You may have heard that eating chocolate can cause pimples. It's a little pearl of wisdom that's been passed down from generation to generation, leading people with acne-prone skin to try to cut chocolate out of their diets or blame their most recent breakout on too many sweets. There's only one little problem: It isn't true. The idea that chocolate causes acne is nothing more than a myth [source: Dowshen].
Scientists and researchers have tried to find a link between breakouts and eating chocolate, but there's no evidence to support the claim. In fact, no specific foods have been proved to cause acne. However, a new study suggests there may be a link between high-glycemic foods -- such as white bread and pasta -- and breakouts. The American Acne & Rosacea Society is looking into the claim, but so far no definite conclusions have been drawn [source: Ehrenfeld].
This is good news if you're a chocolate lover trying to control blemishes -- but it doesn't mean you should indulge all the time. Even though it doesn't cause acne, chocolate is full of ingredients that are high in calories and fat. For this reason, avoid eating too much milk chocolate or chocolate candies that are packed with sugar. Instead, try satisfying your sweet tooth with dark chocolate. It's lower in fat, and it may have health benefits -- it's been reported to lower blood pressure and cholesterol [source: Zelman].
Next time you're at the grocery store, don't let the fear of breakouts keep you from indulging. You don't have to deprive yourself of chocolate for the sake of beautiful skin. For more information on how chocolate affects your skin, see the links below.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- Dowshen, Steven MD. "Acne Myths." Kid's Health. January 2007. (Accessed 09/16/2009)http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/growing/acne_myths.html#
- Ehrenfeld, Temma. "Is Chocolate Bad for Your Skin?" Newsweek. February 7, 2008. (Accessed 09/16/2009) http://www.newsweek.com/id/108810
- Zelman, Kathleen M. MPH, RD, LD. "Chocolate's Dark Secret." WebMD. December 30, 2008. (Accessed 09/16/2009) http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/modern-love-8/chocolate-answers