Worried that your Valentine’s Day chocolate may cause a breakout? Go ahead and enjoy it guilt-free, says Dr. Carina Wasko.
“The effect of diet on acne has been a matter of debate and controversy for many years,” she said. “Chocolate should not cause acne when eaten in moderation. The most compelling evidence with regard to the role of diet in acne points to high glycemic-load diets as being a contributor.”
Foods with high glycemic load include sugary treats such as cookies, candy and chocolate.
However, Wasko stresses that it’s not necessary for someone who suffers from acne to avoid all chocolate and similar food items, only that they should consume these items in moderation, like eating one or two pieces of chocolate in the sampler box per day, rather than the whole box at one time.
She also suggests opting for dark chocolate over milk chocolate since dark chocolate contains lower levels of sugar and dairy byproducts.
Since chocolate won’t necessarily make you break out, how did the connection between chocolate and acne arise?
“I can’t honestly say,” Wasko said. “Some of this has the components of an old wives’ tale but one can assume that our parents were wise and maybe clued into the fact that high-sugar diets correlated with more acne.
“As chocolate is a popular sugary treat, it may have inadvertently become the scapegoat for this phenomenon.”
Dr. Wasko is an assistant professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine.