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Is There a Link Between Chocolate and Skin Health?

April 8, 2019 by Samantha Smith
chocolate and skin health

Easter is fast approaching and chocolate seems to cost next to nothing nowadays therefore we justify it to ourselves that we should buy it as it costs less somehow for more. But the link between chocolate and skin remains unclear for many, especially acne sufferers, who do worry about the implications of eating chocolate, so – is there a link between chocolate and skin health?

Chocolate and Skin Health

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which blocks the chemical adenosine that turns off the stress receptors in skin. These receptors create more of the inflammatory chemicals that cause skin breakouts. In other words, stress is a major factor in breakouts. Adenosine helps calm the nerve endings so your skin doesn’t take the full force of your stress. With theobromine blocking the adenosine, your skin is feeling the effects of your stress and getting irritated.

Unfortunately, dark chocolate has a higher theobromine content compared to milk chocolate. But as we know, if you are going to eat chocolate, it is recommended you eat dark chocolate with over 70% cocoa as opposed to milk chocolate due to its antioxidant capacity – it contains both chemicals catechins and procyanidins which act as antioxidants within the body helping protect the body’s cells against free radicals and harmful diseases.

…And Caffeine

And it seems chocolate eaten with a caffeinated drink is also a problem if you are prone to breakouts as the liver converts around 10% of caffeine into theobromine, increasing the likelihood of aggravating spots.

High Glycaemic Index Foods

As we are all aware, chocolate is high in fat, sugar and calories which makes it a high glycaemic index food. Its high glycaemic index causes blood sugar to spike and can lead to inflammation within the body, which plays a significant role in acne. Consuming high glycaemic index foods can also elevate hormones that increase the production of sebum, which ultimately contributes to the formation of acne.

Chocolate and skin Health in a Nutshell

There is a few reasons to suspect chocolate and acne are linked, but the best way to minimise its effects is to eat chocolate in moderation – instead of devouring the entire bar, maybe eat only a few pieces. No need to cut it out entirely (unless you have the willpower to do so) but as with everything we consume – eat in moderation to minimise its effect upon skin.

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