It’s the bane of teenagers, and even adults: acne breakouts, unsightly spots that mar smooth, otherwise flawless skin. We all have acne-fighting experience, the years of covering pimples and repeatedly washing away any potential blemish-causing dirt with a mix of special products and medications. After all, who hasn’t heard of a million different remedies for keeping skin clear? Yet there’s one particular theory about acne that’s worrisome: can food, and chocolate in particular, lead to an increase in breakouts?
You’ve most likely heard that chocolate, most people’s favorite sweet treat, can bring on a host of skin problems – inflammation, blemishes, and increased oil. Countless people believe that chocolate is to blame for breakouts in individuals of any age. Although chocolate has been touted as an acne-increasing food for decades, science doesn’t exactly prove that steering clear of this tasty food will do your skin any good.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban denied that chocolate is responsible for your skin woes and breakouts. It isn’t eating chocolate that brings on blemishes; it also isn’t any other sweet, sugary, or fatty foods. Dr. Shamban remarked that ingesting chocolate and similar treats every so often won’t bring on a host of skin conditions. Rather, individuals who eat diets that are full of sugars and fatty foods will find themselves suffering from breakouts. When we eat too much of these unhealthy foods, our bodies respond by triggering inflammatory responses like increased sebum, or oil, and redness. It’s these biological responses to an unhealthy diet that can lead to skin problems.
Why has chocolate earned itself such a bad reputation, particularly when it comes to acne? Well, according to Dr. Shamban, all varieties of chocolate except dark feature an awful lot of dairy, sugar, and unnatural additives. Eating these unhealthy ingredients on a regular basis can not only inflame the body, but may also cause hormonal imbalances. This is why women crave it when their hormones change each month and estrogen rises – and with hormonal changes come increased oil production and new skin developments.
Ultimately, as Dr. Diana Walder confirmed to Prevention, there’s no reason to blame chocolate for your skin difficulties. If you’re wondering why you’re breaking out, or why you can’t seem to stop acne from reappearing, it isn’t a quick snack of chocolate every so often – it’s a poor diet overall. Don’t blame your sweet tooth, but perhaps your lack of fruits and veggies.