We may be free of the temptation of holiday treats for another year, but the popularity of chocolate shows no signs of waning. In fact, Americans will purchase an estimated 58 million pounds in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Our favorite confection certainly satisfies our collective sweet tooth, but thanks to its high antioxidant content, chocolate is also good for our skin.
The same antioxidants (catechins and phenols) that support cardiovascular health also benefit the skin, by supporting collagen and helping to prevent UV damage. They are helpful in diminishing the signs of aging such as loss of elasticity, fine lines and wrinkles. More research is needed, but initial study results show reductions in UV reactions and skin roughness and increases in skin density and moistness. The beneficial properties of cocoa can be found in supplements, such as Anthony Inside Skin Supplement, but that isn’t the only way to treat your skin to dessert.
Chocolate-infused skin care products moisturize, firm and protect. NUXE Aroma Vaillance Moisturizing Deep Wrinkle Emulsion - Normal and Combination is highly moisturizing, firming and helps diminish the appearance of deep wrinkles while preventing new ones. The antioxidants also provide UV protection, especially important for the lips. Goldfaden Nanotech Sun Stick SPF 30 Lip Balm prevents sunburn and soothes chapped lips. Cosmetic companies have also discovered the benefits of chocolate, including cocoa extract in primers, blushes and lip gloss, such as Jane Iredale Chocoholicks.
Of course the chocolate that we eat can benefit the skin as well. It’s best to look for organic, non-alkalized chocolate, as processing coca with alkali increases the pH and possibly negates some of the benefits.