Feeling guilty about binging on all those chocolate during your last drama watching marathon? Well, fret not as you might just have a cause to celebrate, especially if you are a dark chocolate fan. Through various media coverage, many of us are already aware of some of the health benefits of dark chocolate such as its positive effects on cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cognitive ability and so on.
But did you know that dark chocolate can also aid in skin health?
Known throughout history as the ‘food of the gods’, dark chocolate, or more specifically the cacao beans that it is derived from, has been revered for its ability to provide strength, vitality and counteract various illnesses. It was a staple part of the diet for many ancient tribes to the upper class, fighters and warriors. As shipping routes opened up and explorers embarked on numerous expeditions, cacao beans were then brought to Europe where it would then experience a transformation to become the chocolate that we know of today. Sugar was added to the cacao bean beverage as it was deemed as ‘too bitter’ by the masses. After which, its popularity rose and eventually, in 1879, milk chocolate was created by Daniel Peter in Switzerland. Centuries later, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and other chocolate mixtures were later developed, thus providing people with a wide selection to choose from, depending on their personal preference.
Although chocolate is well-received among a majority of the general public, there are still sceptics who doubts about its health benefits, particularly with regard to the skin. “Don’t eat too much chocolate or you will get pimples”— is a common thing that we often heard from some people around us. However, contrary to that, chocolate, or more specifically dark chocolate contains various antioxidants and minerals that help in maintaining the glow and suppleness of your skin. Wait a minute, before you start gorging yourself on chocolate bars and snacks, do take note that a substantial portion of the chocolate products readily available on shelves have gone through processing and refinement of some kind. Therefore, the key is to select a dark chocolate with high cacao percentage like 70 – 85% and consume in moderation. Without further ado, let’s get into the mechanics of the ways in which dark chocolate can benefit your skin.
How Does Dark Chocolate Benefit Your Skin?
Chocolate eyeshadow palettes, lipsticks, facial masks – various types of makeup and skincare products centred around the use of cocoa have been created and for good reason. Believed to have hydrating and nourishing properties, dark chocolate may just be the secret ingredient for a youthful and luminous complexion. Here’s how:
Slows Down Ageing Effects
Dark chocolate contains a high level of antioxidants such as catechins, polyphenols and flavonoids that protect the skin against oxidative damage from the breakdown of free radicals. This, in turn, promotes better blood flow and increases collagen levels, hence keeping the skin smooth and firm while slowing down visible signs of ageing. Crow’s feet, frown lines and neck wrinkles might be kept at bay for a longer period of time through the regular consumption of dark chocolate.
Safeguards Skin Against Sun Damage
The presence of flavonoids in dark chocolate can also help to protect your skin from damaging ultraviolet rays and provide an extra layer of protection asides from your sunscreen, hence decreasing your chances of getting age spots, skin cancer, scaly skin and bumps.
Evens Out Skin Tone
Consisting of anti-inflammatory properties, dark chocolate has the ability to dissipate redness and flushing of the skin, thus allowing for a more even skin tone. It also hydrates your skin, making it silky and supple.
Akin to a skin exfoliator, dark chocolate aids in detoxification by facilitating the shedding of the layer of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. Subsequently, this encourages new skin to grow, thus rejuvenating the skin and keeping it soft and healthy.
Enhances Skin Radiance
If you are constantly under a lot of stress, eating dark chocolate can be beneficial to you. According to a study on the effects of dark chocolate on metabolism, eating dark chocolate helps in the reduction of stress hormones, thus making you more relaxed and happy. So, if you ever felt a surge of joy after consuming chocolate, it is due to the endorphins kicking in from the magnesium in the chocolate. All the more reason to eat more chocolate! When you feel less stressed, there is a reduced probability of collagen being broken down and wrinkles being formed, thus enabling you to retain a youthful glow. Most importantly, you tend to get a good night’s sleep when you are relaxed as compared to when you are stressed, which will give your skin ample time to rest and repair itself.