If there’s any reason to eat chocolate, we’re listening with open ears. While chocolate does taste delicious, it actually has health benefits, meaning you can keep it as a staple in your diet — in moderation, of course.
Side note: we’re talking dark chocolate with a higher cacao content (ideally 70% or higher), not processed milk chocolate Hershey bars, so keep that in mind when reading all the miraculous things that happen when you indulge in the naturally rich and decadent food.
Both eating this magical dessert and applying it topically to your skin can drastically improve your complexion. Here’s all the benefits it imparts to your skin, as well as DIY ways you can integrate chocolate into your skincare routine at home for the ultimate facial.
How does chocolate benefit your skin?
- It hydrates skin
Thanks to antioxidants, your skin is protected from harmful free radicals, which can cause blemishes. Cocoa itself is an antioxidant, and it’s also rich in flavonoid. Flavonoids are filled with vitamins A, B1, C, D and E, which keeps your face looking youthful.
- It stops blemishes and irritation
Did you know that chocolate actually has anti-inflammatory properties when applied topically? Whether you choose to use chocolate infused lip balm or skincare products, it will have a gentle effect and sooth any irritation.
- Chocolate is a natural moisturizer
Due to oleic acid, stearic acid, and palmitic acid, your dry skin will become lusciously soft. Treat yourself to a lotion with chocolate’s magical ingredients — there’s a reason why cocoa butter is so nourishing, after all. You can make a homemade face mask out of dark chocolate, or invest in other chocolate based hydrating products.
- It increases collagen
Cacao, which is the beginning materials of chocolate, contains extremely high levels of antioxidants, which in turn reduces wrinkles and increases production of collagen. It protects skin from UV rays, which also maintains elasticity. Thanks to cocoa beans being high in magnesium, they stimulate your body’s ability to produce a hormone called progesterone, which stops breakouts.
- Detoxifies skin and protects from UV damage
Don’t have time for a facial? Dark chocolate contains caffeine, which helps exfoliate off dead skin cells, sloughing away to reveal a fresh layer of baby-soft skin. It also slows the signs of aging and can help save you from skin cancer and sunburn, making it a useful, beneficial add-on to any diet. Studies show that chocolate consumption can bring “significant photoprotection” to eaters.
1. Make a chocolate scrub
Consider making a homemade scrub, such as this recipe, which can help bring smooth, and soft skin with the help of some almond and coconut oil, brown sugar, cocoa powder, and essential oil. Even better news? This scrub is edible.
2. Do a chocolate face mask
This luxurious face mask by Wellness Mama features the star of the show, otherwise known as cacao powder. It also combines the benefits of banana, raw honey, and yogurt, which fight free radicals and have anti-inflammatory properties.
3. Make a powdered foundation
Yup, cocoa powder is a staple ingredient in many homemade foundations, and will dry you out much less than other store-bought powders. Here, cocoa powder combines with spices like nutmeg and cloves to make for an all-natural recipe that doubles as skincare and makeup.
4. Make a lip balm with chocolate chips
Want to smell like a tantalizing cupcake all day? This recipe is perfect to make on your own or with the family, and requires chocolate chips, beeswax, Vitamin E, and olive oil. Get softer lips and put the whole family to work — a fantastic way to keep the kids busy, and add a new, glossy staple to your lip routine.
5. Take a chocolate bath
Bubble baths are so yesterday… why not douse yourself in a chocolate-infused bath? This sounds way better than a mud bath! Simply mix some powdered milk, unsweetened cocoa and cornstarch. Missing the fizz? Add unscented bubble bath for an at-home spa experience.
6. Whip up a body butter
So we already know that chocolate is moisturizing, but regular ol’ moisturizer can get boring. So why not whip a lighter-than-air chocolate soufflé, which has double the hydrating power? Apparently, the cocoa in this recipe offers a subtle bronzing effect, giving skin a sun-kissed glow.
7. Clean your face with it
Yup, chocolate can even be a cleanser! With rolled oats, cacao powder, and coconut oil, you can make these “Beauty Bliss Balls” which create little balls of doughy “skin food”. Just place a Bliss Ball in some water until it breaks down into a creamy cleanser!
8. Create a chocolate conditioner
Technically, your scalp is still skin, and chocolate can help your hair grow shiny, long, and healthy. This conditioner only calls for two ingredients: coconut cream, and cocoa powder.