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New eczema treatment: Aussie mum behind The Beauty Chef says gut health key to good skin

For a long time, Aussie mum of two Carla Oates suffered from eczema and allergies.

From a young age she found herself trying all sorts of lotions and potions in a fruitless attempt to ease her discomfort.

It was only when Carla and her mum turned to a naturopath, who suggested removing processed foods and allergens like gluten and dairy from her diet, that Carla says she saw results.

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So began a lifelong interest in healing from the inside out.

Carla began removing allergens from her diet and saw vast improvement on her skin health Credit: Supplied

As time passed, Carla remained aware of what foods she was putting in her body.

Entering the workforce as a beauty journalist, she became shocked by what she calls the “toxic chemicals’ used in some products.

“Women from all over Australia were writing into my column and asking what products should they use for their eczema, psoriasis and acne and other chronic skin issues as well as their aging skin,” Carla tells 7Life.

“I knew looking after your skin properly was an inside job from my own experience with eczema, and knew that none of these chemical-laden products would actually help, heal or rejuvenate their skin.”

When Carla's daughter was ten she began suffering from eczema and other allergies
When Carla’s daughter was ten she began suffering from eczema and other allergies Credit: Supplied

Using her first-hand experience, Carla began sharing the benefits of a low-tox lifestyle – or a crunchy way of living.

A crunchy lifestyle is when an individual turns away most modern medications in favor of more natural choices.

A wedding and two children later, Carla found history was repeating itself.

Her daughter, then 10, was suffering from the same allergies and skin conditions she did as a girl.

Gut health and eczema

Determined to find answers, Carla did more research around diet and discovered multiple studies linking gut health to eczema.

Jumping into action, Carla put the whole family on a gut-friendly diet, which included lots of sauerkraut, kefir and kimchi

“I was eliminating certain foods from our diet while also introducing lots of gut-loving, lacto-fermented wholefoods, teeming with beneficial bacteria into our diet,” Carla explains.

Just as had happened when she was a child, Carla claims her daughter’s symptoms eased with time.

“Friends and family also took notice, asking what I was doing differently as my skin was glowing,” she adds.

“So I quickly became the local beauty pusher and supplier for these fermented foods, which were now in high demand from neighbours, friends and family.

“They found they had more energy, better gut health, and more radiant skin.”

Carla's two children sparked the idea of ​​her multi million dollar business - The Beauty Chef
Carla’s two children sparked the idea of ​​her multi million dollar business – The Beauty Chef Credit: Supplied

With the success of her family’s gut-health kick, Carla was working overtime helping friends and family make the changes she had.

That’s when a multi-million-dollar business idea was born.

Carla began crafting special powders involving gut-loving nutrients to nurture and replenish skin from the inside out.

“My first inner beauty powder contained 18 bio-fermented superfoods with prebiotics and probiotics for gut health, glowing skin and wellbeing,” Carla says.

While friends and family supported her business idea, many were skeptical it would take off.

But Carla was determined to prove those naysayers wrong and in 2009, The Beauty Chef was founded.

Carla first saw a naturopath who suggested she remove toxins from her diet
Carla first saw a naturopath who suggested she remove toxins from her diet Credit: Supplied

“In 2009 the concept of inner beauty didn’t exist–there was no inner beauty category and we pioneered the space,” Carla explains.

“Fermentation and the power of probiotics for gut health and skin health were also fairly new and while there was a certain level of awareness in the health and wellness world, probiotics for beauty was also entirely new.”

Soon skincare lovers were flocking to embrace Carla’s “shake up” of the beauty world.

13 years on from its conception, The Beauty Chef is now available not only in Australia but in the US.

In 2020, the company worldwide was estimated to be worth $AU400 million – meaning her “left field” remedy is paying off big time.

“I experienced first-hand the connection of food as medicine,” Carla says.

“What we eat can profoundly affect our skin and health.”

7NEWS.com.au has not received any monetary benefit for this story.

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