We’re trained to think that our skincare woes are only as deep as our pores. It’s easy to blame the surface – oily skin, sun damage, blackheads and acne, but when we find ourselves battling a brutal war with pesky pimples that just won’t quit, it’s time we dig a bit deeper. We talked to beauty expert Carla Oates, aka The Beauty Chef, who taught us that despite the expression that ‘beauty is only skin deep’, our skincare problems are actually rarely surface level. Skin actually reacts to and reflects what’s going on inside our bodies, particularly our digestive system.
Carla’s Bondi-based kitchen has been whipping up superfood powders and natural beauty products using organic ingredients and a unique bio-fermentation process that acts to supercharge the benefits. Her superfood powders are packed with nutritious goods such as chickpeas, lentils chia, ginger, turmeric and quinoa and the list goes on and on. Now, these popular Aussie potions are available in the United States as well. Whether you add a scoop to spice up your water, toss a pinch into a smoothie, or try one of Carla’s delicious recipes, you’ll be doing your skin a favor by giving your body the nutrients it needs.
We caught up with Carla to learn more about The Beauty Chef and her wholesome approach to skincare. Beauty from the inside out? Now that’s a recipe worth sharing.
CULT: The Beauty Chef’s approach to skincare is different – instead of masking the problem on the surface, this line of products attempt to solve skin problems from the inside out. From a clinical perspective, how does what we consume affect our appearance?‘
Carla: Our Inner Beauty Powders are unique, powerful, formulas created to support your health and beauty daily.
We advocate a more internal, grassroots approach to skin health. The 100% natural, certified-organic ingredients in our powders are supercharged through our unique Flora Culture bio-fermentation process, which unlocks nutrients and magnifies their benefits.
We carefully select natural and certified organic ingredients to nourish and enhance the skin from the inside so your skin has a healthy glow on the outside. Rich in biologically enhanced ingredients that work in synergy to keep the flora of the skin in balance and its cellular life flourishing.
We believe that with the help of our powders, natural beauty can be lived from the inside out!
CULT: What does ‘Living Skincare’ mean, exactly?
Carla: Our unique bio-fermentation process, Flora Cuture™ causes the foods to become much more digestible and tolerated. The Flora Culture process unlocks nutrients and magnifies their benefits as well as creates probiotics.
Our formulas are living foods, packed with natural pre- and probiotics, which aid digestion, boost immunity and help balance the digestive system for optimal internal and external health. At The Beauty Chef, we believe that beauty begins in the belly, and our powders are designed to help balance you on the inside so you glow on the outside.
Internal and external beauty starts with a healthy gut, aided through fermentation. I have been fermenting food for years and wanted to share the myriad skin benefits in fermented food, giving people a way to achieve a new level of beauty.
The time-honored art of fermentation that can be found in the our Glow Inner Beauty Powder, Detox Inner Beauty Powder and Body Inner Beauty Powder works to naturally bio-activate nutrients in ingredients to make them more available for the body and skin to use.
By increasing the biological value of already nutrient rich organic ingredients, we offer supernatural skincare to help keep your skin beautiful, radiant, revitalized inside and out. The fermentation process also produces good bacteria, which is vital for a healthy gut. The skin, hair and nails are the last places to get nutrients that go to more important organs first; therefore the skin is the first place where gut imbalances or signs of under nutrition will manifest. Beneficial bacteria in the gut is key to good health and beautiful looking skin.
CULT: It’s hard to adapt a completely natural or holistic lifestyle at once – what products do you think are the most important to keep natural or should be first on our list to switch?
Carla: You may want to start with something as small as visiting an organic farm market and picking up fresh organic fruits and vegetables, or maybe even try growing your own herbs in your kitchen window. Handy types can save even more cash by whipping up some basic skincare products at home.
Some think of homemade recipes as being inferior to creams found on the shelves of department stores, however the active ingredients used in many creams are derived from fruits, grains, vegetables and nuts. When you make your own, not only are you saving money, but you are reaping the benefits from the active enzymes and nutrients rich in these foods and you are receiving them in much higher doses, it is superior skincare and you are getting far more bang for your buck.
CULT: What are some of the best foods for our skin?
Carla: Eat whole foods! Eating well encourages the growth of good bacteria.
Try to go the low HI approach – opt for low human intervention foods. That means eating plenty of whole foods that are provided by nature, not foods that are tainted by human hands or processed in a lab.
Also eat foods rich in prebiotics. Prebiotics help boost the growth of friendly bacteria. These include non-digestible food substances found in asparagus, bananas, endive, chicory, garlic, globe and jerusalem artichokes, kefir, leeks, onions, sauerkraut, shallots and yogurt. Lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir are great as well. The combination of prebiotics and probiotics helps promote a healthy gut more than either consumed alone. I always favor organic foods— they’re far richer in nutrients and free of nasty chemicals that compromise gut health.
CULT: Your beauty routine consists of…
Carla: When I get up, I drink our Glow Inner Beauty Powder with a splash of lemon juice, then either go for a run along Bondi Beach or to a Pilates class at Balance Moves in Bondi. I cleanse my face with coconut oil, followed by my own skincare; toner, moisturizer, and use our Beauty Fix Balm on my lips and around my eyes.
CULT: What’s the best beauty tip you’ve ever been told?
The first step to healthy, radiant skin is balancing digestive health.
CULT: Favorite Sydney haunts and hideouts for beauty products and healthy goods or meals?
Favorite health store: The Health Emporium (it’s my local).
Favorite restaurant: Movida or Attica in Melbourne.
Favorite breakfast spot: Lox Stock & Barrel in Bondi, The Grounds of Alexandria, or Cornersmith in Marrickville.
Favorite beauty store: Sage Beauty in Bondi
CULT: The one beauty product you can’t live without:
Carla: My Dream Repair Serum— it gives my skin a velvety glow!
CULT: In the last 24 hours, what has inspired you?
Carla: My kids, nature and the law of creativity (which is basically that you can do anything!)
CULT: Words to live by:
Live Beauty from the inside out!