As a beauty editor, Carla Oates knew more about skin care and cosmetics than even the biggest YouTube tutorial junkies out there. But even she had some gaps in her knowledge—specifically around what was actually in her beloved lip glosses, body moisturizers, and more—and after an ingredients crash course, Oates realized that tons of products on the market were actually harming people’s skin.
Consider this her natural beauty light bulb moment—and she hasn’t looked back since.
Today, the Aussie guru has gone from reviewing products to creating them as the The Beauty Chef, using plant-based ingredients to formulate radiance-boosting products (both ingestible powders and topical serums).
“Your gut is like soil—you have to feed it the right food and good bacteria for your hair, skin, and nails to be lustrous.”
“My beauty philosophy is that it begins in the belly,” says Oates, whose super-healthy vibe matches her lit-from-within skin. “Your gut is like soil—you have to feed it the right food and good bacteria for your hair, skin, and nails to be lustrous.”
Of course, certain superfoods are more, well, super than others when it comes to giving you a clear complexion. Out of all the fruits, veggies, and proteins you can eat as part of a healthy diet, what does Oates believe is the best thing to incorporate on the reg?
“People usually don’t eat enough cruciferous veggies,” she says (that’s your kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc.—AKA all the stuff your mom tried to get you to eat). “They’re amazing for your skin—they have sulfur-containing compounds, which help clarify your complexion, help the body detoxify properly, and they’re super high in a range of antioxidants and compounds that are good for you.”
“People usually don’t eat enough cruciferous veggies. They’re amazing for your skin.”
The meaty greens (and whites, in cauli’s case) are also anti-inflammatory, which is key in keeping acne at bay. In fact, a 2014 study found that these particular vegetables contain anti-inflammatory berteroin, a sulfur compound that improves skin.
But let’s be real: Some of these veggies can cause a digestive situation (ahem, gas). “To make them easier to digest, I recommend cooking them or fermenting them,” says Oates. “Often people find once they’ve balanced their digestive systems, they tolerate these group of veggies much better.” She also recommends taking digestive enzymes, if you’re still having issues with your cruciferous options.
However you get them in, Oates lauds the veggies for acting as an “internal skin moisturizer that supercharge your inner beauty routine.” Um, yes please.
To keep your skin healthy, these gut-friendly supplements could help you get your best glow ever. And you may want to look beyond the gut—after all, the secret to a good complexion could lie in your liver, too.