products from an Arbonne’s Independent Consultant. If you can’t find one, just look through your Facebook feed. You’re bound to find a friend – or acquaintance – who represents the company.
(4) Afterglow Cosmetics
Another certified gluten-free makeup brand many in the gluten-free community know and use is called Afterglow Cosmetics. You’ll see many bloggers talk about it quite a bit; however, I learned that as of August 17, 2019, the company is in the process of shutting down.
The idea of a gluten-free brand shutting down makes me sad and gives me even more motivation to support the certified gluten-free beauty brands that DO exist. This is why I support Red Apple Lipstick through and through… I want them here for the long haul!
(5) Zuzu Luxe
Zuzu Luxe is owned by the same company as Gabriel Cosmetics, and its entire line of beauty products is certified gluten-free. Zuzu makes a ton of beauty products including a variety of skincare, nail, face creams, lip products and more. You can view the company’s entire collection online.
More Certified Gluten-Free Beauty Brands
I hadn’t heard of these brands before I started researching this article, but each is listed on GFCO’s certified gluten-free list so check ’em out if you’re looking for something different:
- Honeybee Gardens: Honeybee’s certified gluten-free products include lipsticks, lip glosses, mineral powders and mascara. Visit Honeybee Gardens online for more information.
- Ilia Beauty: Ilia Beauty products include a variety of eye, lip and face products. Visit Ilia Beauty online for more information.
- Muskaan: Muskaan has a very limited selection of lipsticks on its website, but, if the company has taken the time to get certified, it deserves to be listed here too. Find Muskaan online for more information.
Additionally, there are many brands that are not certified gluten-free, per se, but whose products do not contain gluten like Eco Bella and Bare Minerals.
However, what you’ll notice is that the mainstream brands are not certified gluten-free. Some of the mainstream brands, like Maybelline, L’Oreal and Mac Cosmetics have products free from gluten, but they are not always labeled “gluten-free” and only select products are okay to use (and figuring out which ones are safe can be a nightmare).
Can you still use these mainstream products? Yes. Just do your homework because ingredients vary from product to product, brand to brand, and month to month.
If you’re willing to do the research, and the manufacturer gives you the green light, by all means use those products.
I do, however, find it easier to shop for brands that are certified gluten-free from the start. I don’t have to think – or do any research – and I’m supporting brands that support and embrace the gluten-free community. Remember, every time we buy something, we’re casting a vote. How are you voting?