Is Gel Cleanse gluten free, with hero ingredient oat protein?

The answer everyone wants to know: Is Gel Cleanse gluten free, with hero ingredient oat protein? 

Your most need-to-know question answered, in full (ofc, because we love to talk).
It makes sense to think oats aren’t gluten free, given the way they are processed. But here's the truth: oats are naturally gluten free. 
We've been asked a lot if our latest gel cleanser with hydrolysed oat protein is gluten free. The short answer is yes, it is confirmed by our ingredient supplier as gluten free (yay!). We wanted to take the opportunity to dive into this deeper, so let's take a closer look at oat protein, plus the link between gluten free and cosmetics while we're at it.

What is oat protein?

Oat protein is a “by-product of the oat flour fractionation process into oat bran, oat starch and β-glucan.” A natural ingredient, tick. We like it already and we’ve only just been introduced - we're off to a good start! 

What are the benefits of oat protein in skincare?

A super gentle skincare ingredient, oat protein is used to soften, condition and moisturise your skin. “The numerous nutritious ingredients contained in oats strengthen the skin’s barrier, sooth and moisturize skin. Products with oats are protective against external influence and are very effective moisturizers.” It helps to strengthen your skin’s outer barrier, retaining skin moisture and hydration. It has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces itchiness, making it perfect for sensitive skin. “Oat is a helpful active ingredient for symptoms of very dry skin, like roughness and scalling.”
Oat protein is the ideal ingredient for a gel cleanser, as it gives back skin-loving goodness to your skin, rather than leaving it feeling stripped and tight (which can often happen with gel cleansers, FYI). Oat protein provides these benefits as it creates a layer on the skin which prevents water loss. We didn't just rely on this hero ingredient for super hydrated skin either; we also included glycerin, aloe vera and cocamidopropyl betaine, a super gentle but effective cleansing surfactant.

Gluten free oats used in Tailor Skincare Gel Cleanse

Is oat protein in skincare safe, if I’m gluten free?

Even though oats are naturally gluten free, it all depends on the supplier of the oat protein and how it is processed. This means that some are gluten free (AKA, Tailor Gel Cleanse) and some are not - so it’s an important question to ask, if it’s not stated otherwise. Because as you know, you can’t rely on brands to be completely transparent (note: Tailor is the exception, ofc).
So you can feel empowered to make the right choices for your skin, let's take a dive into gluten in skincare.

Can gluten be absorbed through the skin?

Let's cut to the chase with the juiciest question of all. The short answer, no, as according to Coeliac New Zealand, “Gluten can’t cause damage to the small intestine when it’s absorbed through the skin.” Therefore, if you are gluten free, it is safe to use gluten in cosmetics aka skincare, if they’re applied topically to your skin, nails or hair etc. 

*Even though we’ve come to the conclusion that gluten can’t be absorbed through the skin, if you are coeliac, we’d always recommend patch test first. The best place to do this is on the inside of your upper arm, as this skin is most sensitive. 

Can gluten cause skin irritation?

Although gluten can’t be absorbed through the skin, aka safe to use if you’re gluten free, can it still cause skin irritation? According to Coeliac New Zealand, it really depends on the person, but “some people with coeliac disease report skin reactions to topically applied product.” Good thing Tailor Gel Cleanse is gluten free, so you don’t have to worry about this with our gel cleanser (wink)! However, they also stated “this is not thought to be related to coeliac disease specifically.” Therefore, the moral of the story is if you experience skin irritations to cosmetic products, consult your GP as you may have skin sensitivities to other ingredients within the product, or a wheat allergy. 

Tailor Skincare gluten free Gel Cleanse

Is gluten listed in cosmetic labels?

Transparency. It’s not something many brands are good at doing. So, here’s what to look out for on your cosmetic labels, regarding gluten. 
All cosmetics in New Zealand must comply with the Cosmetic Product Group Standard 2006, published by the Environment Protection Authority. Celiac New Zealand mentioned, “according to this standard, allergens such as gluten don’t need to be declared on product labels, but a full list of ingredients must be present.” This doesn’t make it easy, does it? Don't stress, we can identify these ingredients on the list ourselves. Here are the wheat, oat, barley and rye ingredients which are the gluten-containing cereals found in cosmetics, to look out for:

*Cosmetic ingredients are often listed in Latin, so here is what to look for in your ingredient list:

However, they often won’t declare where they’ve sourced the ingredient, so the best way to find out whether the ingredient included is gluten-free is to contact the brand directly.

That’s enough education for our brains, talk soon!

Tailor 💙


References:

Kumar, L., Sehrawat, R., & Kong , Y. (2021). Oat proteins: A perspective on functional properties. LWT, Volume 152. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lwt.2021.112307

Brkić, L. (2023, November 26). Food Ingredients in Skin Care and Their Benefits. Nutramedic & Cosmetics. https://nmc-magazine.com/food-ingredients-in-skin-care-and-their-benefits/

McKenzie, E. (n.d.). Coeliac disease and cosmetics. https://coeliac.org.nz/coeliac-disease-and-cosmetics/

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