Does chocolate cause acne?

Chocolate and pimples

Does eating chocolate cause acne, or is it a myth?

Photo of brownie, typical chocolate and walnut cake

It is not a myth that diet plays an important role in the appearance and severity of acne.

Westernized diet and acne

In our environment, almost everyone has acne at some point in their life. However, acne is very rare in human populations that do not yet follow a westernized diet, also known as “Western diet“.

As a result of numerous investigations, it has been seen that there is a relationship between acne and certain types of diets, although there is less scientific evidence of foods that alone cause acne.

One of the diets most related to acne is the Western diet, characterized by the high consumption of ultra-processed foods: flours, sugar, oils, excess salt, sweeteners, additives and edible products with these ingredients, usually junk food.

Does chocolate cause acne?

chocolateAccording to scientific studies, the consumption of chocolate bars can cause or aggravate acne symptoms. On the other hand, we clarify that when we talk about chocolates we are not talking about pure cocoa. There is no scientific evidence that indicates that the latter causes or aggravates acne.

The components of chocolate bars that can aggravate acne are mainly sugar, and in some cases, milk.

Why do chocolate bars cause acne?

Chocolate bars cause acne mainly because they contain a lot of sugar. Today we can find “chocolate bars” that contain very little cocoa (less than 6%), and instead contain up to 60% added sugars in their composition.

It is true that the labels not only show the sugar itself, but flours are also included in the carbohydrate count, or the lactose in the milk itself. In any case, the result is an ultra-processed product with a high glycemic index. In other words, most chocolate bars are brown-dyed sugar.

Why does sugar cause acne?

Products that are so rich in added sugars cause a very high rise in blood sugar (high glycemic index), which in turn leads to increased insulin production. It has been seen that diets with high glycemic index cause the aggravation of acne because insulin stimulates sebaceous secretions of the skin.

  • It is scientifically proven that a diet with a high glycemic index exacerbates the manifestations of acne. In addition, sugar is harmful because it causes cavities, diabetes, fatty liver and damage to the arteries.

Does milk chocolate cause acne?

Dairy is another food group that has been closely linked to the appearance of acne. Specifically, milk seems to be the type of dairy most associated with acne exacerbations. The cause seems to be because milk increases a type of other hormones such as IGF-1, which cause increased sebum production by the sebaceous glands of the skin.

What can we consume when we feel like chocolate?

For all that has been explained, it seems quite appropriate to avoid the consumption of chocolates in case of acne, and they would not be recommended in a healthy diet.

You can consume pure cocoa, which can be powdered (sweetened without sugar, with carob or with cinnamon) or 85% or higher chocolate bars. To make sure to buy low-sugar chocolate, it is recommended to read the labels and check that the first ingredient is not sugar.

Substitutes for chocolate bars

The substitutes for the chocolate bars must be products without added sugars, and that do not contain other sweeteners that would produce the same effect, such as honey, agave syrup, fructose or the like. Yes, you can use xylitol (birch sugar) or stevia, since they do not affect blood glucose.

The substitutes for chocolate bars must be products without added sugars, and that do not contain other sweeteners that would produce the same effect, such as honey, agave syrup, fructose or similar.

We propose the following alternatives:

punto rojo More information on remedies for acne

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

12 November, 2021

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