Is Chocolate Bad For Your Skin?

The world is going through a period of huge turbulence - but for all of that, outside, chicks are chirping, bunnies are bounding, and no matter how strange it might feel, we can’t deny that the chocolate eggs are looming.

It’s perfectly acceptable to enjoy a bit of chocolate at this seasonal time of year, but if you are fearing a breakout following a bit of Easter indulgence, then you’re not alone. Many hoomans believe that diet and skincare are inextricably linked. 

We all know how putting good food, rich in omegas, and vitamins into our bodies can improve our skin health. It stands to reason that doing the opposite can have a negative impact on your skin, too.

However, chocolate really takes the blame far and above any other foodstuff. Why is this?

Is chocolate actually bad for our skin, or is it our own fear that makes us think that it is?

Is Chocolate Bad For Your Skin?

It’s something that our mothers told us, and their mothers told them - a bit of knowledge passed along the nerdie grapevine. In fact, you may be an unfortunate hooman who has had to suffer judging looks as you tuck into a Toblerone from someone who truly believes that the root of all skin issues is in that humble bar. We don’t fully agree. Moderation is the nerdie way.

Anecdotal links have existed for decades between chocolate and blemishes and acne, but the truth is a bit murkier, and more shades of grey than black and white.

Here’s some good news: chocolate might not be dramatically more likely to cause you to break out than any other sweet treat. The issue comes in when you think about the glycemic index of chocolate - and other foods, for that matter.

The glycaemic index (GI) is a way of classifying foods with regard to how fast they raise the glucose level of the blood. Sugary foods (like sweets and chocolate, unfortunately) raise the glucose levels of your blood more quickly than other foods, and this can cause your insulin levels to spike. Spiking insulin levels can result in inflammation, which in turn can lead to breakouts and can negatively impact your skin, which is why the chocolate hangover on Easter Monday might have you clutching your pearls in horror. 

Does Dairy Affect Spots and Acne?

We cannot be entirely sure if dairy has an impact on your skin, but many clients of the Nerd Network have elected to reduce dairy when traditional means of treating their skin have failed to work. 

It doesn’t work for everyone, but it could be something to consider if you’re truly at your wit’s end - just be sure to get all of the nutrients that you require from different sources if you try this, and be sure to check in with your GP or dietician. But long-term dairy intake is a little different than the session we might all enjoy on Easter Sunday...

Chocolate and Spots

We were lucky enough to chat to Orla Walsh, Registered Dietitian of Dublin Nutrition Centre recently about all things diet. And chocolate did indeed come up.

“Often chocolate is linked to acne and there’s only a few studies that have examined this. The most thorough study on this topic to date was one where they got participants to eat a whopping 1,200 calories worth of chocolate every day, and interestingly enough it was found that there was no significant increase in the oil production in the skin despite having this enormous amount of chocolate!”

Now, we would advise that you don’t take that as nerdie permission to fall upon enormous amounts of chocolate, but it’s certainly a bit cheering. 

Skin-Friendly Chocolate

Did you know that chocolate can be a skin-pal? That might be the best sentence you’ve ever read. 

Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants, and if you haven’t heard the good news, then let us tell you - antioxidants are good news. They fight the free radicals in your body which might be introduced by chemical reactions, UV exposure, or pollution. We can’t really get enough of them. Moderation is key, but if you’ve got a slightly richer taste in chocolate, then you can feel very smug altogether as you take a bite on Easter Sunday. 

So, chocolate is not the villain of the piece - but rather the supporting character who comes in once and season and is well-loved, and missed when they head out of frame. We always look forward to seeing them for their rare, but highly anticipated appearance in season 2. 

There’s no evidence that it is chocolate, the cocoa within or the dairy within, that causes acne - it’s sugar that may be the culprit, and a square or two of dark chocolate will introduce antioxidants however you can also get them from green or rooibos tea, tomatoes, spinach … but treats are a necessary part of life, and if you can’t indulge in a bit of chocolate at Easter - when can you?

If you’re looking for antioxidants fit for your skin, then we have a few Nerdie favourites of our own…

Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Antioxidants

These antioxidant supplements are great for helping your skin to glow from the inside out, and are particularly loved by the nerdie team. They help to bond with free radicals and neutralise them, which helps to stop them from causing havoc throughout our bodies and manifesting this chaos on our skin!

Skingredients Skin Veg

Skin Veg is our anti-ageing, highlighting, hydrating serum. It contains sodium hyaluronate, the salt form of hyaluronic acid, and plenty of botanical extracts which provide antioxidant support, like tomato and broccoli extract! 

Environ Skin EssentiA Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturiser 1

This step-up programme of seurms introuduces increasing amounts of vitamin A and other potent antioxidants like C and E to the skin in bite-sized increments. It's a great way to increase the amount of antioxidants you're applying topically. Be sure to speak to your Nerd or Nerdette if you'd like to start your AVST journey. 

Have a safe and lovely Easter Weekend from Team Nerd!