Full disclosure: Seeing as how there’s always something new popping up in the beauty industry, it takes a lot for us to stop and really take notice. While we’ve known for awhile now about the amazing benefits behind fermented foods and teas, (kombucha, anyone?)  we were genuinely impressed to meet Carla Oates of The Beauty Chef and to learn about her inventive line of fermented skincare products.

We know what you’re thinking. So continue reading to learn more about Carla and her inspiring twist on developing this healthy kind of beauty … the kind where you glow from the inside out!

(And by entering our giveaway, you may be able to score some product for yourself!)

Beauty Chef_Darling Interview

Darling Magazine: How did you get your start in the beauty industry?

Carla: I was working as a beauty editor about fifteen years ago and became concerned with the amount of toxic chemicals in skincare. I had always been interested in alternative/holistic health so I started researching the benefits of looking after your skin with clean ingredients, predominantly super active plant compounds that rejuvenate the skin from the inside, out. I made the decision to write only about natural and organic health and beauty and to delve into more researching and formulating organic products to offer women healthier options. I was offered a book deal with Penguin and wrote Feeding Your Skin and began formulating recipes and products. The Beauty Chef believes that good skin begins in your gut. Natural, active skincare follows.

I have been researching and writing about the positive effects of natural and organic skincare on skin and health over the last decade and at the same time formulating products for myself and my research.

DM: We’ve heard of fermented foods. But beauty products? What inspired you to connect the two?

Carla: 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 of 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 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, and revitalized inside and out.

By increasing the biological value of already nutrient rich organic ingredients, we offer supernatural skincare to help keep your skin beautiful …

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.

DM: Is there a benefit to using fermented over other raw or vegan beauty products?

Carla: Fermentation is a time-honored custom that has been practiced by many cultures for thousands of years. While the process is simple, it has a powerful, biologically enhancing effect on ingredients which increases their nutrient value. I’ve noticed that eating these foods helps to clarify and rejuvenate the skin from the inside, so it glows on the outside.

When applied to topical skincare, the process of fermentation increases the bio-availability of ingredients so that they can be absorbed into the deeper layers of the skin. You receive the benefits of super charged ingredients while using a completely natural bio-system, keeping in tune with the biorhythms of our bodies and nature. The Beauty Chef’s unique Flora Culture process is backed by twenty years of research. The process also produces good bacteria, which is vital for a healthy gut.

Beauty Chef_Darling Interview

I am a big believer that beautiful skin starts on the inside. It’s where your hormones are metabolized, 70% of your immune system lies, and where nutrients are manufactured and toxins are eliminated. For good health, the gut requires a proliferation of good bacteria, which can be found in abundant supply in fermented foods. 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 skin.

… beautiful skin starts on the inside. It’s where your hormones are metabolized, 70% of your immune system lies, and where nutrients are manufactured and toxins are eliminated.

DM: Can these products go bad? Is there anyone who shouldn’t use them?

Carla: GLOW, DETOX and BODY Inner Beauty Powders are totally natural, highly nutritious, food-based supplements. However, because there hasn’t been any studies that specifically show them to be safe in pregnancy or when breastfeeding, we are not at this stage able to recommend their use during these times. We advise that you seek the advice of your health care practitioner before taking.

Our beauty powders are good for a few years before being opened and once opened, they are best consumed within 90 days, as they are rich in living cultures and bacteria. We do recommend that you keep them refrigerated once opened. If this is not possible, due to travel for example, ensure that your powder is kept out of direct sunlight and away from high heat. The unique fermentation process each powder undergoes ensures that these bacteria remain quite hardy in these circumstances.

DM: What is your process like for coming up with products?

Carla: It really has been and is a very organic process. I’ll be thinking about ingredients and doing research and an idea will pop into my head. It started by looking at what I really needed and then now I look at every woman’s needs at different ages; what is really going to help with their skin and health – what is going to help get to the bottom of the issue. No bandaids in my skincare range – real solutions from the core!

DM: How do you think a woman’s emotional and spiritual health also plays into her concept of beauty?

Carla: I think feeling good in your own skin gives you a sparkle that no amount of cosmetics can replicate. From a physical perspective, feeling relaxed is a great skin aid. For example, stress robs the skin of lipids which make our skin lovely and soft. This is probably why stress seems to be a big trigger for those with psoriasis and eczema. Stress also disrupts our digestive system – and ‘beauty begins in the belly’.

… feeling good in your own skin gives you a sparkle that no amount of cosmetics can replicate.

DM: What’s the difference between your inner and outer beauty product lines?

Carla: By balancing your digestive healthy, our Inner Beauty products are designed to nourish your body or enhance your skin from the inside out. Our Outer Beauty products target specific areas of the skin using powerful natural ingredients and a multitude of nutrients.

Beauty Chef_Darling Interview

DM: You say that “beauty begins in the belly.” What’s one of the biggest myths that you see women believing about digestive health?

Carla: If you’re working toward more radiant and glowing skin, you might be surprised to know that the answer lies more in your digestive tract rather than on how much you’re spending on creams and cleansers.

For example, a lack of hydrochloric acid in the gut is implicated in skin problems such as acne and rosacea. Lactic acid bacteria (found in our fermented products) helps increase levels of this acid. Poor digestive health means that the lining of our gut becomes more permeable than it should (also called “leaky gut”), food particles can slip thru and our immune system sees those as foreign substances. This leads to an inflammatory response in the body, and one of the main effects we see is skin disturbance, such as eczema, acne, and dermatitis.

The fermentation process and probiotics found in our Glow Powder work together to get the digestive system back on track.

When we restore healthy digestion, our skin can revitalize. The fermentation process and probiotics found in our Glow Powder work together to get the digestive system back on track. Fermented foods promote better digestive health, leading to greater absorption of nutrients and improved liver. Probiotics are billions of good bacteria to keep the digestive system healthy and boost the immune system of the body and skin.

DM: Eating clean, green and using those kinds of products can be overwhelming for many. Where do you encourage women to start if they want to jump-start their health?

Carla: I would start with products used in the shower or bath as these cover most of your body and both heat and water facilitate absorption which means you are probably absorbing more toxic chemicals.

Water is the best, cheapest (and easiest) way to flush your system of toxins, bring oxygen and nutrients to skin cells and hydrate the skin (think prune compared to a plum!), but it’s important to only drink pure, filtered water – there’s no point cleansing your body of toxins only to replace them with other nasties found in tap water.

Clean water is imperative for good gut health. Disinfectant chemicals like chlorine in skincare may kill the bugs in the water but they also harm the good bacteria in our gut and we need those good bacteria for radiant, glowing skin.  I use the Beauty Chef Inner Beauty Water Purifier that sits on the counter, but any good water filter will do. Drinking clean, pure water is the aim here.

Also, get your eight hours of sleep. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason! Sleep is the time when your body repairs and renews itself. Getting good sleep or keeping good sleep hygiene helps keep hormones happy; hormones that keep our skin and weight in balance. So regularly getting a good night’s sleep will not only help with your detox, but also will put you on the path to glowing skin and a healthy weight.

DM: When do you feel the most beautiful?

Carla: When I’m sharing a yummy, healthy meal with family and friends and when I’m drinking my morning smoothie with GLOW in it!

Want to win some GLOW Inner Beauty Powder of your own and jumpstart your skincare routine? (A $60 value) See below to ways to enter until this Sunday, April 26th at midnight PST. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase Beauty Chef products via USA stockist, Cap Beauty.

Images provided by The Beauty Chef

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