Gut-Based Beauty with The Beauty Chef
If you want that outer glow, first you need to go within. New Age hot air, this isn’t. It’s science. A balanced, healthy gut is key to radiant skin, as The Beauty Chef founder Carla Oates will tell you. (We know because she told us.) Her line of supplements, formulated with fermented organic ingredients that promote gut health, expands the definition of skin care beyond serums and creams. You’ll want to heed her wisdom on beauty foods, bio-fermentation and the power of good bacteria. It’s downright enlightening, and skin-brightening.
What’s the connection between the gut and the skin?
At The Beauty Chef, we believe that beauty begins in the belly. There are many studies to support the link between gut health, probiotics and skin health. I know it doesn’t sound very glamorous, but beautiful, glowing skin does begin in your gut.
Skin, hair and nails are the last places to receive nutrients, as they go to more important organs first, so nutrition and healthy digestion is key. If we’re not getting enough nutrients or digesting our food properly due to poor gut health, our skin literally starves. This affects skin elasticity and collagen production and will manifest in dull, lackluster skin with poor tone.
One of the best ways to help balance gut flora is to take probiotics—beneficial bacteria that help to keep your gut in good health. Our gut is where 70% of our immune system lives, where we metabolize hormones, make nutrients that contribute to collagen formation, make antioxidants, make detoxifying enzymes, neutralize pathogens—and all of these things can profoundly affect the skin.
Let’s break down fermentation: what is it, and how is it beneficial to the gut’s well-being?
When you ferment, nutrients are made more bio-available for the skin to use. For example, if you eat a plate of superfoods, by the time your body takes what it needs to function, you end up absorbing around 15% of the nutrients. If you ferment these foods, you can absorb up to 85%! Lacto-fermentation also creates naturally occurring probiotics that help balance the skin. We have this incredible process that turns natural ingredients into supercharged and super-active ingredients—and it’s all done by nature.
Beyond our appearance, what are the benefits of a healthy microbiome?
The gut is home to trillions of microbes that outnumber the body’s cells 10:1. More and more studies are showing the nature of those bacteria can affect our health, skin and the way we feel. To look and feel our best, we aim for a predominance of good bacteria over bad. You will notice increased energy straightaway; if you make other lifestyle changes that support good gut health, you will notice a huge difference in the way you feel, your skin and your weight.
The Beauty Chef Beauty Fix Balm, Probiotic Skin Refiner and Dream Repair Serum
What are some of your favorite beauty foods?
For beautiful, glowing skin, I recommend taking all the processed and packaged foods out of your diet and add some fermented foods instead. Lacto-fermented foods are rich in bio-available nutrients to feed the skin from within (fermentation predigests the food, so the nutrients are more available for the skin and body to use) and are great for improving digestion as they contain both prebiotics and probiotics. Great examples are sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and The Beauty Chef Glow Advanced Inner Beauty Powder, which contains 24 different skin-loving, fermented superfoods.
I love antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory wonders like dark green leafy veggies, berries and pomegranate, which are also packed with vitamin C to support collagen production, help protect the skin from UV stress and free radical damage, and provide a good dose of fiber for cleansing the bowel and skin. Foods rich in omega-3s moisturize and smooth the skin from the inside, and are anti-inflammatory; these include flaxseed, salmon, sardines and chia seeds. Inflammation causes all sorts of skin problems including dryness, pimples and loss of skin tone as it breaks down collagen, so these foods can work wonders.
Wherever possible, avoid sugar and eat unprocessed, low-HI (human intervention) foods. Processed, sugary foods are inflammatory, and inflammation is the skin’s number-one enemy!
Do you have any other natural beauty tips?
Drink lots of filtered water. Water is important for every biological function in the body. When it comes to avoiding harsh chemicals, buy an organic body wash, shampoo and conditioner. It is especially important to opt for green and clean shower products; heat and water can facilitate absorption of chemicals into the body, so ensure that they are full of organic botanicals and devoid of nasty chemicals. I use coconut oil to wash my body, as it’s brilliant at lifting dirt, is antibacterial and rich in skin-loving fatty acids.
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