dark chocolate causes acne

Does Eating Dark Chocolate Cause Acne

Growing up you have probably heard a handful of disconcerting theories concerning how eating dark chocolate causes acne.

This is in addition to the numerous skin care misconceptions, fallacies and flat-out wishful thinking theories concerning the same. Probably there have also been certain beliefs about dark chocolate causing acne that have been passed on from generation to generation. While studies and research done previously concluded that it wasn’t true that dark chocolate causes acne, recent reevaluations have revealed that overindulgence in dark chocolate causes acne and plays a big role in worsening acne in acne prone individuals. In this article, we are going to explore how dark chocolate causes acne and dispel any misleading notions surrounding the how of how dark chocolate causes acne.

Does dark chocolate cause acne?

The truth is there is very little evidence that points at dark chocolate as a cause of acne. Nonetheless, it is common knowledge that intake of foods that have high sugar and fat contents could increase sebum production and ultimately promote inflammation. Therefore, it is possible that chocolate causes acne because of its high sugar content. In order for us to better understand whether dark chocolate causes acne, we have to have an understanding of what acne is. In very simple terms acne is a skin condition that results in a breakout of pimples. These include whiteheads, cysts, and comedones. While there are a number of reasons that acne comes about, some foods have been found to be major contributors when it comes to triggering acne.

Can you get pimples from eating chocolate?

Can you get pimples from eating chocolate? This is probably a question you have heard asked tons of times. Not to mention the accompanying phrase “I won’t eat chocolate because chocolate makes me break out”. According to a recently published study, even eating moderate amounts of high-quality dark chocolate causes acne. Additionally, a study published in the International Journal of Dermatology 2015 reveals the number of both inflammatory and noninflammatory pimples double in weeks when acne prone individuals eat a certain amount of high-quality dark chocolate every day for a period of 4 weeks. Therefore, on the question of chocolate cause acne true or false, the truth is it can be a contributing factor to worsening acne when taken in ridiculous amounts.

In 2011, yet another study was conducted by Block et al to see the effects eating chocolate on a single day had on individuals after 7 days. Surprisingly enough, the number of pimples shot up from 2.7 to about 18.2 on the 7th day. In regards to cocoa and acne, a study done in 2014 by Block et al revealed that the number of pimples shot up from about 3.9 to 10 on the 7th day after individuals were predisposed to capsules filled with pure cocoa. This was a clear indication that the cocoa in dark chocolate causes acne. In 2014, yet another study was conducted to determine which scenario was bound to aggravate the rise of pimples in an individual. The study revealed that when individuals were subjected to white and dark chocolates and nothing at all, the individuals that took white chocolate were more inclined to get pimples. Moreover, a study that was published by the University of Oslo in the journal of BMC Public Health in 2009 found that a significant link did exist between frequent consumption of chocolate and acne. This further added on to the proof that overindulgence in dark chocolate causes acne.

Effects of chocolate on pimples

A study done by the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology singles out chocolate as one of the foods that acne suffers single out as a trigger for their breakouts. However, is chocolate bad for the skin? Asking the phrase is chocolate bad for the skin is similar to asking is salt bad for the skin? Well, this is because answering the question objectively will entail analyzing the contents in dark chocolate just as with salt so as to ascertain whether dark chocolate causes acne. For instance, you might be interested to know that 100 grams of dark chocolate with 70 to 85 grams of cocoa contains nearly 25 grams of saturated fats. As we are all well aware, sugar and saturated fats often increase the levels of insulin thus causing inflammation to the body. This inflammation could make acne worse. Although the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology points out that dark chocolate doesn’t cause acne, there is a possibility that it does cause a reaction to some individuals.

Why does dark chocolate cause acne?

In all sincerity, no one really knows the reason as to why dark chocolate causes acne. Although it has long been labeled as a direct cause of acne, science does not fully support this claim at all. However, numerous studies have shown that it does indeed prime the immune system to have a stronger reaction against P. acne bacteria. Not to mention the fact that there is a deep-rooted connection between acne and food most especially dairy and sugar which have been observed to cause fluctuations in both blood sugar and hormonal levels.

You must be pretty worried right now. The thought of giving up the most fascinating and sumptuous snack can be nerve racking if not stressful. Well, you do not have to worry at all. Chances are if you eat the chocolate bars sparingly, you will not end up getting skin inflammations at all. The key to preventing havoc and a situation where dark chocolate causes acne on your skin is portion control. It is also vital for you to eat the right type of chocolate. For instance, if you know that white chocolate is bound to aggravate the situation, why not eat less of that and eat more of the alternative. Below we are going to discuss the contents of dark chocolate and whether there are ingredients in dark chocolate that cause acne.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has 3.5 grams sugar content and by far the highest cocoa content which makes it easier to overdose on. However, it is still quite hard for one to overdose on the cocoa. That is probably the reason as to why dark chocolate happens to be the best option when it comes to semi-regular treats.

