My acne-ridden youth (okay, fine, it was like 20 zits total) engrained in me that chocolate was a pimple-flaring, oil-producing skincare devil to be avoided at all costs. In my more recent, better-skinned years I’ve turned to the dark, 80% cocoa variety to cure me of late-afternoon nap compulsion and early-morning sugar cravings, but I never suspected that the chocolate could actually be to thank for my clearer, more radiant complexion. A new report in the Journal of Nutrition discovers what may in fact be the Best News Ever: not only do women who eat more chocolate tend to have smoother, more hydrated skin, but chocolate itself is choc-full of antioxidants that help to shield skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
In a controlled study, one group of women ingested 326 milligrams of high-flavanol (dark) cocoa per day, while the other consumed 27 milligrams per day. The result? The women who ate the larger amount showed a decrease in sensitivity to UV light as compared to the other participants. This doesn’t absolve chocolate lovers from lack-of-sunscreen sins, of course, but it turns out that Lindt bar you keep stashed in your desk may actually be doing much more than just quenching a serious workday sweet tooth. Rather than eating high-calorie, high-fat candy bars to ingest the amount necessary in order to reap these benefits, the authors of the study recommend CocoaVia flavored extract supplements for the most concentrated source of cocoa extract. [Allure]