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Can Eating Chocolate Cause Acne? How It Affects Your Skin

Can All That Halloween Chocolate Be the Culprit Behind Your Recent Breakouts?

The opinions about chocolate are varied and passionate. Which one's better: dark or milk? How much should you actually be eating? Can it cause acne? Will chocolate solve your all problems?! (The answer to that last one: yes, yes it will.) As the Halloween season looms and the temptation of bite-sized Kit Kats, M&M's, and Snickers becomes a very real dilemma, we wanted to know if chocolate is really as bad for your skin as people make it out to be.

While we know that too much sugar can negatively impact your complexion, but what about chocolate specifically? According to dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, the answer is one in the same: "Those high sugar levels, whether it is from the candy you eat or chocolaty drinks, can promote inflammation in the skin and may be associated with acne breakouts," he said.

Still, if you just can't kick the sweet stuff, there's one type of chocolate worth reaching for instead: dark. We spoke to Emma Hobson, the education manager for the International Dermal Institute and Dermalogica, for a few tips on imbibing responsibly.

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  1. For people who are acne-prone, chocolate can be a trigger for breakouts. Some of the ingredients in chocolate that might exacerbate acne are caffeine and theobromine, which are known to clog pores.
  2. If you suffer from breakouts and you can't resist chocolate, eat the dark stuff; it contains more zinc which is needed to heal your skin.
  3. Dark chocolate has approximately 50 percent less sugar than its milk counterpart, which can be better for your skin in the long haul. Sugar hardens our skin proteins, such as collagen, and causes trauma called AGES, which results in premature aging of the skin.
  4. Dark chocolate contains about 70 percent cocoa polyphenols, which are terrific antioxidants.
  5. Dark chocolate is thought to be good for inflammation associated with the circulatory system.
Image Source: Getty / Karin Dreyer
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