Chocolate is a confusing topic... is it good or bad for you? Does chocolate give you spots or help stop them? Can chocolate make the condition of your skin worse or better? Click here to find out the answers once & for all (you might be surprised what you learn!)http://wp.me/p6LuQS-13z

Is Chocolate Bad for Your Skin?

In Anti-aging & Protective Skincare, Eating Well For Good Skin, Oily/Combination Skincare Advice by Cheryl Woodman MChem2 Comments

Is chocolate bad for your skin?… Would you be surprised to know I eat chocolate as a health food? Yes, really, a health food! Does it break me out? No. Does it cause my skin to age prematurely? No. Is it bad for my skin in any way? No. In fact, if anything it’s actually good for my skin!

Before you go dashing out to replenish your secret chocolate draws, let me share this with you…

Chocolate can absolutely cause you to break out. Chocolate can definitely aggravate acne and chocolate can cause your skin to age prematurely. #MindBoggle

So, what am I doing differently that turns the guilty kind of chocolate into a health food? My friend, I promise to share ALL with you…

Chocolate is a confusing topic... is it good or bad for you? Does chocolate give you spots or help stop them? Can chocolate make the condition of your skin worse or better? Is chocolate bad for your skin? Click here to find out the answers once & for all (you might be surprised what you learn!)http://wp.me/p6LuQS-13z

Why Can Chocolate Cause Spots?

Chocolate is a very yummy melting pot of ingredients. Its basic recipe is cocoa powder, cocoa butter and sugar. Take a look at this ingredients list from one of my old favourites… Galaxy;

Sugar, cocoa ingredients (cocoa butter, cocoa mass), skimmed milk powder, milk fat, lactose, whey powder, vegetable fat, emulsifier (soya lecithin), natural vanilla extract. May contain: gluten (wheat). Milk chocolate contains milk solids 14% minimum and cocoa solids 25% minimum.

The ingredients list on the back of a chocolate bar is very helpful to us. It’s here that our friends at Galaxy tell us what’s in their melting pot and which ingredients there’s more of (they’re the ones highest on the list). What makes chocolate a health food or a spot causing guilt snack is the ratio of sugar: cocoa powder: cocoa butter, oh and also whether there’s additional ingredients like milk in there.

Let’s break this down…

These ingredients will help to break you out, cause you pimples and aggravate acne;

  • Sugar
  • Milk

Sugar is a little like salt, a little is great, a lot is a health problem! Sugar is almost pure energy. That means when we eat it, there’s not much our bodies have to do to break it down. It’s pretty much already, ready for us to use as fuel. It’s our blood that carries fuel around our bodies and this is why your blood-sugar levels are super important.

Ever heard the phrase – sugar high? Eating a lot of sugar in one big hit causes a rollercoaster worthy sugar high.

Our body’s try to control this rollercoaster by releasing hormones. That means our body’s chemistry changes.

The one you mighta heard of is Insulin. Insulin helps to tease our sugar levels back to normal. Imagine insulin like the therapist to your rollercoaster anxiety *winks*.

When Insulin gets released, other hormones also get released. They have very fancy names, like IGF-1, but all you need to know is this. These hormones are linked to;

  • An increase in sebum production i.e. your skin will become more oily.
  • An increase in pore size i.e. your pores collect more sebum & dead skin (causes of pimples).
  • A knock on increase in occurrence and severity of acne and pimples.

Now let’s move on to milk.

Milk has 2 ingredients that are pesky to pimples and acne prone skin;

  1. Hormones… ever heard of the milk spots?
  2. Inflammatory proteins

Did you know ‘back in the day’ we only drank milk when we were little? It wasn’t really a big part of our diets. If you think about it, we’d have drunk milk from our mums when we were little ‘uns & then probably not a lot more after that. Drinking milk as a daily staple is new for us, it’s a modern day thing.

What I’m about to tell you will seem really obvious when you think about it, even though you’ve probably never realised it before. Animals only produce milk when they’re feeding their babies… including us as humans!

Now because dairy farmers want to get as much milk out of a dairy cow after each pregnancy as possible, they feed them extra hormones. These extra hormones increase milk production and sustain it for longer.

Ever heard of the milk spots? That’s thanks to breastfeeding hormones! See the connection?

