Carla Oates, founder of The Beauty Chef shares her favourite holistic rituals, her daily non-negotiables, and her ultimate Beauty Chef product for glowing skin.
How did your vision for The Beauty Chef begin?
Looking back, I think the seeds for The Beauty Chef were sewn way back when I was a kid. I’ve always been interested in natural remedies and I loved mixing lotions and potions from my mum's makeup and creams, and pretending to make healing lotions. I also had a “business” when I was younger where I would give healing massages for $5 to all my family.
The idea for The Beauty Chef came about when my daughter began experiencing eczema and allergies. I’d also suffered through the same symptoms when I was a child and my mum took me to see a naturopath who dramatically changed what I ate, focusing on gut-friendly foods. My allergies and eczema subsided, so I experienced firsthand the connection of food and wellness.
When my daughter was going through the same thing, I knew what to do. I eliminated foods that triggered flare ups, also started researching the link between gut health and skin health and found some of the studies very interesting. As I explored this link more closely, I decided to put my family on a gut-healing protocol which included eliminating certain foods from our diet while introducing lots of lacto-fermented wholefoods teeming with beneficial bacteria (aka 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 realised I was onto something.
Friends and family also took notice, asking what I was doing differently as my skin was glowing — and I quickly became the local beauty pusher and supplier of these fermented foods as they became in high demand from everyone from neighbours, friends and family. They found they had better energy, happier tummies, and healthier, more radiant skin. From here, the first iteration of GLOW™ Inner Beauty Powder was born, my first inner beauty product containing 24 bio-fermented superfoods with prebiotics and probiotics for gut health, glowing skin, and wellbeing.
What does your AM & PM skincare ritual look like?
After getting home from my morning walk, the first thing I do is stir GLOW Inner Beauty Essential and COLLAGEN Inner Beauty Boost into water. This combination helps to keep my belly happy and skin glowing from the inside, out. I often talk about GLOW as my inner beauty moisturiser and essential daily beauty blend — while I love the addition of COLLAGEN which further quench and nourish my skin.
After cleansing, I use our Probiotic Skin Refiner to gently exfoliate and infuse my skin with hydration. Next, I massage a few drops of GLOW F.A.C.E into my skin and neck. It’s a super lightweight formula which I love and although it feels like a face oil, it’s more accurately a super-nutrient formula that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, firms and tones the skin, whilst simultaneously balancing and strengthening the skin’s microbiome.
My evening skincare routine is quite similar — however, after GLOW F.A.C.E, I’ll also use a little bit of moisturiser to help lock in all of that goodness. The final step in my evening skincare routine is applying Flora Fix Balm on my lips and around the eyes. I find that during winter, the delicate skin around my eyes can be even drier than normal so this luxe balm helps to lock in moisture and reduce fine lines.
You're a big believer that beauty begins in the belly, tell us about that?
The skin is a great barometer of what is going on inside the body—and that’s why at The Beauty Chef, we believe that ‘beauty begins in the belly’.
It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but our gut is where 70 per cent of our immune system lies, it’s where we regulate hormones and detoxifying enzymes, where we make nutrients, neutralise pathogens and make neurotransmitters too. So much of what goes on inside our digestive system impacts our skin, mental health and wellbeing. More and more research shows that where there are gut issues, there are skin issues. Like there is a gut-brain axis, there is also a gut-skin axis, a profound connection between our gut microbiome, our gut and the state of our skin health.
The skin is also the body’s largest organ and our first line of defence against environmental toxins and pathogens. In order for it to be strong and healthy, we need to nourish the skin from the inside, out. Wholefoods obtained through our diet is the best way to support skin health as our skin requires a diet rich in healthy fats, protein, fibre, plant nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
What makes The Beauty Chef's range unique to other inside-out beauty formulas?
In the years since we launched, the inner beauty category has continued to grow and grow. While being a pioneer in this space meant the first few years were tough, I’m proud to have started the business when I did.
I truly believe that “beauty is wellness” and “wellness is beauty” and it’s this ethos running through everything we do at The Beauty Chef that has set us apart from our competitors.
Three years ago, we built a state-of-the-art fermentation plant alongside leading microbiologists. The Beauty Chef has always created powerful probiotic formulas but now that we have our own purpose-built plant in Sydney, we are able to have a greater level of control of the process — from start to finish.
Our team of microbiologists can integrate the latest scientific research into every step and ferment probiotic bacteria to their peak concentrations, retain the beneficial bacterial metabolites (postbiotics) and use the enzymes produced by the bacteria to improve the digestibility and available nutrition of the wholefoods being fermented even further.
Because we can essentially ‘hold the hands’ of our bacteria at every point along the fermentation journey, we can therefore influence, tweak and refine the process to truly supercharge our formulas — controlling everything from the temperature, oxygen and pH of each fermentation, even checking in on it in the middle of the night to ensure we’re getting the optimal potency and benefits from every single ingredient.
What are 3 daily non-negotiables for your holistic wellbeing?
1. A morning walk.
Every day, I try to get out for a walk. For me, walking is like a filing system for my brain. It helps me decompress, destress, and prepare for the day ahead. It’s also where I come up with my best creative ideas. I’ll usually walk for about an hour at a time.
2. A daily dose of GLOW.
3. Consuming lots of fibre and fermented foods.
Doing so will favour your gut microbiome which will benefit everything from your immunity to your brain, gut and skin health.
All-time favourite product you'd suggest someone new to your range tries first?
GLOW is our best-selling bio-fermented inner beauty essential that I think everyone should take. Or if you're over the age of 50 like I am, consider taking GLOW AGELESS — a similar formula with added ingredients to support bone health, hormone health and steady energy.
GLOW is truly special. It's a multi-tasking inner beauty supplement that supports your body from the inside out—with incredible benefits for your skin. The secret lies in the complex formula and combination of potent wholefood ingredients that have been specifically selected for the skin health benefits. Firstly, it contains vitamin C which is essential for collagen synthesis and subsequently, plump, firm, healthy skin. As collagen naturally declines with age and vitamin C is also a nutrient our bodies are unable to produce on its own—it’s therefore incredibly important that we consume enough of this powerhouse nutrient daily.
Other skin-boosting ingredients include biotin and niacinamide from organic sprouted quinoa—which help to support normal skin function and structure—as well as 20 per cent of your RDI for provitamin A, which is integral for cellular turnover. Our supercharged blend also contains an abundance of polyphenols from queen garnet plum, maqui berries and pomegranate fruit peel extract—potent plant compounds that support skin health by fighting free radicals.
Ready to get your inner glow on?