Unwrapping the Truth: How Chocolate Affects Your Skin

by Emily Linehan on February 16, 2024

Did Valentine’s Day leave you with a chocolate stash? Before indulging or throwing it out completely, let’s dive into the real relationship chocolate has on your skin.

How Chocolate Affects The Skin

If you’re acne-prone it probably doesn’t surprise you when I say that chocolate can trigger acne, however, the reasons why might! The first reason is that chocolate is actually a common food allergen for many people! Food sensitivities or allergies can create inflammation in the body, and while they are unique to each person, a report by Food Allergy Solutions states that food allergies may be one of the most common reasons for increased acne [1]!

Now even if you aren’t sensitive to chocolate itself, it can also be an acne-triggering food. (When I say ‘acne-triggering food’, this refers to the composition of the food that makes it a trigger for all individuals with acne-prone skin.) Here’s why: most milk chocolates are loaded with sugar and dairy, which are known acne triggers. Sugar can trigger inflammation, while dairy's hormonal content may disturb your body's natural hormonal balance, leading to breakouts. In addition, it is also very common to find additives such as soy derivatives and even vegetable oils, which are also extremely triggering for those of us with acne-prone skin.

Acne-Safe Chocolate Alternatives

The good news is that not all chocolates are created equal. So, if you’re craving something chocolatey, I recommend reaching for a high-quality dark chocolate (70–85% cocoa) instead. Not only is dark chocolate an acne-safer (and healthier!) option, but it is also rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, which can combat skin damage from free radicals, reducing the signs of aging and promoting a healthier complexion.

To help satisfy your sweet tooth and keep your skin clear, here are a few of my favorite options:

While it’s true that certain types of chocolate can contribute to skin issues, understanding the ingredients and choosing the right type of chocolate can allow you to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your skin health! If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to check out our blog, ‘Are These Foods Triggering Your Acne?’, to discover more common foods that could be contributing to your skin trouble!


Sources [1]
Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, December 31). Food allergy. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/symptoms-causes/syc-20355095

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