It’s rare these days to come across a beauty obsessive who isn’t also a devotee to Carla Oates’s skin-saving, gut-loving ingestible range, The Beauty Chef. The brand’s best-selling product, Glow Inner Beauty Powder, can often be spotted in people’s morning routine social posts, or go-to smoothie recipes – including my own. So when we (read: I) heard that The Beauty Chef was not only set to drop a new product, but also introduce a never-before-featured category in their range, to say that excitement levels were high, and curiosities well and truly piqued, would be an understatement. In comes Oates’s latest offering, the Omega Elixir: a vegan ingestible oil that targets dry, irritated skin from within. Three years in the making, and born out of a need to remedy extremely dry or inflamed skin, as well as conditions that are symptomatic of drier skin (like eczema and dermatitis)—skin issues Oates herself has dealt with—this new-release ingestible harnesses the power of rich essential fatty acids to support your skin’s health internally and supplement your topical skincare routine—all with the added benefit of bolstering your gut health, naturally. Skin-soothing aside, the Omega Elixir also comes with an environmental assurance, its production process not only considering our own wellbeing—the elixir is formulated with certified organic, nutrient-dense wholefood ingredients—but also the wellbeing of the planet through sustainable sourcing of ingredients, so you can ingest in good conscience. And we haven’t even gotten into the yuzu-laced taste, a delightful surprise to the palette where its omega ingestible counterparts are concerned. Scroll on to read Vogue’s chat with The Beauty Chef’s Carla Oates as she talks us through not only the new Omega Elixir, but also how to ingest supplements properly, how to soothe your angry skin from within, and her demystification of omegas. Where did the idea for an ingestible oil originate?“We do have some ingredients that contain essential fatty acids, so you’re getting some of them in our existing products, but not a huge amount. And so for me, having suffered from eczema… I created it for a solution for my own skin as well as my daughter’s, and it’s helped enormously. I believe that having some essential fatty acids is absolutely vital for your skin, especially if you suffer from super-dry skin issues, like eczema or dermatitis, and if your skin is inflamed. We know essential fatty acids play a big role in supporting the health of the skin and your overall well being. And so I have, over the years, taken fish oils from sustainable sources as well as evening primrose oil, because evening primrose oil—it’s got GLA in it, gamma-linolenic acid—is excellent for dry skin. So I had experimented for years with oils as well, taking oils, but there was nothing on the market that I could find that had the mix… so I wanted to create an oil that has a healthy ratio of your omega 3’s, 6, 7 and 9, and nothing like that is on the market, and something that was, you know, at a good dose that was therapeutic. We had to list [the Omega Elixir] as a medicine because of the amount of GLA in there, and evening primrose oil is in [such] high amounts that we actually had to list it as a medicine. Having a product that’s highly efficacious is super important. I discovered the power and the benefits of algae. I’m a big believer in algae and all its amazing nutrients and benefits. And the thing that’s really cool is that fish basically get their omega 3’s from consuming algae, so I’ve just gone straight to the source, and instead of using fish oil, we’ve used algal oil, and we fermented it—because fermentation is at the heart of everything we do at The Beauty Chef—and that makes the oil more bioavailable for the body to uptake. So it’s a completely unique oil that has your evening primrose oil, which has got the high GLA, it’s got the omega 3’s from bio-fermented algal oil—you’re [also] getting the DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) from the algal oil which is great for eyesight and great for a healthy nervous system—as well as chia seed oil and linseed oil, and we put the Seabuckthorn Berry Oil in there which I love because it’s got your omega 7’s. It’s also got lots of antioxidants from the astaxanthin, the black cumin oil, as well as rosemary and vitamin E— and what’s really cool is that the antioxidants you find in sea buckthorn berry oil and astaxanthin, they’re oil soluble, so they become more available because you’re having those antioxidants with the oil. So it’s a really cool, unique product. It has taken so long, and getting the flavour right too, you could imagine, algae tastes like… it’s very fishy, and then rosemary and all the other antioxidants and ingredients, it was like… wow, it tasted really interesting. And it took us about six months to really nail the flavours. We’ve got yuzu, which is a japanese citrus, and we’ve got vanilla in there as well, so it’s quite delicious I think. What are the main health and skin benefits of the Omega Elixir? And who is going to benefit most from using it?So we’ve got this amazing product that is suitable for vegans, it’s clean, it’s sustainable, and we’ve gone straight to the source—fish [contain] the omega 3’s [because] they eat the algae—and just put the algal oil in there