This is Martha Thomas, head of customer care for Tree of Life Beauty, and I want to welcome you to our weekly newsletter where we discuss important ways to age gracefully, “how-tos” for keeping skin healthy as you age, and so much more about your skincare regimen.
This week we will discuss “Benefits of dark chocolate.” If you missed any of our past newsletters, please check them out on our blog.
Please be advised that we are not doctors or dermatologists, and this article should not be taken as medical advice or any medical statement. Any questions or issues involving your skin-care needs should be taken up with a physician, and we highly recommend you consult with your doctor before taking up any skin-care regimen.
Our entire lives, we’re told that chocolate causes acne. It is a go-to piece of “advice” from friends when suffering from acne.
But this advice is unfounded (mostly).
If your skin problems are caused by hormones and sugar, what does that mean for chocolate?
Well, we’ve got good news. Dark chocolate is actually good for your skin.
- UV Protection
Cocoa is filled with flavonoids, and antioxidants in cocoa may absorb UV light and protect from free radical damage caused by sun damage.
The evidence for UV protection isn’t conclusively proven yet, though. Don’t start eating chocolate as an excuse not to wear sunscreen. You should still be applying a daily SPF to protect your skin from the negative effects of UV rays.
- Oil control
Cocoa is highly mattifying. This means that it can absorb extra oil, leaving your skin shine-free and your pores tighter and clearer. The antioxidants in cocoa have been shown to clear skin complexion, improve skin hydration, and increase blood flow to the skin—all of which can control oil and clear pores.
- Stress reduction
Consuming chocolate can actually reduce your stress and cortisol levels (the stress hormone). It’s crucial to minimize stress if you want a healthy, natural production of anti-aging collagen.
Eating chocolate is a great way to get skin-healthy benefits from the inside out. But not all chocolate is created equally. You want to consume dark chocolate that has 70% or more cocoa content. Look at the ingredients on the label; the first listed ingredient should be cocoa. If the first ingredient is milk or sugar, it’s not going to have enough cocoa-rich antioxidants to benefit your skin and health. (Remember: sugar and milk can actually worsen acne and oil production.)
Moreover, portion control is a must. Two to three ounces of chocolate per day will give you the optimal skin-beautifying benefits. This means you can have a square of dark chocolate as a dessert with zero guilt. But don’t eat a whole candy bar, which has a lot of fat and calories. Your skin—and health—loves moderation.
You can also apply chocolate directly to your skin for oil control, hydration, and a boost of antioxidants. We recommend making a DIY facemask and below is our favorite recipe for ultra chocolate hydration and pore unclogging. It’s perfect for the dry climate of the winter or the changes in seasons.
Mix 3 tablespoons dark cocoa powder (70% cacao or more) with 3 tablespoons yogurt. Add enough yogurt to make a paste that is the consistency of cake batter. Yogurt is filled with lactic acid, which helps to clarify pores. Add in one teaspoon of honey to lock in moisture and intensify hydration effects.
Apply the paste to your clean, dry face. You should wear an old shirt or robe, because it can get messy (and chocolate can stain). Let sit on the face for 10-15 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water.
The Bottom Line
Chocolate may possibly help provide UV-fighting antioxidants, increase blood flow, control oil, and nourish and moisturize the skin—from the outside-in and the inside-out. Add chocolate to your skincare routine this season to start seeing clarifying, glowing (and delicious) results!
Check out our hydrating and cleansing serums to apply post-chocolate for an instantly youthful glow!