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What Chocolate Really Does To Your Skin

14/08/2014 16:45 | Updated 20 May 2015

The relationship between chocolate and our skin is a confusing one. Some say chocolate causes breakouts, others say this is a total myth and more recently, darker varieties with a higher cocoa content have been said to benefit the complexion.

We all know chocolate isn't the healthiest snack to indulge in but is it as bad for our skin as it's been made out to be? We spoke to two skincare experts to find out.

Bruges and its chocolate

"The world would be a dull place without the indulgence of chocolate," Noella Gabriel, the director of product and treatment development at Elemis, said reassuringly. "However, because of its high fat and caffeine content, it also has its disadvantages."

Gabriel explained, "The skin reflects what you eat and if consumed by someone who has a combination to oily skin, it can cause havoc to the skin with the tendency to breakouts.

"I'd recommend switching to dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet craving as the lower fat content and boost of anti-oxidants is better for your skin."

Dermatologist and author of Future Proof Your Skin Dr Stefanie Williams agrees dark chocolate is more beneficial than a sharing bar of Dairy Milk but points out that most of the antioxidants in commercially available products are destroyed.

"A few years ago we performed a study comparing standard 70 chocolate, which maintained it's high antioxidant levels. We found that the antioxidant-rich chocolate helped the skin to respond less pronounced to the sun's harmful effect. However, the normal chocolate did not show that benefit," Dr Williams told us.

Her solution? Make your own.

"I use raw cocoa powder at home (her recipe is available at www.FuturApproved.com). It's sugar-free and I heat it only very briefly and gently to melt everything together, so the antioxidants are maintained. Also, because it doesn't contain sugar, you avoid harmful collagen cross-linking."

If you're not up for DIY choc, Dr Stefanie recommends buying products with 85Slideshow-198851%

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