As you may know, it’s critical to find gluten free body care products IF you are really going to live a gluten free lifestyle. Otherwise, there’s always this chance that you’ll end up with gluten in your mouth or inhaled and thus injected. And for some people, they experience rashes and outbreaks because they are more sensitive than others to gluten directly on their skin and therefore REQUIRE gluten-free products. Either way, I’ve got some disappointing news. Body care companies are playing catch up.
After spending a day and a half walking around talking to food companies at Natural Foods Expo East (an annual trade show on the East Coast for the Natural Food Companies to showcase their wares), I felt confident that the GF tribe’s voice was truly being heard. Companies are lining up to provide us with comparable and quality products that can often times embody the same look, feel and taste as their ‘normal’ counterparts. We certainly can discuss the ramifications of the deluge of gluten-free products that will be coming to the market, but for this very moment I can confidently say that food companies have heard us (both vocally and financially) and are stepping up to meet us where we are.
However the tone totally shifted when I meandered over to the bodycare section of the trade show floor. Only one company that I came across was clearly marked gluten-free. I had to verbally ask sales people at all the other booths if their products were gluten-free. Some responses were positive that the company has been taking steps to help us know what those of us sensitive to gluten can safely use.
Others wavered, insisting that it did not matter if gluten was in the products. One woman tried to tell me that all I needed to do was read the ingredient list (which you all know is NOT enough if you’ve taken any of my virtual learning events). After 5 minutes of fighting me, she finally realized that it DID matter and assured me that she would go back to her boss and get more clarity for me. (The particular company is a big organic firm whose products line Whole Foods and other Natural Product aisles.)
I was clearly NOT the first person who had asked them at the trade show and the majority of companies (including those who provide cleaning products), did not seem to have a list to which they could refer. They knew very little about the issue, even though a few admitted that there were wheat by-products in a few of their wares (and yes, this also includes those cleaning product companies).
So, I’m putting together a list, compiling the info that I received and will be presenting to you in the near future. But in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for hidden gluten in both bodycare, make up and your cleaning products. And when in doubt, call their customer service lines. Don’t assume that gluten isn’t something that just wouldn’t be used for those particular products because it sometimes is in places and things that you’d never expect!