Carla Oates Explains How to Glow from the Inside Out with Edible Beauty
Ingestible beauty powders and elixirs have been buzzing the skincare market in recent years, but Carla Oates is well ahead of the curve. Having spent over a decade researching the link between gut health and glowing skin, she perfected probiotic skin formulations known today as the Beauty Chef line. She speaks to Parvati Magazine this month on the importance of incorporating bio-fermented products into our health and how she envisions the future of “edible beauty”.
Parvati Magazine: How did you get started in addressing beauty literally from the inside out?
Carla Oates: When my daughter also experienced eczema and allergies, around 12 years ago when she was about ten, I eliminated trigger foods like dairy and gluten from her diet. I also started researching the link between gut health and skin health and found some of the studies very interesting. I decided to put my family on a gut-healing protocol which included eliminating certain foods but also introducing lots of lacto-fermented wholefoods teeming with beneficial bacteria, also known as probiotics. These included foods like sauerkraut, kefir and kimchi. As I began to experiment in my kitchen at home, lacto-fermenting a variety of wholefoods, I recognized I was onto something. Friends and family also took notice, asking what I was doing differently as my skin was glowing. These fermented foods became in high demand from neighbors, friends and family, who found they had better energy, happier tummies, and healthier, more radiant skin. From here in 2009, my first inner beauty product was born, the first iteration of GLOW™ Inner Beauty Powder, containing 24 bio-fermented superfoods with prebiotics and probiotics for gut health, glowing skin and wellbeing.
Parvati Magazine: What are bio-fermented foods, and why are they so good for our skin? How can we incorporate more of them into our lives?
Carla Oates: At The Beauty Chef, we believe that “beauty begins in the belly.” Gut health can impact everything from our skin to our physical health to our happiness. And probiotic-rich, lacto-fermented foods are one of the best ways to help keep gut health and cellular health in balance.
Parvati Magazine: You also offer outer skincare products, provide gut-friendly recipes on your website and have released “The Beauty Chef” cookbook. What led you to venture beyond the original concept for “Beauty Begins in the Belly”?
Carla Oates: As a journalist in my early career, I landed a job as a beauty editor for a mainstream newspaper and was inundated with lots of beauty products from mass market brands. After researching the ingredients, [I became] increasingly concerned about the many toxic chemicals in skincare products. Women from all over Australia were writing in to my column asking for advice on what products to use for their eczema, psoriasis, acne and other chronic skin issues. I knew looking after your skin properly was an inside-out job from my own experience with eczema. And I knew that none of these chemical-laden products would actually help, heal or regenerate their skin. I decided to make it my mission to help change the paradigm in the beauty industry and help educate women on how to look after their skin in a healthier and more holistic way.
Parvati Magazine: Where do you see the future of the “ingestible beauty” market? Is there much more growth and innovation yet to happen?
Carla Oates: There’s no doubt that fermented beauty and probiotic skincare is a rapidly expanding industry. I think this is due to the fact that consumers are understanding the importance of the microbiome (both gut and skin microbiome) and gut health when it comes to their skin, and the impact that diet and lifestyle can have on both.
Carla Oates is the founder and director of The Beauty Chef. Having worked as a newspaper columnist, beauty editor and stylist in Australia, Carla has always been a passionate naturalist and gut-health advocate. She is the author of “Feeding Your Skin”, “The Beauty Chef Cookbook” and “The Beauty Chef Gut Guide”.