Other ingredients in dark chocolate that cause acne

Is chocolate bad for the skin? Absolutely not. Even so, even though dark chocolate doesn’t cause acne, it is made of components or rather ingredients that seem to have a high affinity for triggering and aggravating the breakout of pimples and acne in individuals.


Milk has been a disconcerting issue for the longest time when it comes to acne prevention. Often times when you go to the dermatologist with acne related issues, they are likely to recommend that you cut down on the dairy intake because it has a deep-rooted connection to breakouts. However, there is really no proof that it actually does trigger pimple breakouts. What is quite clear is that it contains androgen precursors that can hastily be converted to androgens when exposed to certain enzymes found in the sebaceous glands and pores.


Most chocolate bars contain a considerate amount of sugar which has been proven to be terrible for the skin. The danger with sugar is that it can cause a rise in the blood sugar levels of insulin which can, in turn, result in more sebum. This, therefore, means that the sugar in dark chocolate causes acne in some instances when taken in high doses.

Benefits of chocolate

So is chocolate really all that bad? Absolutely not. On the contrary, it does have some components that can be very beneficial to an individual’s body.

Chocolate that has high cocoa content has been found to improve insulin sensitivity which in turn reduces the amount of insulin in the body.

The cocoa in chocolate has a vast amount of flavonoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins and other antioxidants. These antioxidants help prevent the oxidation of sebum which causes acne breakouts. They also prevent free radicals from damaging the rest of the body.

Dark chocolate contains components that boost serotonin levels and consequently increases an individual’s happiness.

The cocoa in dark chocolate has also been associated with other benefits including enhanced brain function and cardiovascular wellbeing. What’s more, cocoa also strengthens the skin defenses and makes it more resistant to sunburns.

Does dark chocolate cause cystic acne?

One of the things that acne prone patients need to ensure they have in the palm of their hands is an understanding of the various types of acne. This is because different types of acne have different forms of reaction with different items. For instance, those with anti-inflammatory acne might realize that a change in diet makes a difference in their breakouts whereas those with cystic acne may not. Cystic acne is genetic inflammatory acne that sees large painful lesions growing underneath the skin. The only time that we can be sure that dark chocolate doesn’t cause acne is when someone is said to have cystic acne. This is because dark chocolate and cystic acne have no relationship at all especially seeing as cystic acne is genetic.

Are there other factors that cause acne breakouts?

Apart from food, studies have also revealed that depending on one’s skin type, there is a possibility of developing pimples from using certain foundations, face masks, [body oils], body washes, face oils, antioxidant serums and BB creams. If you happen to have a history of eczema, for example, you are prone to getting pimple breakouts from just about any product that you use on your face. Nevertheless, the fact that some people have reactions to certain types of products does not mean that the same products do not augur well for others. On the contrary, to some people, these products help a whole lot especially in not only hiding but also covering up the pimples. Ultimately, you will need to identify what exactly causes breakouts on your skin because treating and preventing acne solely depends on whether you have narrowed down on the reason for your breakouts.

So how do you treat acne?

Well, other than letting the acne breakouts just settle by themselves eventually, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that the acne problem becomes a problem of the past. These include:

Cutting down on what is causing the acne in the first place. For instance, if you suspect that dark chocolate causes acne breakouts on your skin, then it might be best for you to slow down on the chocolate intake and see what happens. The problem is it might take you a considerate amount of time to notice any changes. Hence the need to be a little bit more patient. For much faster results, however, products for acne can be a really good start. In addition to that, you can also use korean skincare for acne which pretty much work as efficiently. You can also turn to some essential oils or better yet find drugstore acne products that will agree with your skin.

Final Thoughts

For centuries now, health professionals have led individuals to believe that eating dark chocolate causes acne. Unfortunately, there isn’t substantial evidence that can corroborate the claims of dark chocolate causing acne at all. The best thing that you can do for yourself is to study your skin patterns at all times. For instance, how does your skin react after a few days of having candy? Does eating dark chocolate cause acne when done continuously for a week? Does dark chocolate cause acne on your skin or by any chance aggravate acne? Is it the smaller portions of candy or the bigger portions that seem to have an effect? Most times you will find that high-quality chocolate is nothing like the acne causing catastrophe that people call chocolate. In fact, you will find it to be very helpful in the long run for healthier skin. The only time that this dark chocolate causes acne is in the event that you take up enormous quantities of it. In the meantime, before you can ascertain things, you are free to splurge and feed your sweet tooth every once in a while without having to worry too much about the possibility of dark chocolate causing acne breakouts on your skin.

Elisabeth Hasselblad

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