As I was taking a shower this morning, I casually decided to read the ingredient label on the generic hair conditioner I use daily. In addition to the laundry list of complex molecules the likes of which send shivers down the spines of even the most hardened chemistry veterans, I noticed several wheat ingredients, such as wheat amino acids.
This sounds like industry-speak for gluten. My (admittedly limited) understanding of dermatology leads me to believe that any number of substances applied directly to the skin have the potential to be absorbed.
Am I getting a nice dose of gluten every time I mush that wheaty synthetic sludge through my hair? Is the toll on my precious body worth delightfully silky-smooth hair? And on that note, can anyone recommend some gluten-free haircare products? Preferably ones that don't cost an arm and a leg and won't leave me smelling like a caveman. After all, the goal is contextual mimicry, not outright Paleolithic reenactment!
My general rule of thumb is that if I wouldn't put it in my mouth, why would I put it on my skin? There is no scientific reasoning behind it. But then again science doesn't prove anything ;)
Wall spackle sometimes has gluten in it. I had some work done in my condo and when they were sanding the filled gaps it got in the air. They weren't wearing masks, so I didn't. I had brain fog for 3 days.
There's so much conflicting information out there about what exactly CAN be absorbed though the skin and can't. I see the term "molecular weight" being thrown around a lot and yet I'm convinced there are things with a relatively high molecular weight that pass through into the bloodstream in seconds.
If we go by the molecular weight claim, vitamins such as A and E wouldn't be able to be absorbed into the skin. Yet Vitamin A in various forms such as Accutane, Retin-A or retinol are used topically and they work. Vitamin E oil is good for scars.
Fentanyl and birth control are offered in patch form and absorbed through the skin readily.
Linoleic acid can supposedly be absorbed transdermally in humans and dogs.
I imagine that many fat-soluble compounds can easily pass through the lipid membrane of your skin and into your blood.
I've used nothing on my skin or hair except water (other than hand washing) for the last year. In combination with a paleo diet, this seems to work fine for me. No problems with being dirty, greasy, or stinky.