While eating chocolate may be good for your soul and tummy, it’s also good for your skin! Well, high quality cocoa that is…

A few chocolate companies have begun using low heat processes to make their cocoa products. This less intensive method of processing leaves phytochemicals in the cocoa such as catechins in tact, which have a tremendous benefit to our skin. In the studies that we looked at, about 20 grams a day over 12 weeks produced significant results. One study showed that about 100 grams of dark chocolate would produce similar results.

People on the cocoa regime saw smoother less scaly skin, their skin became more moisturized, skin density and thickness increased, there was increased microcirculation and oxygenation of the skin. But most importantly their skin was less susceptible to UV damage.

I would suggest using an organic cocoa powder, it is the most versatile, cost-effective and usually the highest in catechin content. Navitas is one brand of cocoa that I have experience with. We want 120 mg/d flavanol content, at least, and not all producers of cocoa may reach this level – give their customer service line a call and ask them if they have information regarding the flavanol content of their product and if they use a low-heat method to process their cocoa.

Mars and Barry Callebaut (Two large chocolate producers) have their own cocoa extract powders. Mars’ CirkuHealth product is available online, whereas Barry Callebaut’s Acticoa is available in products such as Thortons Antioxi Dark Berryboost and Guylian Extra Seashells. While it seems less needs to be consumed of these extracts, it might not actually be true – the 7.8 gram Cirkuhealth serving size is related to circulation benefits, not skin benefits.

Regardless of which product you choose, a delicious way to get cocoa in to your diet is to make a smoothie! I toss in a bout a tablespoon of cocoa, a banana (for sweetness) and top it all off with milk. A simple, tasty way to start off the day, and another way to beautify our skin!

Oh, and another benefit regarding cocoa that you may be happy to hear…a study was performed with two groups eating the same amount of calories, one group was eating cocoa as well and the other was not. What they found was that despite the fact that they were eating the same amount of calories, the group eating cocoa gained less fat! So there ya go! Another reason to eat cocoa besides beautiful skin!

Cocoa for your Skin | In My Skin