With internal health on the rise in beauty salons, we take talk to internal health expert, Carla Oates, founder of The Beauty Chef, about the importance of good digestive health – and how probiotics could just be the key to amazing looking skin.
What prompted you to create The Beauty Chef?
I made all my own skincare from scratch from plants and organic foods and was giving them to friends and family to use. I created quite a demand and that demand grew to friends of friends. Creating The Beauty Chef brand in 2009 seemed like a natural progression, and one thing that really stood out was the difference in people’s skin when they ate my lacto-fermented vegetables. People were addicted to my fermented veggies and kefir coconut water! As I result, I started experimenting with lacto-fermenting different blends of skin-loving ingredients, and the result was my Inner Beauty Powder, now named Glow, which promotes skin radiance from the inside out.
What is the philosophy behind the brand?
At The Beauty Chef, we believe beauty begins in your belly. Digestive health is key for healthy, radiant skin. We embrace the time-honoured art of fermentation in our products because fermenting ingredients not only pre-digests them to make the nutrients more available for the body to use, but it creates probiotics to help balance digestion. Our gut is where 70 per cent of the immune system lies, where we metabolise hormones, where we make detoxifying enzymes and where we make nutrients, and so much of what goes on in our digestive system can impact our skin.
How much does our skin benefit from good digestion?
The skin, hair and nails are the last places to receive nutrients, as they go to more important organs first, so nutrition is important for glowing skin, and fermented foods give you dense, super charged nutrition. My topical products also embrace fermentation for the same reasons. The nutrients are made more bio-available for the skin to use and probiotics help balance the skin. They are super active and super healthy.
Your range has a lot of fermentation. Why is this?
I love the fact that lacto-fermentation is a completely natural biological process. We don’t need to make super-duper synthetic ingredients in a lab (that may send our skin into imbalance and often our health too) to achieve “active”. Here, we have this incredible process that turns natural ingredients into super natural and active ingredients – active, balanced and rejuvenating. And it is all done by nature!
How much impact does internal health have on our skin?
I firmly believe that beauty begins in the belly, and good skin comes from having a healthy, balanced gut. By fermenting superfoods known to benefit the skin in our Inner Beauty Powders, we naturally bio-active the nutrients in the ingredients, so they are more available for the body to use. For example, our Glow Inner Beauty Powder is an antioxidant packed multi-vitamin, prebiotic and probiotic in one, which helps to balance gut health on the inside, to promote glowing skin on the outside.
What are some common internal health issues that present as skin issues?
For some people, diet will have a huge effect on their skin. For others, it won’t. This is very genetically determined, but I have definitely seen people with good skin eventually end up with breakouts after a long-running poor diet. Yes, genetics load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger. Whilst we are predisposed to certain skin issues, our lifestyle and diet can help reduce or even stop it from manifesting.
There are so many studies to show the impact that what we put into our bodies can have on our skin. For example, we know that a lack of hydrochloric acid in the gut can contribute to skin conditions such as rosacea and acne – a good way to increase levels of hydrochloric acid is lactic acid bacteria, which can be found in fermented foods. Eczema is often exacerbated by certain foods too. The most common culprits are eggs, dairy, wheat, citrus, soy, salicylates, sulphites and MSG. I have a predisposition to eczema and control it with my lifestyle and diet. Improving my gut health has made a huge difference to my skin.
Which is your favourite product?
This is like being asked which is your favourite child! I use and love all of the products from The Beauty Chef range, because they play a different role in my lifestyle. Glow of course, is a daily essential, alongside Body. I will regularly do a 30 day cleanse starting with the Cleanse Inner Beauty Powder. And I have the three Inner Beauty Boosts on rotation – at the moment, I make sure I have a daily dose of Antioxidant Boost to fight off any of the winter bugs that are going around.