Is Chocolate Bad For Your Skin? This Expert Has The Answers


For generations, chocolate has been demonized as a trigger for acne breakouts. But is there any truth to this belief? 

Jason Vishnefske, from Santa Barbara Chocolate, is here to explore the myths and truths behind chocolate consumption and its effects on skin health. Let’s dive in and separate fact from fiction.

Is Chocolate to Blame?

Research suggests there isn’t a direct link between cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, and acne. In fact, dark chocolate with a high cacao content might even benefit your skin thanks to its antioxidant properties.

The true culprits behind blemishes are likely a complex interplay of factors like genetics, hormones, age, and stress. However, there’s no denying that diet plays a significant role. 

Sugary and fatty foods can trigger inflammation and increase sebum (oil) production in the body, both of which contribute to acne breakouts. 

So, while chocolate itself might not be the sole villain, the type of chocolate you consume can significantly impact your skin.

The Downside

Chocolate contains sugar, dairy, and fats, which can negatively impact the skin when consumed in excess.

  1. Sugar: Processed sugar can lead to early aging, inflammation, and increased sebum production, which can contribute to acne.
  2. Dairy: Dairy products often contain lactose and proteins that can trigger inflammation and hormonal imbalances, potentially leading to breakouts.
  3. Fats: Saturated and trans fats found in chocolate can increase inflammation in the body, worsening acne.

The Upside

However, not all chocolate is bad for your skin. Dark chocolate and cacao, rich in antioxidants, offer several benefits:

  1. Provides Antioxidants: These antioxidants can help protect your skin from damage and promote overall skin health. Cocoa offers even more antioxidant activity compared to blueberries and acai berries.
  2. Supplies Nutrients: A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70% to 85% cacao content contains fiber, iron, magnesium, and other essential minerals, supporting overall health when consumed in moderation.
  3. Lowers Bad Cholesterol: Studies suggest that dark chocolate when enjoyed as part of a low-fat diet, can help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol levels and support cardiovascular health.

The Takeaway

While there’s limited evidence that pure chocolate can cause pimples or make a breakout more severe, the other ingredients in the bar or cake tell a different story.

Jason concludes, “Moderation and mindful choices are key.”

“While indulging in dark chocolate in reasonable amounts can be part of a balanced diet for healthy skin, focus on limiting sugary and processed foods.”

“Choose dark chocolate with at least 70% cacao content to reap the most benefits, and remember, a well-rounded diet filled with fruits and vegetables is the ultimate recipe for clear, radiant skin.”


Research about acne’s direct link to cocoa from Byrdie.

Jason Vishnefske

Santa Barbara Chocolate is a purveyor of high-quality, sustainable chocolate products. They offer a variety of chocolate options, including vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free choices, catering to diverse dietary needs. Customers can find premium cocoa products, such as dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and chocolate wafers, with an emphasis on purity and flavor.

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