Long before people were talking about the microbiome and searching for the perfect bowel movement in the name of beauty, Carla Oates was aware of the link between the gut and skin. “I had eczema as a child and a teenager, and at about 13, my mom eliminated certain foods from my diet and introduced other foods,” she says. “So from a very young age, I saw the connection between what we put into our body and our skin.” But it especially hit home when her own daughter experienced eczema at the age of 10 and she stumbled across research that looked at the connection between certain types of bacteria and eczema allergies.
“As I explored that link further, I decided to put my family on a gut-healing protocol. That includes taking some of the digestive irritants and foods that cause a lot of problems for people, like dairy, gluten, corn, and soy, completely out of our diet. We became kind of staunch on it and started introducing more probiotic-rich, lacto-fermented foods. I would make coconut kefir and put it in my daughter’s smoothies.