While there might be a lucky few that are genetically blessed with flawless skin regardless of diet, founder of the Beauty Chef, Carla Oates, believes the majority of us can’t have good skin with a poor diet. “People are noticing when they’re eating healthy and looking after their diet, their skin is changing, they’re noticing real results”, she says.
Oates says she realised the significance of the role the gut plays in good skin when her daughter developed bad eczema. After doing plenty of reading on the link between gut health and eczema, Oates decided to put her daughter on a gut-healing diet protocol, cutting out gluten and dairy, and then reintroducing food. “I did a lot of research on fermented foods and why they’re so good for gut health,” she says. “We both started eating these fermented foods and we noticed such a huge change in her skin. I felt so much better about my skin, too – it was glowing. That’s how my first product Glow really came to be.”
Oates’s Beauty Chef philosophy is that beauty begins with the belly, and all her inner beauty supplements focus on bio-fermented, wholefood nutrition with prebiotics and probiotics. But she says a healthy diet is still crucial for good gut health. “Ideally, I would love people to use my products to supplement a really healthy diet. If you’re taking the supplement and drinking [cola] every day, you’re undoing all the good with loads of sugar,” she explains.
Skin is an incredible barometer for what’s going on inside your body, believes Oates. “If we’re not getting the right nutrients we’re going to suffer from a host of problems,” she says. An unhealthy gut that is in need of some serious TLC could come across as fatigue, irregular bowel movements, bloating and other problems with your bowel movements. “If your gut is really unhealthy, it will show on your skin,” says Oates. And it could show as a dry, lacklustre complexion that could be prone to dermatitis.
To promote good gut health and skin health, Oates advises a diet rich in low-GI, unprocessed foods. “It’s loads of coloured fruits and vegetables and food that’s easily digestible, and good fats, leafy greens, prebiotic foods and soluble fibre,” she says. As for skincare, Oates says we still definitely need a routine, but when we’re looking after our gut and our diet, our skincare doesn’t need to work as hard. “You don’t need as much skincare but you still need to protect the epidermis from environmental assault.”
SMART TIP: Add turmeric to curries, stir-fries and even smoothies. This powerful spice has strong anti-inflammatory effects that promote good gut health.