as opposed to getting the fish oil. Omegas are not really only important for people that have dry skin issues, but even people with acne or any inflamed skin problems, omega 3’s are super important. People who have essential fatty acid deficiency, that can significantly affect the skin’s function [and] the skin’s appearance, which can be characterised by dermatitis, dry skin issues, and also, your essential fatty acids are super important for your skin barrier integrity as well. So the benefits that we can make claims as a TGA product is that it relieves skin dryness, it reduces irritation, it soothes skin inflammation, it supports skin smoothness and softness, it supports the skin’s structure and integrity, it’s gut-friendly—because we’re so gut-based, we know that omega 3’s really important for its contribution to a happy, healthy microbiome, and fostering microbial diversity. There was a good study, I think it just came out of King’s University in London, to say that omega 3’s help to encourage microbial diversity in the gut, which is really cool. It [also] supports general health and wellbeing, it supports eye health, it supports nervous system health.” Are any ingredients formulated into the Omega Elixir unique to this product, or ingestibles in general?“I think definitely the bio-fermented algae is really cool because so many people use fish oil, this is amazing. It’s sustainable, it’s a great source of omega 3’s and your DHA, it’s clean, and again, we’ve gone straight to the source as opposed to using fish oil, and it’s bio-fermented, which makes it more bioavailable—so I think this is a very unique angle. And also the fact of the synergy of all the oils—evening primrose oil is high in GLA and great for dry skin, but instead of just having fish oil or evening primrose oil, we’ve mixed them together, and created this incredible, comprehensive [mix]. And then I’m really obsessed with sea buckthorn berry oil, and I’m really obsessed with black cumin oil, both have amazing nutritional profiles, so I wanted to put them into the oil so you get this really comprehensive range of your fatty acids and your essential fatty acids. [They’re] both are rich in phytonutrients, so antioxidants, as well as astaxanthin (the pigment coming from the sea weed) that’s also really rich in antioxidants.” There’s talk in the ingestibles space around needing a carrier when taking supplements so they’re more bioavailable and nutritionally valuable—would you say this comprehensive combination of oils does ensure that every single oil is nutritionally beneficial?“Yeah. We know that people who just take fish oil, for example, it’s not as bioavailable as if you eat a piece of fish, and the reason being is when you eat fish you get other oils, and the combination of oils help make the other oils more bioavailable. So by mixing our oils, rather than just taking an oil by itself, we’re enhancing its bioavailability with all the oils. And so the other good [point] as well, in terms of digestion—digestion begins in your mouth, so the breaking down of everything, and enzymes, it starts in your mouth—by putting an oil in your mouth, it sends a message for your bile salts and your stomach acids to get ready to actually digest the oil properly, so your body can utilise it. When you swallow a capsule, you’re not getting that same benefit as when it’s in your mouth and digestion begins. If you digest a supplement, like a fish oil capsule, your body can still utilise it but it takes longer, especially if you’ve got problems with digestion.” Tell us about the benefits of not only omega 3, but also 6, 7 and 9. “So omega 3 and 6 are essential, 7 and 9 aren’t essential. So we know that omega 7’s, which are your palmitoleic acids, that’s found naturally in human skin, and as we age, the levels decline. So we’re replenishing the omega 7’s through having sea buckthorn berry oil, as well as the 9’s, [and] again, really high in antioxidants, so you’re not just getting your omega 7, but you’re also getting your carotenoids like lycopene, as well as vitamin E and other phytonutrients in the oil. And with the omega 9’s, which comes from the evening primrose oil, also chia oil that we’ve got in there, [and] coconut oil, they’re also anti-inflammatory. And in regards to the 1, 2 and 5, basically, it’s about the bonds, scientifically speaking… we don’t know that they have health benefits basically, but we do for all the others.” How does the Omega Elixir differ from the ingestible powder and liquids you already offer?“If you are not getting enough of your good fats, and for you is a real issue for you in your diet, and your skin’s really dry, then you can definitely take the Omega Elixir by itself. However, in The Beauty Chef range, we have three different categories: your ‘essentials’, your ‘boosts’ and your ‘support’. So your ‘essentials’ is like your Glow Inner Beauty Powder, which is like your daily skin support and maintenance powder, and that’s really—you know, because at The Beauty Chef we believe primarily that beauty begins within the belly—your gut and skin daily powder. And then the ‘boosts’ I created to really turbocharge your inner beauty routine and to target specific skin concerns, so that’s your Antioxidant, your Hydration and your Collagen. For example, we’ve had such great feedback from