Cacao: Great for your skin and delicious as well
Chocolate isn’t just delicious, it’s also very good for your skin.
Theobroma cacao (or “food of the gods” – we couldn’t agree more!) is a plant native to the Amazon, which has been in existence for thousands of years.
We admit it, we’re addicted! Chocolate melts beautifully both in the mouth and on the skin.
Omega-3 and Photo-aging
There are ever more studies that point to the benefits of chocolate, including one published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics which indicates that topical omega-3s can reduce UV sensitivity (signs of photoaging) in skin cells (1). Research suggests that there’s a possibility that skin care products rich in omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids may actually improve the skin’s appearance (2).
Cacao is the ingredient per excellence in all chocolate products, and a very complex foodstuff nutritionally rich in minerals, antioxidants and vasoactive compounds.
Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician who’s considered the father of medicine, said:
“Let food be thy medicine, and let medicine be thy food.”
The idea that chocolate can serve quite literally as “medicine” has already been taken up in scientific literature (3).
Cocoa butter, the natural oil derived from cacao beans, contains omega-3 fatty acids which provide the skin with a healthy dose of soothing rejuvenation, as well as antioxidant effects (2). And there’s a great deal of evidence pointing to the health benefits of regularly eating dark chocolate.
Acne and Chocolate
It’s nothing more than a myth that chocolate causes acne. However, while it doesn’t cause acne, chocolate is still full of high-calorie, high-fat ingredients. These days, there’s more attention being paid to the link between diet and developing acne.
Acne is a complex skin problem and breakouts can come and go for no real reason. But there’s strong evidence which connects acne with a Western diet, rich in calories, fats, and refined carbohydrates. Fast food – like hamburgers, fried chicken, hot dogs, french fries, and soft drinks – can increase the risk of acne. The high sugar and fat content can boost sebum production, a determining factor in the development of acne.
So, if “blaming chocolate” is more or less a fabrication, where did it come from?
Food is far from the most likely culprit when it comes to acne. The real causes of acne are the accumulation of dead skin cells inside your pores and the skin’s overproduction of oil (sebum), combined with excess bacteria.
Hormones also play an important role in acne breakouts. That’s why acne is so common during puberty and at that time of the month for people who menstruate, meaning your chocolate consumption ends up coinciding with your breakout! Predisposition to acne is also hereditary. So, if your parents had acne, you’ll probably have it too.
The bottom line? Cheer up and eat your chocolate bars…in moderation!
¨3¨. Franco OH. Bonneux L. de Laet C. Peeters A. Steyerberg EW. Mackenbach JP. The Polymeal: a more natural, safer, and probably tastier (than the Polypill) strategy to reduce cardiovascular disease by more than 75% BMJ. 2004;329:1447–1450. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]