Does eating chocolate really cause pimples?

There is nothing I love more than a bit of dark chocolate and a tea at night. I know, liven’ on the wild side! Having been an acne sufferer for decades, it seems I am dancing with the devil, but does chocolate really cause acne?

Let’s get to the bottom of this once and for all for all our sakes!!

What ingredients in chocolate could potentially cause pimples to form?

Acne is not caused by one specific food although it has been linked to a high sugar and high fat content in the diet.

A diet high in sugar can increase sebum (oil) production and cause increased inflammatory responses.  Therefore overindulging in chocolate can place you at an increased chance of a breakout. Not good news.

The dairy/sugar content of milk or white chocolate can also trigger hormonal changes, leading to inflammation in acne-prone individuals.

Dark chocolate (70% cacao) however, has many health benefits due to the high cocoa content.  Dark chocolate contains flavenols (antioxidants) which protect the body’s cells from free radicals and also has benefits for the cardiovascular system.  Cocoa is proven to hydrate the skin making it firmer and suppler. Good news!

What foods/ingredients should those with pimple-prone skin avoid?

Foods which are high in dairy and sugar should be avoided by those individuals who are prone to breakouts. Sigh!

What foods/ingredients can actually help to clear pimples?

A healthy well balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables is the best way to nourish the skin.  Specific foods groups have also been proven to help with breakout prone skin:

Salmon – great source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. These nourish the skin, decrease clogged pores and help with fine lines and wrinkles.  They also have anti-inflammatory properties.  The oil contained in salmon, broccoli, carrots and spinach also contains Vitamin A which helps regulate the skin cycle.

Avocadoes: Vitamin E containing powerful antioxidants for mopping up free radicals

Almonds: Rich in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids, almonds are also a great source of plant-based protein, a building block for your skin cells. They are also a source of magnesium, may reduce the effects of stress hormones, preventing your skin from ageing and improving acne.

Controlling acne is tricky and requires a multi-faceted approach. A sensible, healthy diet is certainly a crucial part of the solution. So, maybe just one square a day…I’ll try!!


For more information on how to care for your skin, contact a Clear Complexions Clinic near you.


About the author:

Suzie Hoitink is a Registered Nurse and the Founder of the award winning Clear Complexions Clinics. At Suzie’s clinics the doctors and nurses treat everyday skin conditions using the latest technology available, and in doing so, not only improve the health and appearance of their clients skin, but their overall confidence as well.