Gluten Free Soap - dumb question...

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DoctorCrowley

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I was talking with a friend and she said a friend of hers was going somewhere to buy gluten free soap. I was thinking to myself "isn't most soap (at least hand made) gluten free?" I mean I'm sure it does depend but wouldn't most ingredients (oils and lye/water) be gluten free? Idk about the stuff in stores if they would contain gluten. I realize that if we add oatmeal or cornmeal as exfoliants it's possible those would be processed in a facility that contains gluten. It's not something I have thought about but as I am considering selling I'm sure it's a question I'll get. How would you answer that question if someone asks you it? especially with the exfoliant part "Those oats may be processed in a facitily..."
 

earlene

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Most oils, yes, but there are exceptions. Wheat germ oil is made from a gluten source. So oils made from grains that contain gluten are not considered gluten free.

Additionally, cross contamination can occur in manufacturing in facilities that process gluten-containing products, so unless you buy oils that specify gluten free without that disclaimer, then one should assume cross contamination is likely.

Although soap is not intended for dietary consumption, there are cases where skin contact with gluten containing products have caused skin reactions for some people with gluten intolerance, so that is why it matters.

Other things some people use in soap that contain gluten: pasta water, beer (for mixing into lye solution).

If asked, the soap maker could say something like, "I make my soap in my home and since we do consume gluten, I cannot guarantee any of the soaps I sell to be gluten-free." Or, if the soapmaker is gluten intolerant, then they probably already know the correct answers to give based on their own personal journey living and adapting to changes in their lifestyle based on gluten intolerance.
 
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Well, the contact issues is why it MIGHT matter, but not everyone with a gluten sensitivity has issues with contact. I think a lot of it comes down to mindset that it has to be gluten free, even for many people with no gluten intolerance as they think that gluten is generally a terrible thing in all forms. In the same way that many non-vegans want a vegan soap, because they read or heard that it's just magically better somehow.
 
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INCI: HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN is not unheard of. It's added to quite some commercial shampoos as a hair conditioner/antistatic. The poor coeliac/wheat intolerant/allergic out there possibly know this, and, depending on severity of their immune reaction, might avoid such products for good reasons.

It's another thing how aware these are of the cleanliness of the lye-based soapmaking process, and that optional ingredients are, well, optional.

Part of it might well be an overshoot of “gluten free = good” snobbery PR circus, for which IMHO the only valid response is this: Free
 

Tara_H

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Part of it might well be an overshoot of “gluten free = good” snobbery PR circus, for which IMHO the only valid response is this: Free
There was an advertising campaign here years ago for sugar (just regular granulated sugar) that pivoted around it being "fat free"... I never quite figured out if it was meant to be facetious.
 

DoctorCrowley

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INCI: HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN is not unheard of. It's added to quite some commercial shampoos as a hair conditioner/antistatic. The poor coeliac/wheat intolerant/allergic out there possibly know this, and, depending on severity of their immune reaction, might avoid such products for good reasons.

It's another thing how aware these are of the cleanliness of the lye-based soapmaking process, and that optional ingredients are, well, optional.

Part of it might well be an overshoot of “gluten free = good” snobbery PR circus, for which IMHO the only valid response is this: Free

Yeah that's kind of what I was wondering. I love that cartoon! lol I know gluten sensitivity is real but there's always some snobbery around things like that (or vegan as the Effacious Gentleman said) to hop on a PR trend.
 

DoctorCrowley

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There was an advertising campaign here years ago for sugar (just regular granulated sugar) that pivoted around it being "fat free"... I never quite figured out if it was meant to be facetious.

Seriously?!?!?! Guess we can't offer fat free soaps LMAO!!! But I'm sure we can come up with a list of what ingredient free we can offer it as LOL
 
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Don't see everything so negative! (Most) soaps are LOW-CARB & free of processed sugars, and LOW GLYCEMIC, many are VEGAN, and others are CARNIVORE OPTIMISED, many are SOY and GMO FREE, not to forget about TRANS FATS! It's so many GOOD FATS in there, with a balanced omega-9 / omega-6 profile, laden with valuable antioxidants and phytochemicals. Choose freely if you want them high in palm (because oil palms are the ecologically superior and area-efficient oil plants) or palm-free (because oil palms have such a terrible ecological impact). Goat milk isn't LACTOSE FREE but we are adding it at such a low rate that it doesn't matter anyway. Child labour in mica mining is a serious issue, but plastics/building material/electronics industries aren't innocent either! We're even buying some supplies past The Evil Chemical Industry! Extra Virgin Sodium Hydroxide! TRANSFORM YOURSELF AND THE WORLD TO THE BETTER WITH SOAP!!!

