Carla Oates, the brains behind the beauty supplement line The Beauty Chef, is a firm believer that beauty starts from within â€“ or our gut to be precise. We talk to Oates about her latest launch, Gut Primer, and about what our sugar-laden modern diet is doing to our skin.
What was the thinking behind the decision to launch Gut Primer?
When working on The Gut Guide, I felt that there was a gap in the market and also within our own range of inner beauty products for a gut restore powder designed to really help soothe, heal and seal the gut and treat leaky gut. While all our products feed the microbiome and therefore support gut health, I wanted to create something that specifically targeted the gut lining and restoring it.
GUT PRIMERâ„¢ is a medicinal herbal and superfood powder designed to help calm, repair and soothe the gut. The premise is really to help strengthen the delicate mucosal lining of the gut, repair and reduce inflammation and support a healthy digestive system. It contains a mix of herbs used in traditional Western Herbal Medicine for leaky gut alongside anti-inflammatory and gut strengthening ingredients like aloe vera, liquorice root, slippery elm, milk thistle and turmeric.
What is your own personal approach to skincare?
Iâ€™ve always favoured simplicity when it comes to skincare, opting for products that are free of synthetic chemicals and fragrances while also favouring brands and products that are natural, derived from plant-compounds and whole food sources, and those that are Certified Organic. Our skin is our largest organ and also our first line of defence when it comes to environmental toxins and pathogens. Harsh chemicals found in many skincare products can disrupt our skinâ€™s acid mantle – which helps protect our skin from infection. These harsh chemicals can also disrupt the skinâ€™s microbiome.
I prefer to use natural, gentle ingredients that help keep the skinâ€™s barrier healthy and robust as well as ingredients that nourish the skinâ€™s natural ecosystem, not disrupt it. New studies show that our skinâ€™s microbiome can affect our immune system – so even more reason to use nourishing, organic and gentle skincare.
Adult acne is on the rise. Do you think this has something to do with our modern diet?
Absolutely. Acne is a complex condition, so itâ€™s important to understand the underlying causes – they can be either hormonal or digestive, or a combination of both and gut health can be a major contributor to both hormonal and digestive issues. Stress, sugar, rancid fats and overconsumption of pasteurized and unfermented dairy can play a significant role as they alter gut bacteria and promote inflammation, which is a driver of many skin issues, including acne.
What impact does a high-sugar diet have on our gut health and skin?
While our bodies need some sugar to survive, too much of it and too much of the wrong kind isnâ€™t good for gut, cellular or skin health – in fact, pathogenic bacteria in your gut feed on refined sugar! This can cause imbalances in your gut microbiome and contribute to leaky gut and inflammation, adversely affecting your skin and wellbeing. Fluctuating blood-sugar levels, caused by eating high glycemic foods like cakes, biscuits, bread and pasta leads your body to release more insulin than it needs, which has been linked to skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and premature ageing, mood swings and weight gain. More reasons to avoid processed foods!
Sustained high blood sugar levels also contribute to glycation, which damages collagen, leading to premature ageing of the skin.
Pick up a copy of the November issue of MiNDFOOD to discover what a day on the plate of Carla Oates looks like and her secrets to eating right for a glowing complexion.
The Beauty Chef Gut Primer Inner Beauty Support is available now.