Carla Oats, the founder of The Beauty Chef, is a natural beauty advocate and inspiration in the health world. The best-selling author, natural beauty journalist and passionate wellbeing warrior, who currently resides in Australia, is the creator behind the first-ever bio-fermented inner beauty powder, which is loved all over the world. We recently caught up with Carla to find out what makes The Beauty Chef so unique and she shares with us an utterly delicious smoothie recipe and some excellent wellbeing tips!
You’ve been a part of the organic and health industry for over 15 years, what first attracted you to this lifestyle?
My interest in natural health and beauty began as a teenager when I suffered from eczema and allergies and went and saw a naturopath who eliminated certain foods from my diet and introduced others. I noticed a profound difference in my skin.
Why did you create The Beauty Chef products?
I had been researching the benefits of plants and natural biological processes such as lacto-fermentation for around ten years and was writing in the area of natural health and beauty. I had published a book called Feeding Your Skin (in 2004) and had a DIY beauty column for the Sunday Telegraph for eight years, as well as being the natural beauty editor for Wellbeing Magazine for 12 years (which I still am). During this time I made all my personal 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. It seemed a natural progression to create a brand.
One thing that stood out, too, 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 – hence why The Beauty Chef started with my lacto-fermented The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder.
Has there been a stand out memory for you since creating The Beauty Chef?
Recently I’ve been working with a team of microbiologists on improving my fermentation process and making the products the best they can be. Every day I feel the highs of seeing my brand and products genuinely help people. I love seeing The Beauty Chef grow and also watching the change in public perception around inner beauty, fermentation, bacteria and wellbeing and skin, and being a part of that change. That means a lot to me.
This year The Beauty Chef made enormous progress in a business sense and seeing my products on the shelves in the UK, USA and Asia has been really exciting!
How would someone decide which product is right for them?
Each Beauty Chef Inner Beauty Powder is formulated for different skin and health benefits, but each is designed to improve gut health and digestion, and promote healthier, glowing skin from the inside out.
I would start with GLOW Inner Beauty Powder, as it is an excellent all round formula – for skin and health.
You use a unique bio-fermentation process in your products – what does this mean and what are the benefits?
We were the first ever to do a bio-fermented inner beauty powder, and we also use our a unique fermentation process called Flora Culture; this is where we introduce our own unique lactic acid producing mother culture (that has been culturing successfully for 25 years) to ferment our organic superfoods. It takes six weeks for the mother culture to work her magic. We are very focused on getting nutrients from bio-available whole foods and natural probiotics and believe that ‘beauty begins in the belly’. Good gut health is vital for healthy, glowing skin. We are the world’s first living skincare brand, with live bacteria in our products.
Which ingredients in your range are your favourite?
- Probiotics: When the gut is healthy, radiant skin follows and probiotic are at the frontline for keeping the stomach happy and in check. That is why good bacteria is an essential ingredient in The Beauty Chef’s formulations. GLOW Advanced Inner Beauty Powders uses a bio-fermentation process to ferment the superfoods, fruits, veggies, grains, herbs, spices, algae and grasses in the formula to help make the nutrients more bio-available as well as producing a minimum of 500 million probiotics per serve. Lacto-fermented foods like kefir, sauerkraut, natto, fermented vegetables and yoghurt are also excellent sources of natural probiotics.
- Dunaliella Salina: A microalgae grown in Western Australia, that has the highest dietary source of skin boosting pro-vitamin A and a nutrient profile that makes it one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It contains a complete spectrum of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and essential fatty acids and contains eight times the mineral content of spirulina, twice the chlorophyll and more than 6,000 times the antioxidant content! This amazing food is what gives pink flamingos their pink hue and natural glow. A hero ingredient in GLOW Advanced Inner Beauty Powder.
- Lacto-fermented foods: Found in all The Beauty Chef products, they have a plethora of health and skin benefits. Firstly, when you lacto-ferment foods, the lactic acid producing bacteria break down the ingredients, so the nutrients become more bio-available for the body to use. Secondly, lacto-fermentation helps to neutralise any anti-nutrients found in food. Thirdly, this incredible process creates beneficial bacteria, probiotics, to support gut health. Gut health is vital for good skin health and overall health.
Do you have a favourite recipe including your products? If so, can you share it with us?
My Get-Glowing Smoothie Bowl made with GLOW Inner Beauty Powder – This health-giving bowl is fibre-rich, vitamin-rich, antioxidant-rich, lipid-rich and full of skin-protective and glow-giving minerals, selenium, copper and zinc, plus it has the added boost of GLOW Inner Beauty Powder with prebiotics and probiotics to keep your gut happy and skin radiant.
- 125g of frozen blueberries
- 100g frozen unsweetened acai pulp, coarsely chopped
- 1 ripe, chopped, frozen banana
- 1/2 cup of coconut kefir or natural yoghurt
- 2 teaspoons The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons of chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons of cacao nibs
- Blend the blueberries, acai, banana, kefir or yoghurt and Glow Powder, and cinnamon, chia and cacao nibs if you are using them, in a high-speed blender, until smooth and creamy
- Pour the smoothie into two wide, shallow serving bowls and decorate with toppings
- Suggested toppings: ripe banana, blueberries, 2 tablespoons of granola, 1 tablespoon of chopped pistachios, goji berries, hemp seeds and bee pollen (not suitable if you have bee allergies).
Can we expect to see a line of products to use directly on the skin in the future?
Yes, we are working on expanding our range of outer beauty and hope to bring these to the UK sometime next year.
How do you like to relax away from the business?
I love Sydney, but I also appreciate how easy it is to leave the hustle and bustle with so many great places so close. The South Coast of Australia is a favourite place to visit. My family have a holiday house in Kiama, it’s so beautiful there, it has the best of both worlds, beach and country. I also love the Southern Highlands.
What are your 3 top wellness tips?
- Set achievable and sustainable goals: Even if it is one small thing each week. Taking a type of food out of your diet that inflames you, the next week, make your breakfast healthier, the following week, try and walk twice a week not just once a week. And believe in your adaptability. I remember giving up milk when I was a teenager (I used to drink 1 litre of it a day!), and it was tough. Other non-dairy milk tasted awful. Six months later, when I tasted cow’s milk again, I felt nauseous and was so much happier drinking nut milk. Making a change takes a little time, but you will be surprised at how taste buds and behaviour changes with a little persistence and patience. Be kind to yourself too. If you lapse, don’t worry. Stress is one of the worst culprits when it comes to compromising the health of your skin and body. Go slow, gently and have fun. Green juices detoxify your liver, but I’m sure laughing does too.
- Only put on your skin what you are prepared to eat: Bestow your skin with foods and ingredients rich in plant-based nutrients; anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids. Harsh chemicals in skincare compromise the skin’s barrier system and can be absorbed into the body, where they can put a toxic load on the liver as well as over time build up and compromise your wellbeing.
- Beauty begins in your belly: Eat lots of fermented foods full of nutrients, and natural probiotics and where possible avoid processed food and unhealthy chemicals that compromise gut health. Eat low HI food – low human intervention food. Including lots of whole foods and clean protein, an abundance of plants, grass-fed meats, wild fish, organic nuts and seeds. Drink lots of filtered water – water is essential for every biological function in the body. Get some sun, vitamin D is essential for healthy skin, but not too much as UV damage contributes to premature ageing of the skin. Move your body and sleep! When we sleep we release hormones that act as skin and health protective anti-oxidants in the body. Lack of sleep means less of these, as well as raised cortisol levels which is detrimental to skin and overall health.