Chocolate is one of the ultimate indulgences, but has it ever occurred to you to put it chocolate on your face instead of in your tummy? Before you decry a waste of good chocolate, let us explain.
In the past few years, scientists have started touting the potential health benefits of eating small amounts of dark chocolate. Some studies have shown that the antioxidant in chocolate, epicatechin, can improve cardiovascular health by lowering high blood pressure. The idea behind the chocolate facial is that the epicatechin can also reduce signs of aging in the skin, such as wrinkles and sun damage.
But that's not all this sweet substance has to offer. Chocolate also contains trace amounts of vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium and magnesium. The cocoa butter in chocolate is a good moisturizer, and the smell of chocolate can raise serotonin levels in the brain, making you feel happier. Just as with eating chocolate for its health benefits, there isn't any definitive proof about its effect on the skin. It certainly can't hurt, though, and it definitely sounds decadent.
One hotel in a city well-known for chocolate offers them as part of its spa services. The spa at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pa., also offers chocolate baths, sugar scrubs, body polishes, massages and wraps. If you're not in the Pennsylvania area, fear not -- plenty of spas offer a chocolate facial, and you can also find plenty of recipes to make your own at home.
Next, we'll look at another unusual spa facial using a food product: wine.