There is a ever-growing list of foods that you're told not to eat in order to look your best. Is chocolate on the no-go list when it comes to keeping your skin fresh and dewy? In honor of National Chocolate Day, we're here to tell you it's not! You just need to know the right kind of chocolate to include in your diet. Read on to get the need-to-know details about how you can have your chocolate and eat it too.
Sugar is the no-no
If you're used to noshing on high-sugar American chocolate, you might be causing your skin to look dull. Dr. Stefanie Williams MD told The Daily Mail that ingesting too much sugar can wreak havoc on your body. The reason? Too much sugar breaks down the collagen in our skin, making it brittle. When collagen starts to go, your skin develops wrinkles easier and faster.
If you still want a piece of chocolate as a pick-me-up during the day, seek out chocolate that has a higher cocoa content. It is going to have less added sugar. You can melt it down and drizzle it over strawberries, which boast high levels of antioxidants to keep your skin glowing.
Fat is good…
The secret to having your chocolate and eating it too? Go for the rich stuff. Chocolate that is higher in fat can make your skin retain its elasticity and bat away wrinkles. We're talking 85 percent or darker for the maximum benefit. European brands tend to incorporate more milkfat into their bars – like Cadbury or Toblerone. Add in a handful of almonds with the chocolate to get more good-for-you fats in your diet. Your skin will thank you!
…And so is powder
In addition, if you want an extra boost of chocolate, you can use pure cocoa powder in your smoothies, oatmeal and post-workout snacks to get a dose of healthy ingredients. We love whipping up a smoothie with strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and adding a scoop of cocoa powder and almond milk. Cocoa itself offers some health benefits. It has flavanols, an antioxidant that protects your skin from sun damage. You can also add cocoa to your beauty routine in a DIY exfoliant to reveal glowing skin. Talk about an all-purpose ingredient!
Still need a chocolate fix?
Turns out there's another secret ingredient that can keep your complexion looking fabulous. Refinery29 found that ceramides – which can be paired with cocoa – help your skin retain moisture – which keeps your skin looking plump.
"By the time you reach your 30s, you will have lost about 40% of your skin's ceramides," Dendy Engelman, MD told the publication.
Dark chocolate can also give your skin that much-needed moisture boost. Sounds like the best of both worlds: Chocolate and gorgeous skin. Where do we sign up?