With the hair and skincare products purge completed, I moved on to cosmetics. Many teen girls amass quite a collection of beauty products. It seems like once the green light is given to wear makeup, it becomes a favored gift and purchase, or so it was for Grace. I opened the drawer in her bathroom and I couldn’t believe what I saw! Such a kaleidoscope of colors: shadows, glosses, liners! Oh Lord! Where do I begin?
As I scanned the array of products, I considered the glutenous lippy I had offered Grace for several years. I then knew where to start. I went to the lip products.
Between balms, liners, sticks and glosses, she had more than 25 products in her drawer. More than half were made by Clinique. As I turned on my computer, I thought to myself, “Please let Clinique go into the ok pile…please.” This was another case of not clear. Their website didn’t offer much information. But they had a live chat, so I clicked the button.
ME: Hello! I have been a Clinique fan for decades and introduced my daughter to Clinique as soon as she was old enough to wear makeup. Sadly, she was diagnosed with acute celiac disease and we have to go through all of her cosmetics to see which contain gluten. Can you help me with this?
CLINIQUE: I am going to give you the contact for Consumer Communications. They can take you through what products are gluten-free. I appreciate your understanding that our Consumer Communications team can best assist you. You can reach them via email at email@example.com or by phone at 1-866-707-2100 between the hours of 9am-12am EST Monday-Sunday.
Ok…time to pick up the phone.
I called and asked my question with the same friendly, loyal customer approach, hoping that would be returned given my aforementioned decades of loyalty.
Not so. What I got instead was the legal disclaimer that the Estee Lauder Company’s brands source ingredients from many different suppliers and even if the ingredients were gluten-free and though they do thorough cleanings of their equipment, …blah blah blah…and you should bring any products you are uncertain about to your doctor to advise.
She then steered me to the website for specific product information. It was the very website that steered me to her in the first place! When I indicated that the website and its associated chat representative sent me to her, she then encouraged me again to take all products to the doctor. When I envision myself showing up at the doctor’s office like an Avon lady with an overflowing cosmetic case of questionable products, I laugh. I then asked if the safest solution was to discontinue using products from the Estee Lauder Company’s brands, she again said that my doctor would best advise me on that.
I need no advice. Rest- in-Gluten-Questionable Peace, Clinique and the Estee Lauder company’s brands.
The good news: That call cleared out a ton of space in the cosmetics drawer.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I have no medical training and am not asking you to take my word as gospel. That goes for this post, as well as everything on this site.
For a more thorough listing of gluten-containing products:
QUICK TIP if you are short on time: Follow the wisdom originally voiced by poison control: “When in doubt, throw it out.”
Lip Gloss, Liner, Balm & Sticks: Some say women consume 3-7 pounds of lipstick in a lifetime. True or not, the products that go on our lips end in our gut. Because of this, it is vital for those with celiac disease use gluten-free lip products.
Breaking up is hard to do: Cosmetics can be really expensive, which makes it hard to toss it out. When there’s gluten sensitivity and skin is reacting negatively, it all has to go and it is time to start over. There are some great GF products and lines out there! More on that soon!