Carla Oates’s Australian wellness empire, The Beauty Chef, is built around the idea of adopting a holistic, “inside-out” approach to health. The brand, which was founded in Sydney in 2009, sells a range of probiotic powders and elixirs designed to support general wellbeing and gut health.
“I created The Beauty Chef around the philosophy that ‘beauty begins in the belly’,” says Oates. “I passionately believe our gut health can impact everything from our skin to physical health and happiness.”
But she acknowledges that supplements are just one part of a wellness and beauty routine. She attributes her own clear complexion to both “a state of balance” (that is, “feeling grounded but energised and inspired at the same time”) and a toolbox that combines diet, exercise, mindfulness and natural skincare with her supplements.
Here, the fresh-faced entrepreneur shares the rituals she relies on to look and feel well.
Take some time to daydream
For Oates, daydreaming is simpler than exotic retreats or dedicated classes. “I love making a pot of herbal tea in the morning and sitting on my leather lounge looking out at my big fig tree changing with the seasons,” she says. “I do this and just daydream. It’s my absolute favourite thing to do. I cherish this ritual so much because I don’t get much time in the day to daydream. ”
“Walking is key [to] keeping my overall wellbeing in check,” she says. “I walk around Sydney’s Centennial Park a lot and also along Bondi Beach.” This low-intensity ritual serves as a salve for the mind. “Walking is my meditation. It’s like a natural filing system for my brain. It’s both cathartic and calming, and, at the same time, energising. My mind can be full of thoughts, problems and ideas, but by the end of the walk, I often have solutions, resolve and a sense of calm.”
Juggling the constant demands of being a working mother and CEO, Oates understands the importance of quality rest to keep skin bright and boost cell turnover. “I find the best way to feel balanced is to ensure I get a full eight hours of sleep – it’s called beauty sleep for a reason.”
Nourish and protect with natural skincare
When she worked as a beauty editor at Sunday Life Magazine, Oates became aware of the toxic chemicals found in many mainstream skincare products and cosmetics. Now she opts for natural products that are gentle on her skin.
“I always cleanse in the mornings and believe it’s an important step a lot of people skip,” says Oates. She uses a cleanser she makes herself with a mix of essential oils and organic coconut oil. “Where possible I always choose certified organic products, so I have confidence in the integrity of the ingredients as well as the purity.”
Then she applies Marie Veronique’s protective day oil followed by Coola sunscreen, which is “feather light and helps to nourish my skin with antioxidant-rich ingredients like red raspberry seed oil and prickly pear extract”. Oates notes that the formula is full of fatty acids, which are said to help maintain and hydrate skin and prevent inflammation.
“[The oil] also contains a range of carotenoids,” she adds, referring to a specific kind of antioxidant found in orange vegetables such as carrots, which “give the skin extra antioxidant protection throughout the day.”
Then she’ll take her own Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder, which contains more than 20 organic, bio-fermented and probiotic ingredients, including Dunaliella salina (a kind of micro-algae) and maqui (also known as Chilean wineberry), as well as vitamin C (said to improve skin radiance and texture). “I like to think of it as my daily inner-beauty moisturiser for a healthy gut and good skin.”
Oates begins her evening routine by taking The Beauty Chef’s Sleep Inner Beauty Powder one hour before bed, which she mixes into a warm glass of nut milk with a splash of maple syrup if she’s craving something sweet.
“When we ferment algae, legumes, herbs, spices, vegetables and grasses, the result is an incredible probiotic liquid with naturally produced lactic acid,” she explains. “This helps to synthesise collagen, refine the complexion and boost skin-cell turnover.” Oates says this results in her skin feeling softer, smoother and looking more radiant.
Then she massages in Tata Harper’s rejuvenating serum, which she says “helps minimise the appearance of fine lines”. It contains neuropeptides and hyaluronic acid, which are said to help with hydration.
Finally, eyes and lips are dabbed with The Beauty Chef’s Flora Fix balm
This article first appeared on Broadsheet on August 26, 2019. Menu items may have changed since publication.