You may not believe it, but one of life’s guiltiest pleasures may be doing you a lot better than you realize. Chocolate is usually considered a naughty treat, but regular consumption — in moderation — can work wonders for your skin. It’s worth mentioning that we’re talking about dark chocolate specifically, 70% and above. Milk chocolate and white chocolate contain high amounts of sugar and unhealthy fats, which have a detrimental effect on your skin. But feel free to get a load of the dark stuff! Here are the unbelievable ways chocolate can save your skin.
1. It Protects the Skin from UV Damage
Dark chocolate contains incredible sun protection properties and helps to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, which can cause sunburn and long-term damage such as skin cancer. Studies have shown that the flavanols in cacao absorb UV rays, helping to reduce damage. A study by led by Professor Wilhelm Stahl from the Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, found that the skin of participants who had consumed a high-oxidant chocolate drink did not become as red when exposed to a controlled dose of UV radiation.
2. It's High in Antioxidants
Packed with potent antioxidants including phenols, flavanols, and catechins, dark chocolate helps ward off nasties and a daily dose helps to keep your skin nourished, hydrated, and smooth. These antioxidants protect our cells from premature oxidation which in turn keep our skin looking youthful. The properties in cacao are so nourishing in fact that it’s regularly used in beauty products, such as cocoa butter. In fact, a study showed that cocoa and dark chocolate had more antioxidant activity, polyphenols and flavanols than any other fruits tested, which - amazingly - included acai berries and blueberries.
3. It’s Rich in Minerals
Dark chocolate is absolutely loaded with beneficial minerals such as zinc, potassium, and selenium. A 100g bar of dark chocolate provides 67% of your recommended daily allowance of iron, which helps keep skin naturally moisturized.
4. It Detoxifies the Skin
When combined with caffeine, dark chocolate makes an excellent skin detoxifier. This skin-saving combo helps to shed dead skin cells, allowing for new ones to rise to the surface of the body and keep your skin looking its best.
5. It Enhances Skin Glow
One of the sworn enemies of healthy-looking skin is stress. Dark chocolate boasts some wonderful stress-relieving qualities, and regular consumption reduces elevated stress hormones. The healthy fats present in dark chocolate also work to keep our skin hydrated and glowing.
6. It Improves Blood Flow
There are studies to suggest that dark chocolate can improve blood flow throughout the body. The compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries which improves circulation, and better blood flow to the skin results in healthier, glowing skin. Many controlled studies show that cocoa and dark chocolate can not only improve blood flow but also lower blood pressure.
So, the next time you break off a piece it might just taste that little bit sweeter.