New eczema treatment: Australian mum behind The Beauty Chef says gut health is key to great skin

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

From an early age, she found herself trying all sorts of lotions and potions in an unsuccessful attempt to ease her discomfort.

It wasn’t until Carla and her mother 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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Thus began a lifelong interest in healing from within.

Carla started eliminating allergens from her diet and saw a big improvement in her skin health Credit: Provided

Over time, Carla remained aware of the foods she was putting into her body.

Entering the job market as a beauty journalist, she was shocked by what she calls “toxic chemicals” used in some products.

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

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

When Carla's daughter was ten she started to suffer from eczema and other allergies
When Carla’s daughter was ten she started to suffer from eczema and other allergies Credit: Provided

Through her first-hand experience, Carla began sharing the benefits of a low-toxic lifestyle — or a crunchy lifestyle.

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

A marriage and two children later, Carla discovered that history was repeating itself.

Her then 10-year-old daughter suffered from the same allergies and skin conditions she suffered when she was little.

Intestinal health and eczema

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

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

“I was eliminating certain foods from our diet while introducing lots of gut-loving, lacto-fermented whole foods into our diet that are full of beneficial bacteria,” says Carla.

Just as it happened when she was a child, Carla says her daughter’s symptoms have improved over time.

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

“So I quickly became the local beauty seller of these fermented foods, which were now in high demand from neighbors, friends and family.

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

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

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

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

Carla started making special powders containing gut-loving nutrients to nourish and replenish the skin from within.

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

While his friends and family were supportive of his business idea, many were skeptical of its success.

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

Carla first saw a naturopath who suggested eliminating toxins from her diet
Carla first saw a naturopath who suggested eliminating toxins from her diet Credit: Provided

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

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

Soon, skincare enthusiasts were flocking to embrace Carla’s “revamp” of the beauty world.

13 years after its conception, The Beauty Chef is now available not only in Australia but also in the United States.

In 2020, the company’s value worldwide was estimated at AU$400 million, meaning its “left field” remedy is paying off.

“I experienced firsthand the connection between food and medicine,” says Carla.

“What we eat can profoundly affect our skin and our health.” received no financial benefit for this story.

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