Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Although it's not a problem for most of us, gluten consumption can be extremely damaging -- even deadly -- for some people. People with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis (a form of celiac disease that affects the skin) are unable to consume gluten because it destroys the lining of their small intestine and prevents the organ from absorbing any nutrients. The condition can be fatal, and the only treatment that's 100 percent effective is a strict, gluten-free diet.
It's only natural to assume that people who can't stomach gluten are unable to use skin cleansing products that contain the problematic protein. Surprisingly, that's not the case. The gluten molecule is large enough that it can't be absorbed through the skin, so, theoretically, as long as the gluten-bearing skin care product isn't ingested, everything should be fine.
However, regardless of gluten's molecular size, many people report strong reactions to topical products that are made with the protein. In fact, a small industry has developed to meet the growing demand for gluten-free skin cleansers.
In this article, we'll examine five gluten-free skin cleansing products. We'll show you what to look for when purchasing one of these cleansers, where to find them and what to expect when you incorporate them into your skin cleansing regimen.
Click over to the next page to peel away the mystery behind gluten-free facial masks.