Who doesn’t love chocolate? With Easter around the corner, those of us with a sweet tooth are in heaven. But how does chocolate affect our skin? You may have heard that chocolate causes pimples but scientists and researchers can not find a link and there is no evidence to support this urban myth.
Yes…chocolate can be good for us!! Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of indulging in Easter Eggs this month.
Research shows a lot of reasons why we should include some chocolate in our diets, but (there’s always a but) we need to choose our chocolate carefully. It is only good quality, dark chocolate that has benefits.
Chocolate comes in many forms and we are all familiar with the common terms of dark, milk and white chocolate.
All chocolate is derived from the seeds of the Cacoa tree. The beans are fermented, dried, roasted and liquified to produce cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Raw Cacao, is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans which retains the living enzymes in the cocoa. To get the nutritional benefits from chocolate seek products that contain more of the original cocao and less of nasty additives like sugar and bad fats.
Look for good quality dark chocolate, with a high percentage of cocoa solids and that contain at least 70% cacao. Milk chocolate does contain cocoa solids but as the name suggests is diluted with cream, milk powder or milk solids and sugar, with only 30% of cocoa solids or less. White chocolate is made from cocoa butter and has a high percentage of fats and sugars.
Look for organic raw cacao where possible.
BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATE FOR YOU SKIN
Cacao is full of flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants and has many health benefits.
- Flavonoids have been shown to boost vascular function and lower blood pressure. When Oxygen is circulating well through our skin cells, all functions like collagen production, elastin production and waste elimination can perform at an optimum.
- Chocolate enhances Vitamin C and prevents inflammation, which helps with your general health, including your skin.
- Antioxidants are fabulous at slowing ageing by reducing free radical damage and offering some protection from UV damage.
- Chocolate lowers bad cholesterol and raises good cholesterol
- Research indicates Flavanoids may reduce memory-loss in older people
- Chocolate is a mood-enhancer, stimulating feel-good endorphins. When we are relaxed, we sleep better, which always helps your skin and cell renewal process.
NOW FOR THE BAD NEWS
On average a medium Easter Egg contains 23 teaspoons of sugar. That is almost four times the recommended amount of sugar that adults should be consuming in one day.
We all know that too much sugar will lead to an increase weight but how does it affect our skin?
The sugars contained in chocolate quickly breakdown into glucose which triggers a spike in insulin levels and an inflammatory response in the body.
The body releases certain enzymes to fight inflamation and these can have a devestating affect on the skin.
Firstly, they break down collagen and elastin which keeps our skin firm and wrinkle free, increasing the effects of ageing. This can also lead to other issues like Rosacea.
The link between acne and sugar is undeniable. Pimples are caused by the inflammation of our pores when they become blocked by sebum and dead skin cells. The production of sebum and the span of our cell life cycle is controlled by our hormones. Many of us think we can not control our hormones but external factors such as stress and diet heavily impact our internal balance and yes….sugar is a major contributor.
When the body’s immune system is compromised, it becomes more difficult to fight infection leading to an increase of bacteria and infected pores. (pimples)
EASTER SURVIVAL TIPS
Easter should be a time to relax with family and friends. As with all things in life, moderation is the key.
- Relax and enjoy the break. Stress causes insulin levels to spike
- Get plenty of sleep
- Swap milk chocolate for dark chocolate
- Eat foods high protein, every 3 hours, to moderate insulin levels
- Eat chocolate but aim to reduce sugar intake in other areas
- Use Good Friday to eat healthy fats, full of Omega 3’s found in fish, to keep skin soft and supple
- Be extra vigilant with your skincare routine, including double cleansing, AHA/BHA and Vitamin A Serums.
Chocolate is good for the soul, ENJOY!
Still not sure?
If you need more help or would like personalised advice on what skin products are best for you, book now for your complimentary skin consultation.