Gluten-free cosmetics are now being seen in skin creams, body care, vitamins and other products absorbed by the skin as celiac disease sufferers and consumers aim to avoid allergic reactions or accidental ingestion. There has been a 43% increase in body care products being labeled and certified as gluten-free in the U.S., according to the Gluten Intolerance Group and U.S. organic companies with gluten-free ranges such as Sensible Organics and Tru Organics are ramping up product launches and distribution.

In April, leading maker of private label organic skin care products Sensible Organics announced it will launch its gluten-free Nourish Organic Food for Healthy Skin brand at Whole Food Market stores across the USA in the summer and will expand its distribution with additional products later in the year.

Sensible Organics was the first personal care manufacturing facility in the world to receive organic certification by the USDA nearly ten years ago. Sensible Organics president and CEO Rick Ruffolo said the company’s objective with Nourish is to bring innovation to the market by making true USDA certified organic personal care products accessible and attractive to everyone.” We are thrilled to unite with Whole Foods Market as our exclusive national retail partner to debut this collection.” he said.

Another U.S. organic skin care brand, Brigit Tru Organics, which exhibited at BioFach in Germany this year, uses USDA organic certified ingredients in its organic olive oil skin care products, with its allergen-free, gluten-free and chemical-free products being promoted as ‘Clean Skin Care, inside and out’. The main product ranges are body care, massage oils, shea butter and hand creams and like all of its products, a new hair care line is also gluten-free.

Founder Brigitte Rau says gluten-free is quite important to the company’s consumers. “Brigit True Organics has, from the start in 2001, set out to formulate organic body care for super-sensitive skin,” she says. “Our customers are people who have allergies and sensitivities to synthetics as well as allergenic natural ingredients like gluten, tree nuts, peanuts, scents (even essential oils).

“We realized early on that even with the so called 'natural' skin care many sensitive people could not use them. Most often because they contained some synthetics mixed in with natural ingredients. We decided to focus on a very short ingredient list and omit the major allergens and offer all our products also in an unscented version.”

When Ms Rau realized in 2004 that even the small amount of natural, food-grade vitamin E being used, based on wheat-germ oil, can contain very small traces of gluten, Brigit True Organics switched the vitamin E to a soy-based variety.

“The new challenge is soy-intolerance,” she says. “We do not know the reason for it - maybe because almost all soy is now gene manipulated or maybe because the consumption of soy has increased so much - but the number of people that developed soy-intolerance has increased tremendously. So in 2010 Brigit True Organics was able to secure a high quality, non-soy, non-GMO vitamin E. We are extremely proud to be one of the first skin care companies that took caring for our customers one step further.”