Is chocolate really to blame for acne, blemishes and breakouts? We investigate this common myth.
There’s a lot of advice and information out there in the wonderful world of beauty, and sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. Never fear! We are happy to help demystify some of the most common beauty myths you may have heard. First up: is chocolate really bad for your skin?
Whether you were given a heart-shaped box of treats from your sweetheart or you over-indulged at your Galentine’s Day cookie swap, you might be worried about what impact all that chocolate will have on your skin. We’re here to clear things up.
Chocolate causes breakouts.
“You are what you eat,” or so we’ve been told. Our dietary choices can, indeed, affect the appearance of our skin as well as our overall health. Chocolate in particular has gained a bad reputation for causing unsightly blemishes. But, good news for all the chocolate lovers out there: it seems you can’t believe everything you hear.
Cocoa is not the culprit, but…
While it’s true some women may notice a breakout a few days after eating a chocolate bar, sugar is to blame in this case, not chocolate. A diet high in fat and refined sugars, like those found in candy and chocolate, can kick sebum production into high gear and trigger inflammatory responses in the body—both of which are known to increase the risk of breakouts.
Women also tend to indulge in sweets (particularly chocolate) during the premenstrual stage of our cycle, when hormones tend to be out of balance. This means those cravings are accompanied by an increase in hormones that stimulate sebum production. Add high-glycemic foods to that mix, and you’re in prime pimple territory.
Some types of chocolate, milk and white specifically, contain more sugar and dairy fat than others, so it’s best to enjoy these in moderation. Instead, reach for the dark chocolate when you find yourself impulse-buying a candy bar in the grocery store check-out line. It tends to be lower in sugar and fat; plus, the higher cocoa content means you’ll get a boost of antioxidants that are beneficial to skin while satisfying your craving at the same time.
In short—the notion that chocolate is to blame for acne is somewhat misguided. Sticking to a well-rounded diet, rich in leafy greens and low-glycemic foods is a safe bet for clear healthy skin. But we’re all human; occasionally you find yourself halfway through a pint of chocolate ice cream before you come up for air. If your sweet tooth gets the best of you and you discover a pimple, you can check out our tips to treat zits overnight.
Disclaimer: The information on this website and any related links are for general informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, contact a professional healthcare provider.
Katie Steadman is a native Texan roaming Asia with a penchant for writing, and solving sudoku puzzles at breakneck speed.