Milk can also cause inflammation in some people.

This is thanks a protein called A1 casein. This protein is also linked to diabetes, heart disease and autoimmune disease – yeesh!

In some people A1 casein is broken down into a drug like opiate (casomorphin) which causes inflammation.

Acne, spots and pimples are all inflammatory conditions. If you’re eating foods that cause inflammation it makes sense that they’re going to worsen them ‘eh.

Is chocolate bad for your skin? Sometimes yes, chocolate can provoke spots if it has a high sugar or milk content. Avoid milk chocolate if you have a skin type prone to acne.

Why Can Chocolate Cause Skin to Prematurely Age?

Whether chocolate is good or bad for you is all about balance. Get an image of those legal scales in your mind, balance up one side with sugar & milk and the other side with cocoa solids. When sugar and milk are high, chocolate is bad for you. Just how much cocoa solids make it good? I’ll tell you more about that later.

Right now, you’re probably wondering why the heck chocolate could age your skin? How could something that feels so good be so wrong ‘eh *winks*.

Chocolate can cause your skin to age prematurely IF it has a high sugar content. Let’s flash back to that galaxy…

Sugar, cocoa ingredients (cocoa butter, cocoa mass), skimmed milk powder, milk fat, lactose, whey powder, vegetable fat, emulsifier (soya lecithin), natural vanilla extract. May contain: gluten (wheat). Milk chocolate contains milk solids 14% minimum and cocoa solids 25% minimum.

and let’s take a look at a Lindt alternative…

Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, natural bourbon vanilla bean. Cacao solids: 70% minimum.

See the difference? Our old friend Mr.Galaxy has well over 25% sugar. How do I know that? Because it comes before the cocoa mass which is 25% minimum. As that’s also combined with cocoa butter, it’s actually likely to be well over 50% sugar. Whereas Mr. Lindt, has much less sugar, see how cocoa mass comes before sugar on the ingredients list?

Too much sugar activates an ageing process called glycation. It’s very similar to the chemical reaction that makes bread brown in the oven. Now imagine that happening to your skin… all of the collagen & elastin that makes skin volumous, healthy and stretchy when glycated become tough, ridged and immobile. Exactly like the crust on a loaf of bread.

To fully understand the ageing effects of sugar on your skin, get a read of this article, ‘Why Sugar can Cause Premature Skin Ageing’.

Is chocolate bad for your skin? If it contains more sugar than cocoa solids, yes! ‘N how can you tell? By checking whether cocoa solids come before sugar on the ingredients list.

Is Chocolate Bad for Your Skin?

Remember how chocolate is like a mixing pot? That means it can be made bad, or it can be made good. Take a look at this list, once you cross the half way point, you’re on the up hill slope to healthy chocolaty goodness.

  • White chocolate (sin)
  • Milk chocolate
  • Dark chocolate (win)
  • >72% cocoa solids chocolate

Chocolate can be healthy for us because it contains these ingredients;

  • Antioxidant flavanols
  • Minerals – potassium, zinc, selenium

Remember cocoa is actually a fruit, now that sounds healthier ‘eh! Cocoa comes from the seed of the cocoa fruit and it is full of antioxidant benefits.

Antioxidants are ingredients that help us to stay younger for longer. They basically mop up all the stressful things that happen to our body’s, so our body’s don’t become damaged by them. These flavanols have also shown lots of other impressive health benefits like;

  • Reduction in bad cholesterol
  • Improvement in skin circulation
  • Improvement in heart health
  • Reduction in risk of stroke

In fact, dark chocolate has so many recently discovered health benefits, some companies are specifically marketing their chocolate with health claims. One such company are a Cambridge spin out called Esthechoc, this chocolate has 72.6% cocoa solids partnered up with a concentrated dose of a specific family of flavanols called epicatechins. Guess what? It’s only 38kcal/day *winks*.

So my friends, the bottom line. Is chocolate bad for your skin? Not always, dark chocolate is actually great for your skin and it might even help to stave off those wrinkles for longer!


Had you heard about the health benefits of chocolate? Where you confused by all the press that says ‘No, it’s bad’, ‘Yes it’s good’… wait ‘no it’s bad’… tell me in the comments below…