Monday, January 27, 2014

What's the Truth About Chocolate and Skin Care?

What's the Truth About Chocolate and Skin Care?

I'm a chocoholic for sure! I need to have a small fix every few days. I'm sure that this is at least partly due to my high school job in a candy store owned by my next door neighbors (it's here, Sweet Temptations, though it was named Candyland when I was in high school, they've moved and added in some ice cream from another shop they own). Anyways, yes, I made fudge every summer in high school. And caramel corn. And fresh squeezed lemonade.

So, yes, I require a lot of chocolate. Is it possible that this could actually work in my favor? Yes. Yes, it really could. Inspired by the amazing chocolate products from Too Faced, I thought I should look into this. I've done some reading, mostly in my favorite cosmetic dermatology text book.

It turns out that it is proven that polyphenols, which are found in cocoa, can do amazing things for your skin! Cocoa prevents oxidant damage, photoaging and keeps collagen around longer. Antiaging and chocolate? Yes, please!

Does Chocolate Really Cause Acne?
The short story is probably no. There have been many studies over the years looking at whether there is a real connection, and results have been somewhat mixed. It turns out that it's really hard to control so many variables in people's diet and predict how many blemishes they should have had. Most dermatologists agree that rather than the cocoa in chocolate, we should be concerned with the sugar in these foods. Sugar itself has been linked to changes in proteins in the skin, contributing to skin wrinkling and photoaging.


Polyphenols
There are more than 8000 natural occurring polyphenols, and they all have some degree of antioxidant activity. You'll find them in most vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains, coffee, tea and even red wine. You might recognize the name of some of these compounds, such as the much studied Resveratrol, found in red wine.

Polyphenols (specifically red clover extract which is rich in isoflavones) has been found to increase collagen production and maintain skin thickness in rats that had ovariectomies (in other words, were going through menopause).

What does this have to do with Chocolate? Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, specifically Flavanols and proanthocyanidins. So, there are lots of reasons to think that cocoa has some antioxidant effects (here's some evidence that it does, article 1 and article 2), helping to prevent oxidant damage, photoaging and keeping collagen around longer.

5 comments:

Candy Sparks said...

I love chocolate. My ex used to tell me that my zits were the cause of my chocolate consumption. Later I found out that eating a Blood Type Clean Diet was all I needed to clear my face up. I also got rid of processed foods and ate more veggies. I will eat some chocolate though as long as it has some clean ingredients in there! I am glad you posted this!

Patricia Ramos said...

Great post! Thanks, this is very reassuring and makes sense. I always assumed it was chocolate making me break out buy don't always have Breakout when I do eat a lot of it like around Christmas time. I had so much chocolate and not 1zit. It's obviously from my cycle and dirty eating as my hormones go crazy. Thanks again for the post. :-)

Ailyn Koay said...

I agree with sugar possible causing havoc in our system. We are not meant to be eating that much sugar at 1 go!

Chaido said...

Chocolate oh chocolate! I always feel great when I read articles about chocolate :) I would also say that it is dark chocolate the one that is more beneficial for our system and skin, too.

Terry Dawson said...

I never heard about chocolate and skincare. Really sounds off beat but am feeling great by knowing the skincare benefits of this delightful dessert. Thanks!!

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