Open just about any kitchen cupboard in Australia (or globally), and you’re bound to see at least one product (if not several) from The Beauty Chef range, the locally-founded ingestible beauty brand that changed the game. Carla Oates, the journalist-turned-beauty mogul behind the label, is a true pioneer in the space, releasing innovative products that work from the inside out to result in not just a healthy gut, but a glowing, radiant complexion. Since its inception in 2009, the brand has continued to innovate, releasing products that target everything from digestion to acne, sleep and even hormonal imbalances. As part of HER BLACK BOOK’s Festival of Her, a shopping event to support female-founded businesses, Oates shares some insight into her business journey so far.

“The idea for The Beauty Chef developed very organically. I’d had eczema as a child and as a teenager, I worked with a naturopath who dramatically changed my diet. The effect this had on my skin was profound and from there, I understood the link between what you put in your body and good health — and clear skin. Many years later, my own daughter experienced similar skin issues, so it led me to research what may be causing them. After investigating various studies that looked at the connection between the food we eat, our gut health and skin health, I put my family on a gut-healing protocol. This included lots of probiotic-rich, lacto-fermented wholefoods and after including these in our diet regularly, our skin and overall wellbeing improved dramatically.

“Friends and family started asking me what I was doing differently and why my skin looked so ‘glowy’— so from there, I really began to understand the power of the gut-skin connection. This was really the birth of The Beauty Chef as from there, I began experimenting with different ingredients in my kitchen at home, and eventually, I created my first inner beauty product — GLOW Inner Beauty Essential — in 2009.”

“Also, look after your gut health! It’s where you regulate skin, mental, metabolic and immune health. When you’re juggling a million things at once, you need to replenish your energy and take time out for yourself as you can’t pour from an empty cup. Oh and do what you love–a deep love and passion for what you do gets you through the bumpy times in your career.”

“I am really proud of creating a brand that encompasses both products and education, to help people with their gut health, their skin health and their overall wellbeing — so they can be the best, healthiest versions of themselves. Also, I think The Beauty Chef has been a part of the paradigm shift in the beauty industry with our ‘beauty begins in the belly philosophy’. I am passionate about helping to challenge and change antiquated ideals in the beauty industry of what beauty is, supporting ideologies that are healthier, that support diversity in beauty, as well as beauty that is clean and green.”

“Someone once told me that success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, and it really stuck with me. I truly believe that you should do what you love, because success requires hard work, so you might as well spend the hard work doing something you wholeheartedly enjoy. Plus, you are bound to be more successful doing something that you have fire, passion and drive for.”