Published: 02/23/2016 - Updated: 03/08/2020
Author: Dra. Loredana Lunadei, PhD
Chocolate is a product that is currently distributed throughout the world in different varieties, including milk chocolate, with fruit and nuts, and with a high cocoa content (dark). It is often commonly used in many dessert preparations and for many it is a guilty pleasure due to the amount of calories that it contains, but very rarely has it occurred to people that it can be used for the benefit of our natural beauty.
A source of antioxidants
Chocolate with a high cocoa content is full of antioxidants that are believed to not only help protect our skin and body from damage caused by free radicals, but also its flavonoids give us a more radiant and healthy appearance.
The best news is that you can benefit from its properties by smearing it on the skin, but also by consuming it regularly.
Healthier and younger looking skin
The substances found in chocolate identified as flavonoids have an antioxidant effect, which promotes better circulation. Regular consumption of this food can also help reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and it is worth mentioning that it can be a great ally for boosting our mood. However, its benefits also include healthy skin.
Helps keep skin hydrated: Chocolate and its nutrients can contribute to the health and hydration of the skin from the inside, so it is worth including small amounts in our diet.
Relieves stress: It has been proven that eating small amounts each day can help to combat stress and promote relaxation, which is favourable not only for the health of our skin, but also for overall health and well-being.
Helps exfoliate the skin: Chocolate face masks can promote blood circulation and help remove impurities, giving our skin a healthier look and a smoother texture. It is also said that it can help prevent the occurrence of early wrinkles and smooth any existing ones.
Maintains a youthful appearance: It has long been known that antioxidants have the ability to protect the skin against the effects of ageing. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, so consuming it can help to maintain smoother, more youthful looking skin for longer.
Chocolate for the hair
Besides all the benefits for our skin, the consumption of chocolate can also improve the appearance of our hair.
It is an excellent ingredient for hair masks, ideal for both oily hair and dry hair as it helps to control excess sebum and is a good moisturiser too.
Improved circulation: It can stimulate blood circulation in the scalp, which not only strengthens the hair but also promotes growth and prevents or helps control hair loss.
Useful against dandruff: It may prevent infections like dandruff or other scalp infections.
Hydrates: It can be used as a moisturiser for our hair, giving a natural glossy appearance and greater volume.
What kind is recommended?
On the market today there are all kinds of chocolate products, but not all of them are as healthy or provide the aforementioned benefits. In fact, the only chocolate that is completely favourable is black or dark chocolate, containing at least 70% cocoa.
To choose the right kind, we must consider the following:
- Do not choose filled or flavoured chocolates.
- Make sure the chocolate has a smooth surface without holes, lines or spots, unless they are part of the design.
- The chocolate should be firm and when to break you should hear a click.
- It should not be soft and sweet, as this indicates the presence of fat or lard.
- Keep it away from heat in temperate or cold temperatures and preferably in a dry place.
Consumption and use of black chocolate
While regular consumption is recommended, it is important to remember that excess consumption is not as beneficial. Small portions of about 30 grams per day are suitable, however anything in excess of this could affect our weight, or even provoke headaches if we are very sensitive to chocolate compounds, so it is important to moderate our consumption.
If you want to use chocolate as a mask, be sure not to mix it with water as this may harden the mixture. Try to melt it in a bain-marie, stirring regularly. Never expose chocolate to high temperatures as you could alter either its texture or burn it. Remember to always melt it over a low heat.
When you apply the chocolate on your skin, try to do it when it is warm, not hot. Distribute the mixture evenly, or you can use a brush to help you. To remove, use only warm water.
- Kerimi, A., & Williamson, G. (2015). The cardiovascular benefits of dark chocolate. Vascular Pharmacology, 71, 11–15.
- Petyaev, I. M., & Bashmakov, Y. K. (2017). Dark Chocolate: Opportunity for an Alliance between Medical Science and the Food Industry? Frontiers in Nutrition, 4, 43.
- Williams, S. , Tamburic, S. and Lally, C. (2009), Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 8: 169-173.
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