I spoke to Carla Oates about everything skin, gut, and self-care.

Who is Carla?

Carla Oates is the CEO and founder of The Beauty Chef, a Sydney based brand spanning a range of bio-fermented, probiotic-rich wholefood supplements and organic topical skincare products.

Long before ‘inner beauty’ was a buzzword, she knew the importance of fostering beauty from the inside out. When her daughter began to experience similar skin issues to the allergies and eczema she herself had experienced as a child, Carla put her family of four on a gut-healing protocol that included probiotic-rich, lacto-fermented wholefoods. Very quickly she noticed a profound difference in her daughter’s skin as well as the improved wellbeing and overall health of the whole family.

After friends and family began asking why her skin looked so ‘glowy’, Carla realised the power of the gut-skin connection. She began experimenting with skin-loving superfoods in her Bondi kitchen and that’s how GLOW®—The Beauty Chef’s first inner beauty powder—was created in 2009.

GLOW Inner Beauty Essential was the world’s first living, bio-fermented, probiotic inner beauty product and kickstarted a whole new category of ingestible beauty products. The Beauty Chef is the first beauty brand to focus on cultivating good gut health for healthy skin–pioneering the philosophy of ‘Beauty Begins in the Belly™’.

What is your most unexpected self-care habit? 

“I love dancing–whether it’s in the lounge room, in my bedroom, when I’m cleaning or when I’m cooking. I often put music on very loud and move! Sometimes I’ll even go down to the park and dance in the dark, I find it very freeing and relaxing to have some unbridled fun!”

How are the gut and skin connected? 

“It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but digestive health is key for healthy, radiant skin. Our gut is where 70 per cent of our immune system lies, it’s where we regulate hormones and detoxifying enzymes, where we 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 is gut inflammation, there is skin inflammation. 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. Whole foods 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.”

Why a three-step routine?

“We get asked all the time how best to use each of our products and if they’re able to be used in combination. And the answer is, yes! Each product in the range is designed to work synergistically together, for maximum gut and skin-boosting benefits.

We’ve also tried to take the guesswork out and keep things simple with our 3-step routine. Similar to your outer beauty routine, our hope is that The Beauty Chef range forms your complete inner beauty routine.

If you could only have one skincare product, what would it be? 

“Oils–both in topical and ingestible form. I’ve struggled with extremely dry and irritated skin in the past. I ensure I consume a lot of healthy fats to keep my skin hydrated from within. My own skin journey alongside my daughter’s experience with eczema was the main reason I was inspired to create GLOW, our multi-tasking daily inner beauty powder to plump, protect and transform your skin, immunity and wellbeing from within.”