In the past, Green People used wheat gluten protein in several shampoo and conditioner formulations because of its natural beneficial effects on the hair. In light of new information about gluten used in cosmetics, Green People has reformulated all products that contain wheat gluten and replaced the protein with gluten-free Quinoa protein.
Shop for gluten-free beauty products in the UK with these quick links:
Quinoa skin benefits
- Improves skin elasticity, leaving it soft and nourished
- Forms a protective barrier to maintain skin hydration
- Increases the absorption of other beneficial plant nutrients
- Soothes irritation and helps regenerate damaged skin
Quinoa hair benefits
- Penetrates the hair cuticles to strengthen and boost shine
- Locks in and enhances colour for those with dyed hair
- Improves manageability, increases volume and adds softness
- Soothes scalp irritation
Gluten-free Quinoa protein
Extensive research and development has gone into finding an ingredient that could replace wheat gluten protein. Green People chose Quinoa protein because it is a complete protein with a unique amino acid balance, it is also rich in vitamins E & B and suitable for ultra-sensitive skin. We use 100% natural Quinoa protein that is grown specifically for use in cosmetic products. Green People offers over 100 certified organic, gluten-free and vegan products, all of which are suitable for those prone to eczema.
Is gluten in shampoo and skin care a problem?
Over the years in the beauty industry Green People has been witness to so-called ‘safe’ substances being widely used in food and cosmetics that would years later be either banned or restricted in use. With this in mind, Green People decided to follow the principle – “if in doubt – take it out”
One can rightly ask the question; should we be concerned about gluten-based ingredients such as hydrolyzed wheat protein, which today are found in many skin and hair care products?
The general attitude is that gluten itself is too large a molecule to be absorbed through the skin, however more and more experts now exercise caution with gluten-containing ingredients in personal care products.
According to dermatologist Patricia Farris, M.D.: “While gluten is not absorbed through the skin, patients may be sensitive to compounds in extracts of wheat, rye, and barley that can actually penetrate the skin, and even though we’re careful with our beauty products, topical ingredients can still enter the body in trace amounts through the nasal cavities and mouth.”
Sensitivity towards hydrolyzed wheat protein (HWP)
There is now evidence that the hydrolyzed wheat protein (HWP) can trigger IgE-mediated allergic reactions such as urticaria. It is thought that this is because the hydrolysis process changes the structure of the wheat protein molecules and exposes elements that would normally be contained within the complex molecule.
A French report in 2006 describes a case study of nine women who reacted in this way, six of whom also had a reaction to HWP in processed foods. No one reacted to conventional wheat-containing foods such as bread and pasta.
This suggests that the process of hydrolysis is responsible for creating or exposing structures called epitopes on the surface of the wheat protein molecule that trigger the IgE response.
Reports of reactions increase
For many years the number of reported cases of allergic reactions to HWP were very small, with studies carried out on a maximum of 9 subjects. This changed in May 2011 with the release of a report from the Consumer Affairs Agency of Japan that revealed that 67 cases of contact allergy to wheat had been caused by the use of a popular facial soap containing a particular high molecular weight form of HWP. By November that year the number of reported cases had increased to 569. It was also reported that about a third of these contact allergy cases had also developed systemic anaphylactic allergies to wheat in the diet, where no such allergy had previously existed
Reports of further cases continued to come in and by June 2013 more than 1,900 patients had been identified throughout Japan. Almost all of these had used products containing the same particular grade of HWP which was a partly-hydrolysed form with a high molecular weight of 30-50 kDa. Even though this was only used at the low level of 0.3%, it seems that this was sufficient to have a major impact on a significant proportion of the people exposed to the cosmetic.
In light of this new evidence and with Green People’s principle of ‘if in doubt, take it out’, all gluten-containing ingredients have been removed from Green People products and have been replaced with gluten-free Quinoa protein.