Gluten face – deny it all you want, but there is such a thing. And, no I’m not going all “goop” on you; research shows that even if you are not afflicted with Celiac Disease (CD), that gluten can have an impact on your health, including that of your skin.

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Gluten is the protein found in many grains including wheat, rye and barley, which has binding properties that give baked goods their delicious chewiness. However, it’s something that many people can be quite sensitive to. Individuals with CD cannot consume gluten without getting severely ill, but for those of you who may be gluten sensitive or gluten intolerant, the consequences can be more subtle. A separate condition called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS) has recently been identified. Patients with NCGS test negative for the autoimmune condition of Celiac Disease, because they don’t have a classic response to wheat.  But people with NCGS experience all the same unpleasant symptoms, and respond favorably to a gluten-free diet. 

Without getting too technical, studies show that the protein gluten breaks into smaller proteins (gliadin for example), once it enters your digestive tract. Gliadin has been implicated with creating microscopic holes and getting into your bloodstream. Your body recognizes gliadin as a foreign invader and starts producing antibodies to fight against this attack wherever it has attached itself. Your immune system is just doing its job – thankfully. But, your body pays the price.

Gluten sensitivity can manifest itself in a number of ways:

  • Irritable bowel (including diarrhea, gas and constipation)
  • Brain fog.  Forgetting thoughts mid-sentence, difficulty finding words, poor concentration
  • Bad Moods. Gluten can impact your neurotransmitters leading to depression and anxiety amongst other mood disorders.

It has also been implicated with a range of other disorders including psoriatic arthritis, Lupus, Type 1 Diabetes, dermatitis, ataxia, schizophrenia, attention deficit, peripheral neuropathy, muscle pain, headaches, bipolar, fatigue, Hashimoto’s, elevated TPO antibodies, hypothyroidism and more.

Gluten Face; Gluten Skin

When it comes to skin, a painful rash called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH)  is unique to CD, but individuals with CD or NCGS can encounter other common gluten face conditions, including:

  1. Psoriasis. It is one of the most prevalent autoimmune diseases in the United States as well as one of the most readily visible affecting 7.5 million people in the U.S. The red, silvery patches of scaly skin may be accompanied by dryness, cracking and bleeding. The National Psoriasis Foundation states that up to 25% of people who have psoriasis also may be sensitive to gluten.
  2. Eczema. An extremely common skin condition, eczema results in itchy, inflamed skin. Although gluten has been implicated with eczema, that’s not the case for everyone. Many sufferers have found that eliminating offending foods such as gluten and dairy, as well as other common allergens such soy, citrus, peanuts, fish, eggs, corn and tomatoes can make a real difference.
  3. Acne. It’s thought that the inflammatory response that begins in the gut’s reaction to gluten then spreads to other parts of the body, which in turn can result in acne. This kind of immune response also triggers the release of insulin, which results in raised hormone levels, another cause of acne. Not everyone who has acne is gluten sensitive and there is little published research showing a link but many acne sufferers have reported relief from ‘gluten face’ by going gluten-free.
  4. Dry Skin. Many people with CD and gluten sensitivity suffer from very dry skin, and in some cases this clears up after adopting a gluten-free diet. Although not clear what causes the dry skin, it’s been suggested that the malabsorption associated with untreated CD can rob your skin of needed nutrients.

If you suspect that your gluten face or any other symptom is a result of CD or NCGS, you should visit your doctor to get tested. Several blood tests are available that screen for CD antibodies, but you must be consuming gluten for the test to work. If test results are negative, you may have NCGS. As there are currently no tests available to screen for NCGS, you may be asked to try an elimination diet for several months to see if your symptoms improve upon removal of gluten from your diet.

The following Apothekari products don’t contain any gluten: Bespoke Vitamin C SerumAHA-Mazing Clean Exfoliating CleanserCloud Nine Foaming Cleansing CremeDaily Infusion MoisturizerNatural Deodorants. They are not certified gluten free.

Sharmani Pillay

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My Fave Four Apothekari products

The first product I purchased from Apothekari was the A for Anti Aging. I have Never been able to tolerate retinol products and always ended up bailing because of dry flaky skin. Until A for Anti Aging. It's Amazing! I have now added the Vitamin C, the Deodorant (Neroli Rose is my current favourite but the Lavender is great too), and most recently the More than Lip Service (thank you thank you thank you Apothekari :)). While deodorant and vaginal moisturizer may sound like odd gifts, these are my latest go-to's for the gal who has everything. All have become fans!

THIS WORKS! No odour for 24+ hours including a yoga session!

I'm blown away by how effective this is, and by how clean and well thought out the formula is. I'm not used to roll-on so that took a couple days to adjust to, but its so much more effective than the solids/creams i was using that it is totally worth it. I'm converted - and i think i have probably tried 90% of the natural deodorants out there over the last 10 years LOL. thank you for creating this.

I love this body oil!

This is so luxurious and moisturizing (i have dry, sensitive skin and most oils don't do the trick) and also miraculously absorbs very quickly. And the lemon rose scent is just transporting - i look forward to using this after my shower.

Bespoke Vitamin C Serum

I love it! Been using it for years. It’s so perfect to put on right after I wash in the morning. I’ve never been the greatest at sticking to a skin care routine but using the Vitamin C in the morning and A is for Anti-aging at night consistently over the years has kept my skin young and firm.
Would not want to imagine life (or my skin) without these two essentials. Thank you Sharmani!

*Received as press sample*

Pricing per bottle is definitely up there, but I think much like skincare, if you have struggled to find a deodorant that works for you, the price won't be as much of an issue because something like this can have a huge impact on your life. One bottle should last about 3-4 months with daily use which I think is fairly close to most deodorants. While I know there are baking soda-free options (baking soda can cause skin irritations due to pH disruptions) and options that use Deoplex, I have yet to find a combination of Deoplex and lactic acid which may be what's working for me. Honestly, the only thing I didn't enjoy was that "wet" feeling when I would first apply it, but after 15 seconds it dries down AND it doesn't stain clothing so that's a huge plus. Even though I received this as a press sample, I would buy this deodorant on my own as I didn't just smell good at the end of a long day, but I smelled like absolutely NOTHING which is WAY better to me than smelling like "I'm covering something up" or like body odour. I also trust and appreciate the research I know Apothekari has invested into making sure the formulation is scientifically sound so I know that's also partly where my dollars are going. I only need to apply once a day and I'm good to go so one bottle might even last more more than 4 months at the rate I'm going! HIGHLY recommend and even though all three scents had the same results, my preferred scent was the Lavender as it just one of my favourite scents overall!

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