Many dermatologists and other board members of the American Academy of Dermatology find it amusing when people ask about the chocolate-acne paradox. Apparently, they get it a lot.
According to one dermatologist, Dr. Farris, the answer is not that simple, there’s no definite answer at this point. There are a lot of studies on the subject with contradicting results.
Is it the sugar or the chocolate?
In terms of diet and how it affects the skin, there are ample data to support the claim that foods with a high glycemic index, which are foods that are high in refined sugar and carbohydrates like processed snacks, bread, and sugary drinks, may trigger acne-prone skin.
Dr. Farris agrees that the sudden increase in insulin may increase the formation of acne, which is why she recommends avoiding such foods. However, researchers still haven’t made a direct link when it comes to acne and chocolate.
She adds that the chocolate that the average kid eats has a rather low percentage of real cacao, and is usually covered in sugary caramel, dye, and candies. She believes that the chocolate itself is less likely to trigger acne, its the other added ingredients if anything.
What to remember
While we wait for a conclusive study, hopefully in the future, experts advise that knowing how your own skin will react to different foods. That way you know which foods trigger acne for you, and you know to avoid them. You can try keeping a food journal, a record of everything you eat in a day, that way it’s easier to monitor.