It’s the nasty rumour that’s been making the rounds for decades. But what’s the truth? Does chocolate cause breakouts? Given Easter is upon us and the chocolate eggs are calling your name, we thought it was time to get to the bottom of it.
Does chocolate cause breakouts?
The short answer: No. Chocolate doesn’t cause breakouts. But it's not as simple as that. While chocolate specifically may not be the culprit behind those pimples that coincidentally popped up the morning after you smashed through a chocolate bunny (or three) in one sitting, there are ingredients in chocolate that have been found to cause acne.
It’s what’s in chocolate that’s to blame
A lot of studies have been done on the correlation between eating chocolate and acne, but there’s no conclusive evidence that says chocolate causes breakouts - or that it doesn’t. What many findings seem to suggest, however, is that it’s the high fat content and refined sugars in chocolate that are to blame for your breakouts, which means you’d be just as likely to get a pimple after eating cupcakes and French fries as you are binging on chocolate.
Sugar is a known offender for bad skin. It can cause blood sugar to rise which results in higher levels of insulin. An increase in insulin can result in more sebum.
"The high fat content and refined sugars in chocolate that are to blame for your breakouts..."
The high level of carbohydrates in chocolate also mess with skin. They can trigger blood sugar spikes, which causes inflammation and encourages skin to produce more oil.
Additionally, sugar, dairy, and processed foods can disrupt your gut microbiome, which may lead to various skin problems, including pimples. Plus, milk can be inflammatory for people who are prone to acne.
It’s no wonder chocolate has been linked to causing breakouts. But the bottom line is, chocolate doesn't directly cause acne, it’s the ingredients in chocolate that are upsetting your skin.
The benefits of eating chocolate
It’s not all bad news either. Especially for dark chocolate lovers. Dark chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory properties, and can neutralise oxidative damage. It’s also naturally high in iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. But just remember to only enjoy it in moderation.
Can’t resist chocolate?
You’re only human. But if you do find you’re prone to breaking out after eating chocolate then just make sure you stay on top of your cleansing and moisturising - these two skincare steps are vital for acne-prone skin and will help keep breakouts at bay.
Or for a guilt-free cocoa fix, we love chocolate-flavoured wellness powder The Base Body Co. Super Zen.
- Base Body Co / @thebasebodyco
- Kristina Yenko / @kristinayenko