The Sleep Rituals The Beauty Chef's Carla Oates Swears By For Glowing Skin
Welcome to Bedtime Stories, an interview series where we ask inspiring individuals to share their nighttime routine and sleep secrets – from the beauty products they can’t live without to the tricks they swear by when they’re too tired to function (no coffee needed).
For this instalment, author, natural health expert, mother-of-two and founder of The Beauty Chef, Carla Oates, takes us through the rejuvenating sleep rituals that keep her gut healthy, skin glowing and energy levels soaring, day after day.
The term ‘gut health’ has become a worldwide phenomenon over the past years. People are becoming more attuned with the myriad of benefits associated with a healthy gut (hello, happy heart and brain health, strong immune system, good digestion, glowing skin and improved sleep and mood, to name a few), and as a result, have turned to edible beauty products to maintain a flourishing microbiome.
But this global marvel didn’t spark from thin air. It was, in fact, partly the work of Carla Oates and her thriving business The Beauty Chef, which has become a kitchen staple for millions worldwide.
One glance at Oates and you’d think she’s no older than 30. Quite literally. On top of running one of the most successful women-founded businesses, she juggles multiple roles including the author of two books, journalist, a natural health expert and proud mother-of-two, all while looking and feeling great, day after day. If that’s not enough to prove her products actually work, all you need to do is turn to her 200k+ loyal Instagram followers who hold proof of how their life has significantly improved after investing in Oates’ passion project-turned-global-business.
But her continued success as an entrepreneur with a radiant complexion wouldn’t be possible if she didn’t continuously look after her health. For Oates, it all starts with a well-balanced and solid bedtime routine. It’s that simple.
Bed Threads Journal sat down with the inspiring businesswoman where she revealed all the sleep rituals she swears by to help keep her feeling her best every day.
Hi Carla! Welcome to Bedtime Stories. Can you walk us through your bedtime routine?
I try to hit the hay early-ish, mostly between 9-10pm to ensure I get a full eight hours of sleep. Studies show that when the body is deprived of sleep, it disrupts your body’s ability to maintain a healthy microbiome, and we all know the health of our microbiome is essential for gut, skin, brain, immune and metabolic health. It's called beauty sleep for a very good reason!
I commence my bedtime routine by taking The Beauty Chef SLEEP Inner Beauty one hour before bed, mixed into a warmed glass of nut milk (and sometimes a little bit of manuka honey if I'm craving something sweet) to soothe my nerves and deepen my sleep. It contains natural sedatives including passionflower and lemon balm traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to soothe and calm nerves, and relieve restlessness, as well as sour cherry, which is naturally-rich in the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. It also contains turmeric and probiotics, which both support digestive health and are anti-inflammatory, so it doubles up as an effective beauty-from-within product, too.
My topical nighttime beauty routine is crucial because this is when all the good things happen and the skin can truly rejuvenate without the interruption of environmental assault you're exposed to during the day. I always gently cleanse my face using coconut oil or an oil-based balm, and a muslin cloth to wash away the day’s grease and grime. Oil is very effective for lifting dirt from the skin and coconut oil boasts both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, making it the perfect cleanser.
I then use a Marie Veronique serum, some Sodashi moisturiser and I apply a little Beauty Fix Balm under my eyes, on my lips and any dry patches.
What sleep or beauty products do you swear by that you won’t go a night without?
Aside from my SLEEP Powder, I love swapping between both Marie Veronique’s serum and Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum. I find this serum really helps to minimise the appearance of fine lines as it contains natural neuropeptides and hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin, leaving it feeling plumped and smooth, ready to take on the next day.
I’ve always looked after my skin by nurturing my gut with nutritious wholefoods and fermented foods, as well as being mindful of the products I use on my face. I ensure the brands I buy have natural, pure and efficacious ingredients, and are not mixed with harmful chemicals that will disrupt the skin's natural microbiome.
What is your solution for those nights you simply can’t nod off to sleep?
If I feel restless and wide-awake, I try to write down all of my thoughts in a journal I keep beside my bed. Sometimes these thoughts can be creative ideas, things to remember and do for the next day, or simply some feelings. I find penning these thoughts to paper helps me relax and relieve any thoughts out of my mind, which helps me get to sleep easier.
Another thing I try to do is keep screen-time to a minimum. This by far is my biggest tip for truly unwinding before bed. I also try to not look at my computer or my phone for at least an hour before I sleep as I find it very stimulating and harder to wind down. In saying that, running a business does make this impossible some nights. I definitely find I do have a deeper rejuvenating sleep those nights I stick to the no-phone rule.
Lavender essential oil is also helpful to induce relaxation - a few drops on my pillow or a bath before bed does the trick.
What time does your alarm go off in the morning?
I naturally wake up around 5.30am. It can be an internal struggle not to immediately look at my phone and start checking emails from my businesses' global teams however, I made a commitment to myself this year to use the mornings as a time for self-care.
Once I'm up, I make it my mission to go for a brisk walk down by the beach. Walking for me is so meditative and this is the time where I process my thoughts and ideas, ready to take on the day ahead.
What are three things (besides coffee) that help when you’re too tired to function?
I'm fortunate enough to live near Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach, so a brisk walk by the sea in the morning helps me to wake up naturally while fostering balance and creativity for the day ahead.
Secondly, The Beauty Chef Adaptogen Inner Beauty Boost mixed into a glass of filtered water, helps me feel rejuvenated and adds some energy to my morning, especially when I'm feeling sluggish or sleepy. This bio-fermented beauty boost is packed with activated vitamins B6 and B12 to help reduce fatigue, refresh tired-looking skin and calm the appearance of a ruddy complexion.
Thirdly, starting the day with a nutrient-rich wholefood breakfast always sets me up for the day ahead. I also love sipping on Peppermint tea throughout the day as I find it soothing.
What do you normally eat for breakfast to kick start your day?
After my morning walks, I take GLOW Inner Beauty Essential either stirred into a glass of filtered water or blended into a delicious smoothie with fresh, seasonal ingredients. At the moment I’m loving the mix of papaya, banana, blueberries, coconut milk and chia seeds.
While sipping, I’ll prepare breakfast for myself and the family. This is always healthy and nutrient-balanced like poached eggs with spinach, tomatoes and avocado, or some sort of porridge.
For more from Carla, follow The Beauty Chef on Instagram @thebeautychef.