A moment on your lips – an outbreak of zits? Chocolate has long been stigmatized as a skin enemy, causing spotty, oily skin. The role of diet in acne remains highly controversial – numerous scientific studies have failed to demonstrate that chocolate aggravates acne, yet many sufferers claim there’s a clear link. Clearly, this is an area that needs even more research. But in the meantime, here’s the good news for chocolate lovers. We have recently completed a controlled scientific study at the University of the Arts, Cosmetic Science that indicates chocolate may help protect skin from sun damage.
You might know that cocoa beans fresh from the tree are exceptionally rich in antioxidant flavanols. The problem is that conventional chocolate making methods greatly deplete antioxidantactivity in all types – milk, dark, organic or regular. The new Acticoa method however, preserves the fresh beans’ flavanols – and it was this type of chocolate that we clinically tested under highly controlled conditions. What we found was that eating small amounts daily for twelve weeks more than doubled skin’s natural protection against sunburn, while normal dark chocolate had no such benefits. Our findings have now been published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology.
So my advice would be that if you love chocolate, make sure you choose a bar with the ‘Acticoa’ logo and the highest possible antioxidant content. But don’t give up your regular broad-spectrum SPF30-50 protection. Chocolate’s by no means the ultimate UV-defense – but every bite helps!