our customers, who say ‘I take Glow everyday, it made my skin really amazing. I’ve paired it now with Antioxidant or Collagen, and my beauty [routine] has been taken to the next level’. So Glow is kind of like your inner beauty daily moisturiser, and then you’ve got your serums to really turbocharge your beauty routine, like your inner beauty serums. And then the ‘support’ range is like your Body Inner Beauty Support Powder, your Sleep Inner Beauty Powder, so like lifestyle support. And then I thought what’s missing in the range is an amazing product that has all your good fats. Because I take Glow every single day, but I also do often take a mix of evening primrose oil, and fish oil together, and then I also add in things, like I love sea buckthorn berry oil and I also add in chia seed oil, so I always add in other oils—so I make up my own concoctions of oils—and so, for me, it made absolute common sense. We get such great feedback from our customers around Glow helping with their dry skin, but this for me was like ‘okay, this is a boost’, this if for people who aren’t getting good fats into their diet, and it’s got such a beautiful ration, and it’s got everything I’d want to see in an oil product, and so I put it in the ‘boost’ range. So for people who take Glow and it’s helped them, but they’re skin is still dry, or irritated or inflamed, and they’re more prone to having any dry skin issues, the oil is an amazing boost that becomes your inner beauty serum to complement Glow.” What’s your favourite way to work the Omega Elixir into your daily diet?“I take a spoon, but you could also put it into salad dressing, you can put it over your yogurt and granola in the morning, you can put it in mayonnaises. It’s also really yummy on smashed avocado on healthy, sourdough or gluten-free bread. The beauty about having it in food is that, so for example, if you put this oil onto tomatoes—so tomatoes have antioxidants called carotenoids in them, which is like lycopene, it’s in that family—and those carotenoids are oil-soluble, so when you put an oil on tomato and have it, the oil will help your boys to utilise the carotenoids better. So that’s why it’s really great to put this oil on things like spinach—spinach is also rich in carotenoids—and that way you can get the benefits of those foods as well, so that’s why I love food, because I think food is medicine. And just like our fermented powders, there’s a real advantage to consuming them as food as opposed to capsules. The only thing you don’t want to do is heat it, because that can damage some of the delicate oils.” Tell us about the importance of sustainability for your brand.“I’m very passionate about it, and I think we all need to do what we can do to contribute to the health of our planet, and you know, we’re all about the health of our people and our customers and our community, that’s so important, but also, the greater planet. We are really committed, both in our business internally, and also with our products, and with our partners to cry and create a better future. I designed [Omega Elixir] around this growing concern of where our fish is coming from, and pollution in our oceans, and fish farms and what they’re fed. There are some companies who are doing fish oil well, but for me, I stumbled across the algal oil and I thought it’s sustainably sourced, it’s clean—why not go straight to the source of where the omega 3’s are? Because fish has the omega 3’s and they eat the algae, so why not just use the algae, and we ferment it to make it more bioavailable. So in terms of ingredient sourcing, we try to go local where possible, organic where possible, and this product, we were lucky enough that we found this algal oil. The algae is grown in tanks, so it’s sustainably grown, and everything around it, like organic feed and organic water, it’s all completely sustainable, the way that it’s been harvested. And again, we’re not taxing our oceans by farming them. We’ve got to be conscious of fish stocks as well, and also fish farming—what are the fish being fed? And if I can come up with a solution that doesn’t put pressure on the oceans, and is just as good from a health benefit perspective, then it’s common sense. From April next year, we’re rolling out more sustainable packaging as well, so that for me is a really big focus at the moment. I think, more than ever, companies need to take responsibility—if the governments don’t, then we need to do it. And the thing that I love is that I think our customers, and the next generation, are so onto it and it’s so important to force companies to be cleaner and greener.” Here, Oates shares one way she likes to ingest The Beauty Chef’s new Omega Elixir—introducing the omega boost breakfast bowl Omega Boost Breakfast Bowl Makes two serves The omega boost breakfast bowl. Image credit: courtesy of The Beauty Chef Ingredients200g organic coconut yoghurt 4 teaspoons of Omega Elixir½ cup blackberries½ cup fresh cherries, halved100g rockmelon, cubed 2 teaspoons chia seeds1 cup of gluten-free granola, or DIY Honey Granola Method1. Divide the yoghurt and spoon into two shallow bowls.2. Sprinkle the chia seeds and granola evenly over the top.3. Divide the fruit between the two bowls.4. Drizzle two teaspoons of Omega Elixir over each bowl.
Original article published by @VogueAustralia >