Is Dark Chocolate Healthy for your skin

Did you know Dark Chocolate can Protect your skin? [6 WAYS] Having Dark Chocolate is Healthy and Protects You from Sun Exposure

Who doesn't want healthy, shiny, and silky skin? Our skin reflects how we are and shows it to the world dailyMakeup, clothes, and even Instagram filters are temporary, but our skin is forever.

The question is: Is Dark Chocolate Healthy for Our Skin?

YES! Dark Chocolate is Good for Our Skin. Most of us know that aging will show earlier if we don't care for our skin. Sun exposure and its Ultraviolet light are the #1 cause of skin damage. In addition to using sunscreen daily, you could also protect it from the sun by adding a delicious dose of something unimaginable.

We have an alternative and healthy way to protect it: Dark Chocolate! It could be as simple as adding a dose of healthy dark chocolate to your daily diet!!! Yes, Dark Chocolate can help you protect your skin.

You read that correctly: dark chocolate.  This simple pleasure of life, besides helping you with your blood pressure, preventing diabetes, and improving your daily mood; dark chocolate can also support your skin's health.

We have written on this blog about cacao's skin benefits through antioxidants that neutralize oxidative stress—the primary factor of dermal damage and premature skin aging.  CLICK HERE to read those details. But what about the sun?  Does dark chocolate help us to protect our skin from UV light directly? Absolutely!

THE SIX [6] WAYS - HOW is Dark Chocolate healthy for my skin?

1. Extending Minimal Erythematous Dose (MED)

  "Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light." In a research study published by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the official journal of the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology (IACD), and the Canadian Association of Aesthetic Medicine (CAAM). The study demonstrated that "regular consumption of high-flavonols chocolate confers significant photoprotection and can thus be effective at protecting human skin from harmful UV effects." 

And here comes an essential part: conventional chocolate (grocery store) has no such effect, so we are talking specifically about carefully crafted dark chocolate. It increases the time your skin turns red after sun exposure or MED, like sunscreen. The participants had 20-30 grams of better chocolate daily for 3 months to get this benefit.

The Journal of Nutrition, a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the American Society for Nutrition, shared another article about this topic. It demonstrated that "long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV, improving skin condition." This investigation concluded that the flavanols present in cacao can offer effective photoprotection. They showed that a cacao beverage rich in flavanols decreased the sensitivity of human skin toward UV light by, again, decreasing the redness in your skin caused by daylight. Notably, this study reported seeing the effects of photoprotection requires that the consumption of dark chocolate be long-term, constant, and sustained. 

2. Providing High Antioxidants

The antioxidants in cacao, THE main ingredient of real chocolate, reduced the production of free radicals. A few animal studies demonstrated the reduction of COX-2. They activated MAPKs and NF-κβ in the animals' skin AFTER getting cacao powder and polyphenols by mouth or applying them to their skin.

What does all this mean in English? Consuming or using cacao products, especially those that preserve its essential elements, will protect you from the inflammation caused by UV light.

3. Improving Skin’s Blood Flow

What if, in addition to directly protecting your skin from UV light by extending the time your skin becomes red after sun exposure and having anti-inflammatory effects, cacao could also improve skin circulation?

It's important to note that if skin blood flow is better, there is a better chance for the cacao-originated antioxidants to reach the skin and benefit you. Also, better circulation means improved oxygenation for repairing the damage. 

The above was proved in a small study of 10 healthy women. They drank a 100 ml cacao drink once. They were divided into two groups: One got a high-flavanol drink, and the other got a low-flavonol one. Just 1 hour after drinking cacao, the one with high flavonol, the participants showed better skin blood flow and oxygen levels.  

Can you imagine what would happen if you were to drink high % dark chocolate daily? Beautiful and oxygenated skin, ready to fight sunlight!

4. Increasing skin hydration

One of the studies already cited also demonstrated improvement in skin moisture.