🤮
 
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Don't see everything so negative! (Most) soaps are LOW-CARB & free of processed sugars, and LOW GLYCEMIC, many are VEGAN, and others are CARNIVORE OPTIMISED, many are SOY and GMO FREE, not to forget about TRANS FATS! It's so many GOOD FATS in there, with a balanced omega-9 / omega-6 profile, laden with valuable antioxidants and phytochemicals. Choose freely if you want them high in palm (because oil palms are the ecologically superior and area-efficient oil plants) or palm-free (because oil palms have such a terrible ecological impact). Goat milk isn't LACTOSE FREE but we are adding it at such a low rate that it doesn't matter anyway. Child labour in mica mining is a serious issue, but plastics/building material/electronics industries aren't innocent either! We're even buying some supplies past The Evil Chemical Industry! Extra Virgin Sodium Hydroxide! TRANSFORM YOURSELF AND THE WORLD TO THE BETTER WITH SOAP!!!

🤮

But this month of all months shouldn't we be more inclusive of Trans fats........?
 
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It's a prime example of the difference between what we may or may not eat and what is good for soaping. Many may avoid eating dairy products because of issues with digestion, but that is not a reason to ignore soaps with milks in them on the basis of "dairy free"
 

TheGecko

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I was talking with a friend and she said a friend of hers was going somewhere to buy gluten free soap. I was thinking to myself "isn't most soap (at least hand made) gluten free?" I mean I'm sure it does depend but wouldn't most ingredients (oils and lye/water) be gluten free? Idk about the stuff in stores if they would contain gluten. I realize that if we add oatmeal or cornmeal as exfoliants it's possible those would be processed in a facility that contains gluten. It's not something I have thought about but as I am considering selling I'm sure it's a question I'll get. How would you answer that question if someone asks you it? especially with the exfoliant part "Those oats may be processed in a facitily..."

Given yours and @earlene's comments about cross contamination, how can anyone say that a soap is "gluten free" unless they process all their ingredients by themselves?

Most oils, yes, but there are exceptions. Wheat germ oil is made from a gluten source. So oils made from grains that contain gluten are not considered gluten free.

From the GFRN: Typically, when wheat germ oil is used it has been refined. The refining process in theory removes all gluten proteins, and therefore would make wheat germ oil free of any gluten proteins. It does go on to say that because of poor refining methods or cross contamination, that folks who are gluten intolerant should be mindful.

Many may avoid eating dairy products because of issues with digestion, but that is not a reason to ignore soaps with milks in them on the basis of "dairy free"

My youngest daughter is very Lactose Intolerant, but she has no issue using my 'full-milk' Goat Milk Soap.

Now this is my personal opinion...I have no issues with advertising a product as "gluten free" if the product would, under normal circumstances, contain 'gluten'...specifically products containing seed storage proteins like wheat, barley rye and oats. But I do take exception when products that would not normally contain the aforementioned grains, are advertised as "gluten free"...like the package of unsalted peanuts I bought last week. to me, it's just an advertising gimmick. It would be like me advertising my Regular Soap as 'vegan' since it contains zero animal products or 'fat free' with a zero SF or 'sugar free' since I don't use any ingredients containing sucrose, glucose or fructose...I just can't do that.

Then there is the whole soap making process. One of the reasons why using expensive oils is soap making is discouraged is because it's a waste of money...partly because soap is a wash on/rinse off product that doesn't remain on your skin for more than five or ten minutes and partly because sodium hydroxide and saponification destroys the vast majority of 'benefits' of those ingredients. Interestingly, my older sister, who has some pretty extreme skin sensitives, can use my soap. But a mutual friend cannot use my Regular or Goat Milk Soap because both contain Shea Butter. And out of curiosity, I did make a tiny bar of soap with Shea Butter, but with zero Super Fat to see if that would make a difference, but haven't had a chance to give it to her.
 
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