Chocolate is in the news for its heart healthy benefits, promoting weight loss and it’s high antioxidants but did you know that chocolate may also be good for your skin? The Cosmetic Science Group, School of Management and Science, London University of the Arts, London, UK did some testing to find out just how chocolate can help your skin. Their study was to show and discover the photoprotective potential from chocolate consumption and the results are very exciting.
There were two types of chocolate selected for this study; one high in flavanoids and one that was commercialized. The experiment revolved around 30 healthy individuals who participated. Fifteen of these individuals were randomly given commercialized dark chocolate and the other 15 were given a dark chocolate that was high in flavanol content. They were instructed to consume their allocated chocolates daily over a 12 week period. They were also measured for ‘minimal erythema dose’ (“MED” is the minimum amount of UVB that produces redness 24 hours after exposure. It is the starting dose for UVB light treatments.) to assess a base line prior to this experiment.
After 12 weeks these individuals were re-evaluated and measurements were taken for their MED. What they found was that those individuals who ate high flavanol content chocolate had doubled their protection from the harmful effects of UV rays as compared to those who ate regular commercialized dark chocolate. Those who ate commercialized dark chocolate had no improvement to MED and UV exposure.
Their conclusion showed that a dark chocolate rich in flavanols is very effective in protecting the human skin from harmful UV rays. Commercialized chocolates lose their flavanol content during the heating process because 60-80% of the beneficial vitamins and nutrients are lost; therefore, destroying the photoprotective potential. All chocolates available on the market have been heated or processed in some fashion. Fermentation of cacao heats the bean and also causes these essential vitamins and nutrients to be killed. Gourmet Healthy Chocolates are not processed because the cacao is raw cold pressed and are very high in flavanol content. Can chocolate help your skin? The answer is yes if you select the right kind.