The ingestion of high-flavanol cacao led to increases in skin density and skin hydration. Skin thickness was elevated, and transepidermal water loss was diminished within the same time frame (daily cacao drink for 3 months).  

Skin moistness and thickness add to your healthy look. Still, more importantly, it is better prepared to protect you against sun damage.

5. Supplying you with enough Theobromine and its benefits

This effect was proven in animals using a topical cacao-rich extract. The cacao product was applied 5 times a week for 15 weeks. Then, after the final irradiation with UV light, histological and analytical studies showed that the topical application of cacao extracts or Theobromine markedly prevented photodamage, including wrinkle formation and dermal connective alteration, and collagen accumulation. The research also suggested that xanthine derivatives prevented neutrophil infiltration caused by UV-irradiation, supporting Theobromine's critical role in cocoa's dermal protective action.

Translation:  Those spa announcements where people are covered with chocolate or cacao are confirmed at the end. Now we know how cacao can protect the skin.

6. Inhibiting harmful skin growth factors

Last but not least, another animal study showed that a cocoa polyphenol extract (CPE) inhibited TNF-α-induced VEGF expression in promotion-sensitive JB6 mouse epidermal cells.  

What does this mean? It implies that topical application of cacao, rich in polyphenols, reduced a key inflammatory factor linked with chronic skin conditions.

Some of the things we can do to keep our skin healthy are to consume vitamin C and green vegetables. Also, hydration is essential (with moisturizing creams, oils, and a lot of water), sleeping 7 or 8 hours per day, and frequently exercising. Likewise, shielding our skin from the sun means rigorously protecting it against ultraviolet (UV) light. Last but not least, dark chocolate and cacao are healthy for our skin too!

To summarize: 

  • The most significant enemy of our skin is UV light, so it is essential to protect it from the sun and keep it healthy. 
  • There are several ways to protect our skin, but only one is delicious: eating dark chocolate. 
  • The sustained and moderate consumption of dark chocolate generates general well-being for our health, especially our skin.

In conclusion, scientific evidence indicates that dark chocolate is more than a delight on the palate but also a guardian of our skin. You can start with your first tasty skin guardian HERE.


  1. Williams S, Tamburic S, Lally C. Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Sep;8(3):169-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00448.x. PMID: 19735513.
  2. Heinrich U, Neukam K, Tronnier H, Sies H, Stahl W. Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women. J Nutr. 2006 Jun;136(6):1565-9. doi: 10.1093/jn/136.6.1565. PMID: 16702322.
  3. Scapagnini G, Davinelli S, Di Renzo L, De Lorenzo A, Olarte HH, Micali G, Cicero AF, Gonzalez S. Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance and potential for the maintenance of skin health. Nutrients. 2014 Aug 11;6(8):3202-13. doi: 10.3390/nu6083202. PMID: 25116848; PMCID: PMC4145303.
  4. Neukam K, Stahl W, Tronnier H, Sies H, Heinrich U. Consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa acutely increases microcirculation in human skin. Eur J Nutr. 2007 Feb;46(1):53-6. doi: 10.1007/s00394-006-0627-6. Epub 2006 Dec 11. PMID: 17164979.
  5. Neukam K, Stahl W, Tronnier H, Sies H, Heinrich U. Consumption of flavanol-rich cocoa acutely increases microcirculation in human skin. Eur J Nutr. 2007 Feb;46(1):53-6. doi: 10.1007/s00394-006-0627-6. Epub 2006 Dec 11. PMID: 17164979.
  6. Kim JE, Son JE, Jung SK, Kang NJ, Lee CY, Lee KW, Lee HJ. Cocoa polyphenols suppress TNF-α-induced vascular endothelial growth factor expression by inhibiting phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase-1 (MEK1) activities in mouse epidermal cells. Br J Nutr. 2010 Oct;104(7):957-64. doi: 10.1017/S0007114510001704. Epub 2010 Jun 16. PMID: 20550744.
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