I received a free hand and body lotion from JĀSÖN for review purposes. I did not get compensated in any other way for this review and the opinions stated are entirely my own. Links to Amazon are affiliate links.
Many months ago, I was asked if I would like to review the JĀSÖN gluten-free range. Although I was sent a sample swiftly, it’s taken me a really long time to review it, largely because this isn’t a beauty blog and I really have no idea how to review something other than “this tastes yummy”. So bear with me.
JĀSÖN’s gluten-free range consists of a number of products: a facial cleanser, facial scrub, facial lotion, facial creme, daily shampoo, daily conditioner, body wash, hand soap and a hand & body lotion. Some of these contain gluten in their regular manifestation and some do not. I assume the attraction here lies in the fact that their gluten-free range has been “Certified Gluten Free”, although this is something which is not commonly seen on products in the EU (I assume that because if you make a “gluten-free” claim on an item, it has to be as good as “certified”)
There are any number of ingredients in cosmetics which contain gluten. The two that I see most commonly are wheat germ oil and hydrolyzed wheat protein but there’s a longer list here.
Is it necessary for coeliacs to avoid gluten in skincare products?
This is an interesting question actually, and part of the reason why I wanted to review this product. Coeliac UK (who tend to stick with evidence-based claims) say that:
Gluten only causes a problem if you eat it. It cannot be absorbed through the skin.
Therefore a coeliac should have no reason to avoid gluten just because. Gluten is a big molecule and is just not going to be absorbed through the skin.
Having said that, there are people who claim to react badly to products containing gluten, and this seems to be more common in people with dermatitis herpetiformis, but could also include people who have no issue with eating gluten at all. So wheat/gluten seems to be a skin irritant for some people, but it may be entirely unrelated to coeliac disease. So it’s likely that coeliacs who are also sensitive to skin contact with wheat/gluten might just be really unlucky.
I don’t seem to suffer any sort of skin reaction from gluten in products but I tend to wash my hands thoroughly after using products containing gluten, depending on how paranoid I’m feeling that day. I would probably be sure to opt for a gluten-free option if:
- I used a lot of lip products and tended to lick my lips repeatedly throughout the day.
- I needed to moisturise mine/a coeliac child’s hands and they tended to put their fingers in their mouths a lot.
- I started to notice a reaction to specific products that also contained gluten.
It’s really hard to tell which specific ingredient is causing a reaction, especially in cosmetics. However, if people find that their symptoms ease when they use gluten-free products, more power to them. It’s not my job to judge people who are trying to make good choices for themselves or their family, especially if these choices don’t hurt anyone (notable exceptions are people who refuse to vaccinate their children, who I will judge as much as I like because you are literally killing people with your ignorance).
So what are the products like?
In addition to being gluten-free (this is plastered all over the packaging) the hand and body lotion I received was free from: parabens, SLS, petrolatum, artificial colours and phthalates. It is also fragrance free, which means that it has a little bit of a funky smell (having said that I am extremely sensitive to smell).
I found that it took a really long time to absorb into my skin. I let my mum try it out and she said exactly the same thing. I’d probably put it on at night with cotton gloves, otherwise my phone would soon end up a big old smudgy mess.
It’s nice, but exciting it is not. But if you have skin that reacts to various ingredients then you probably won’t be looking for something exciting, but rather something that will not bring you out in a rash.
Who are JĀSÖN anyway?
This isn’t the first time I have tried their products – I remember once, a long time ago, trying out a JĀSÖN shampoo that I found in Whole Foods. It smelled great. (I’m pretty sure it was the Apricot flavour)
According to their website, they have a “Code of honour” which is to:
- Select safe, gentle and effective ingredients
- Rigorously test every formula to ensure safety and efficacy
- Never test on animals
- Constantly innovate and improve
My main problem with cosmetics and skincare is how hard it is to assess claims that are made about products without doing a lot of research. JĀSÖN seems to be a pretty ethical company, but this new gluten-free range seems to be targeted not at people who might suffer a reaction to gluten, but rather at people who are trying out a gluten-free diet and hey, might as well start using gluten-free skin products too!
It’s a tricky one because I’m not sure I can really call it “cashing in” when there are definitely people out there who suffer bad reactions from gluten in cosmetics. But they seem to be marketing the range in a similar way to how Genius market their bread (and the gluten-free diet in general):
Best to err on the side of caution we say. If you shouldn’t eat it, perhaps you also shouldn’t put it on your skin. Which is why we’ve brought together the three main products from the JASON Gluten Free range and created the Beginner’s Bundle. This group of products has been selected to help those with sensitive scalps and skin give Gluten Free Beauty a go, to see if eliminating gluten does have a positive effect.
Their reasoning is, why not try it?
Well if you aren’t having skin problems, but you’re a coeliac, I’d really say there is no reason to. Gluten won’t be penetrating your skin (unless you’re eating the stuff), and a skincare product is unlikely to cause any symptoms within your body. It’s far more likely there is a cross-contamination problem with something that you are eating.
If you are having ongoing skin problems, I would recommend going to see your doctor. If they say it’s likely to be something in your cosmetics, sure, by all means, start trying out gluten-free skincare products. If you do, the JĀSÖN gluten-free range seems to be a good place to start, with a wide range of products made by an ethical company.