It’s the Easter weekend, which means that for many of us it’s a time for seeing our family, getting some extra days off work and, let’s not forget, eating lots of chocolate eggs. So it’s a great opportunity to discuss whether chocolate is really bad for spots and your skin generally.
Chocolate often gets a bad reputation for causing havoc on your skin, whether people say it makes their skin oilier or actually leads to an acne breakout just hours after they’ve consumed it.
The science behind chocolate and spots
Despite what you might think, it’s not the fat in chocolate that causes skin irritation, it’s a chemical called theobromine. When our skin breaks out in spots it’s responding to stress by releasing inflammation. The nerve endings in our skin sense stress and our skin reacts accordingly. Unfortunately theobromine blocks the chemical adenosine that turns off the stress receptors in our skin so these receptors create more of the inflammatory chemicals that make skin breakout.
Regretfully, dark chocolate has more theobromine than milk chocolate; and if you’re a fan of eating chocolate with your caffeinated coffee then be aware if you are prone to spots and pimples as our liver transforms around 10% of caffeine into theobromine, so you’re increasing your chance of aggravating your spots.
At the same time, chocolate is notoriously high in calories, sugar and fat. And a diet high in sugar and far can lead to an increase in sebum production, which promotes inflammatory responses and hormonal changes in your body. When it comes to your skin, these responses can lead to further skin problems, from redness through to acne.
It’s all about moderation
That doesn’t mean that you should throw your Easter eggs away. After all, we know that setting really rigid rules about eating often leads to failure. Instead, it’s all about enjoying foods that might aggravate your acne, like chocolate, fatty foods or sugar…but in moderation.
This weekend try to limit your chocolate intake – a few squares rather than the whole bar, or part of the egg rather than the whole one! Frustratingly, whilst dark chocolate contains more theobromine than milk chocolate – so you would opt for the milk variety if you suffer from spots – dark chocolate is much more likely to contain high amounts of two flavonoids, called catechin and procyanidin. These are chemicals that can act as antioxidants within the body. Antioxidants are able to help protect the body’s cells against free radicals and harmful diseases. So it’s up to you which you choose, but don’t overindulge or your skin may repay you with an acne breakout.
If you are concerned about your skin and have problems with spots, pimples and acne breakouts we’d like to recommend trying our 100 percent natural soluble skin supplements, help: clear skin and help: clear skin MEN. They contain PravENAC™, a proprietary soluble formula with bioactive protein rich in natural lactoferrin, which reduces the bacteria our skin produces, and zinc gluconate to protect, support and nourish your skin from the inside, helping to clear up your blemishes and prevent any future breakouts.
Being virtuous and hitting the gym this Easter, plus steering clear of the chocolate? You might be interested in: Stop Letting Your Acne Affect Your Workout