This is a MYTH.
If you’re looking for a direct link between chocolate and acne to keep you away from the sweet stuff, you may need new motivation. Chocolate cannot be blamed for your spots…but overindulging in foods high in sugar and fat (like chocolate) can increase your body’s sebum production, which in turn activates the inflammation response that can trigger breakouts.
Who Started This Myth?
Chocolate may just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Let’s face it: Many women have the tendency to reach for chocolate when their estrogen levels dip low during PMS. Women prone to pimples suffer from more acne at this time of the month because hormones called androgens kick in to jumpstart the sebaceous glands that amp up oil production. You may think it’s the chocolate you’re eating that’s causing the breakouts, but PMS pimples are actually manipulated by hormones!
There is no scientific evidence affirming that chocolate causes acne. The largest controlled study was conducted in 1969 and concluded that there was no relationship between the two. University of Pennsylvania researchers found no difference in the incidence and severity of acnes between teenagers who ate chocolate bars and those who ate chocolate-free but chocolate-tasting bars.
Another study done by the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland analyzed two groups of midshipman living in similar conditions. One group ate no chocolate for a month, while the other group ate three chocolate bars a day. Again, there was no difference in the severity and incidence of acne between the two groups.
There’s no denying that diet affects skin health. The more chocolate you eat, the less room you have for nutritive foods like fruits and vegetables. Eating chocolate can’t be blamed for causing acne, but it can be blamed for depriving you of essential vitamins and minerals that you should be getting from eating healthier foods.
That being said, there is one type of chocolate that is jam packed with antioxidants and can help tone both the cardiovascular system and the skin! Dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or more is loaded with antioxidant flavonoids that defend against aging and disease. Milk and white chocolate, on the other hand, are full of empty calories and high in fat, sugar and additives that play games with your hormones, stimulating inflammation. Once inflammation enters the game, there’s a chance that acne may be at its heels.
What’s the lesson? Eat more fruits, vegetables and dark chocolate and your flawless skin will thank you!