Founded by naturalist Carla Oates, the The Beauty Chef's motto is 'beauty begins in the belly,' a simple but powerful phrase that not only sums up the brand’s beauty and wellbeing philosophy, but also serves as the guiding principle that led to the creation of their popular Inner Beauty Powders and Inner Beauty Boosts. Read on to learn more about the fascinating and complex ecosystem that is your gut, and discover how gut health is linked to beautiful skin…
It's a little known fact that good digestive health is extremely important to your overall health and wellbeing, and also contributes massively to the appearance of your skin. “If you want naturally clear, glowing skin on the outside, you need to be healthy on the inside, starting with your gut,” says Carla. “This is because the gut and the immune system are intricately linked, with around 70% of the body's immune tissue located in the digestive system, making it the body's first line of defence against harmful toxins, bacteria and diseases.”
When your digestive system is working well and in tip-top shape, it is typically home to trillions of 'good' bacteria and microbes that outnumber your body's own cells by 10 to one. These good bacteria and microbes help your body to process waste and nourish your major organs - including your skin, which is the body’s largest organ. Having the correct balance of good bacteria helps us process and manufacture nutrients, destroy toxins, break down foods and fats through the production of important digestion enzymes, create neurochemicals, eliminate pathogens and free radicals, recycle hormones from food sources that determine how we store fat, and produce nutrients, such as biotin and vitamin K, which are essential for correct nervous system function and general good health.
Unfortunately, there are times when 'bad' gut flora and bacteria, such as pathogens, fungi and yeast (such as candida) can take over, which is when health and skin problems can occur. “When this happens, the bad bacteria overload not only creates an imbalance in all of the body's systems, which causes a breakdown in the body's ability to process nutrients, but it can also compromise the integrity of the intestines and contribute to leaky gut, a condition where undigested toxins and waste particles enter the bloodstream through tiny holes that appear in the lining of the gut,” says Carla. “This in turn causes all sorts of health issues - including everything from acne and skin problems to allergies, inflammation, general tiredness and low energy, foggy headedness, premature ageing, bloating, poor digestion, inability to lose weight - and also lowers the strength of your immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness.”
There are lots of things that can alter the good/bad bacteria balance in our system, most of which are side effects of modern life. “The most common triggers are medications (including the contraceptive pill) and antibiotics, which wipe out both bad and good gut flora, along with an unhealthy diet comprised of processed and refined foods, junk food that’s high in sugar, fat and carbohydrates, excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol, stress, poor sleep, pollution, smoking, pesticides, herbicides, hormones in our food and toxins in our personal-care products,” says Carla. The good news is you can turn your gut health around with a healthy diet, probiotics and a bit of patience. While Carla always recommends seeing a nutritionist, who can diagnose and treat any specific condition you might have, there are some things you can do right now to keep your gut flora happy or help get it back on track:1. Boost your probiotic intake. The proven strains of good bacteria are the lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species, which help to repopulate the gut with good flora. Most yoghurts and probiotic drinks contain these strains, although unfortunately the bacteria counts are usually not high enough to make a health impact and they are usually also loaded with gut-compromising ingredients, like refined sugar, which bad bacteria thrives on. Instead, take a dedicated probiotic supplement or try The Beauty Chef Glow Inner Beauty Powder and Cleanse Inner Beauty Powder, which contain billions of gut-enhancing probiotics and prebiotics per serve.
2. Eat lacto-fermented foods. The process of lacto-fermentation naturally creates loads of good bacteria that help to strengthen and rebuild your gut. This is because lacto-fermented food contains lactobacilli, which lines the gut with good flora and helps with digestion. Sauerkraut, miso, kefir and kimchi are great digestion-boosting foods and can help to heal the gut, but if you can't readily find these foods or they're not suitable for your diet, you can instead try any of The Beauty Chef’s Inner Beauty Powders or Inner Beauty Boosts. All of their formulas are lacto-fermented using a range of health-boosting good bacteria species, plus they're unpasteurized for optimum health benefits and they're easy to take - just a teaspoon a day will nourish your gut and feed your skin.
3. Include prebiotics in your diet. Prebiotics feed the probiotics, so if you want a thriving, healthy gut, you need to nourish the good bacteria with the right stuff. Essentially, prebiotics are the non-digestible food substances that hang around in the body to serve as lunch for the probiotics. Asparagus, bananas, garlic, onions, leeks, endive, chicory, shallots, Jerusalem artichokes and sauerkraut are good sources. Alternatively, The Beauty Chef’s Inner Beauty Powders and Boosts are rich in naturally occurring prebiotics to help you maintain a healthy gut.
“Gut health really is the cornerstone of our philosophy at The Beauty Chef and it is the driving reason why fermentation, probiotics and prebiotics are key to our formulas,” says Carla. “We believe that what you see on the outside is a reflection of what's happening on the inside, which is why we only use organic ingredients that feed the body and boost the skin, because beauty really does begin in the belly.”
Shop The Beauty Chef’s incredible range of living skincare supplements here.
By Lauren Dunne