Clear Skin and Chocolate: Can I Have Both?

How many people have told you that it’s best to skip chocolate because it will cause your skin to break out? My grandma was one of them! She told me to stay away from this delicious treat if I wanted clear skin. After a decade of listening without confirming if this was true, I decided to ask Dr. Melanie Ortleb, a board-certified dermatologist. Here is what I've learned!

First, let's make this clear. What is chocolate?

Ladies, meet Cacao. Cacao is a very sour fruit that's packed with tons of antioxidants and essential vitamins like calcium and magnesium. Cocoa is the product you get from roasting cacao beans, and it's the main ingredient in chocolate production. This doesn't sound bad right? Is actually considered a superfood! But before you run into the kitchen and grab that Kit-Kat that’s been whispering to you, keep on reading…

What impacts your skin health is not cocoa, or cacao, but the sugar that’s mixed with cocoa to create chocolate bars. Sugar, my friends, is a carbohydrate, and unfortunately, is not one of the good ones. The sugar used to create chocolate is white sugar, also known as refined sugar.

“There are small studies that show increased carbohydrate intake, and more specifically simple carbohydrates or those with a high glycemic index, may increase or worsen acne.” - Dr. Ortleb

After learning that fact, you should try to check the labels of products you’re buying at the supermarket. If you are a chocoholic like me, try dark chocolate bars; they’re very low in sugar and have a higher percentage of cacao = healthier.

What are the foods we need to avoid to have clear skin then?

Watching our sugar intake will definitely help, but our actual enemy is highly processed and refined foods. If you’re concerned about your skin, Dr. Ortleb recommends, to decrease highly processed carbohydrates, such as candy, white bread, and pasta.

Is food the main cause for acne?

Surprisingly, food actually plays a very small role in the issue of acne-prone skin. Yes, there are foods we can eat and foods we can skip to have healthier skin, but what you eat is not the main reason of your breakouts.

Then what really causes acne and breakouts?

Acne is a result of a buildup of dead skin, sebum, and bacteria. Factors like your skincare routine, stress, and genetics have a more significant impact on your breakouts than eating a donut for lunch. "If someone has severe acne, diet changes alone aren’t likely to solve the problem" - Dr. Ortleb

If you are breaking out, try washing your face more often, changing your pillowcases a few times a week and make sure you are not picking and touching your face! You should go to a dermatologist so you can get the right guidance.

YAY for us! We may now be free to eat chocolate without praying to the skincare angels to wake up pimple-free. Clear skin is possible – we just need to fact-check and know what's going on inside our body! a dermatologist opinion like Dr. Ortleb's is always a great idea if you are concerned about your skin. #skingoals!

Looking for more skincare tips and facts? Check my previous skincare article here: Fight Dark Spots

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Would like to learn more about Dr. Ortleb!? You can check out her work here:

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