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The beauty chef

Carla Oates

A true skincare innovator, Australian Carla Oates is a former beauty journalist and author of several books about skincare, who created her own range of bio-fermented supplements in order to treat her family’s eczema and allergies, with dramatic results.

The founder of successful skin-nutrition brand, The Beauty Chef, Carla’s work with the world’s leading microbiologists, nutritionists and naturopaths, coupled with her healthy approach to life has only served to fortify her belief that beauty begins within.

For Ikigai she will show us how to achieve beautiful skin via a well-balanced diet, and have us all reaching for the kimchi…

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What gets you up in the morning?
The thought of what I am going to eat for breakfast, my passion for my work and my love for my family.
If you had to describe what you do in a sentence…
I create products and information that help people improve their gut health and cellular health for skin health, overall health and wellbeing.
What makes you an expert in your field?
I have been researching and writing around natural health and beauty for the last twenty years.
When and how did you receive your calling?
When I was a teenager and suffered from eczema and allergies. I consulted with a naturopath who profoundly changed my diet. From there, I saw the direct correlation between what you eat and your skin health and overall health. I was later offered a job as the Beauty Editor for a mainstream newspaper and very quickly became concerned with the amount of toxic chemicals in mass market skincare. From my own experience, I knew that beautiful, healthy skin comes from within. So, I made it my mission to help change the paradigm in the beauty industry – to help educate people on how to look after their skin holistically for better skin health and wellbeing.  

My daughter (her daughter Jeet is a successful model) also suffered from eczema and allergies around ten years ago and at the time did a lot of research on the connection between gut health and eczema. The research was compelling, so I put her on a gut healing protocol and this involved eliminating certain foods from her diet, like dairy and gluten, but also introducing probiotic rich foods into her diet, like sauerkraut and coconut kefir. This made a huge difference to her skin and also mine. People were asking what moisturiser I was using – and I realised the powerful connection between gut health, gut bacteria and skin health.

What is the most misunderstood thing about your profession?
That you can’t change your health through what you eat. I believe that food is medicine and more and more research is proving this. We have more microbial genes in our gut than we do human genes – this means that while genetics play an important part of who we are and the status of our health, through what we eat and the manipulation of our gut bacteria we can improve our health. 70% of our immune system lies in our gut and what we eat can affect the health of our gut and therefore our immune system.

“Gut health is vital for your skin health, your mental health and your overall wellbeing.”

If there was one thing you could pass on to everyone, what would it be?
That beauty begins in the belly. Gut health is vital for your skin health, your mental health and your overall wellbeing. Your gut is where 70% of your immune system lies, where you make nutrients, where you make detoxifying enzymes, where you metabolise hormones, make neurotransmitters, neutralise pathogens. It can have a profound effect on your skin health and overall health.
What one thing should we stop doing now?
We should stop eating processed foods.
What one thing should we start doing more of now?
Eating lacto-fermented, gut-loving probiotic foods.
What is your “ikigai”?
My ikigai is my love for my family and the love and passion I have for what I do, creating beautiful healthful products and content that help people and contribute to making the world a better place.
To learn more about Carla Oates: thebeautychef.com
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