I love chocolate just as much as the next guy (or girl), but every time I have more than a few bites, I seem to get a few pimples around the chin area and on my forehead. With Halloween just around the corner (and the fact that I have been known to "steal" a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup or two from my kid's Halloween "loot"), I decided to do some investigative research on the age-old question of "does chocolate really cause acne?"After putting on my detective hat and setting out to find the answer to this question, I realized that this is a mystery that may be a bit more difficult to solve than originally anticipated.
After hours of searching through articles and studies from various sources all available on the internet, I have narrowed down the answer to one of the following possibilities:
- Chocolate does indeed cause pimples
- Chocolate does not cause pimples
- Chocolate may cause pimples
Confused? Well so was I. It seems that there really isn't a clear-cut answer to this question. Every time I thought I read an article "debunking" this wives tale, I found another article supporting it. The reality is that very few real studies have been done to finally address this issue so, as I often do, let me share with you my own personal "take" on whether chocolate causes zits...
Here's what I do know: every time I eat an amount of chocolate say the size of a typical chocolate bar, I break out a bit around my chin, near my nose and on my forehead. I don't need "studies" to tell me if this will happen ... as it actually does happen. This isn't usually the case if I eat ice cream or cake ... just chocolate. Does this prove that chocolate causes pimples? Not necessarily as it could simply be that certain ingredients that are IN chocolate may lead to the little reminders of my youth.
It is well known that certain ingredients high in fat and sugar cause an increase in the production of a substance called "sebum" in the body which can cause acne in larger amounts. Sebum is an oily, waxy substance that is secreted to help protect the skin from cracking, but in larger amounts, can clog pores and lead to inflammation/acne.
For me, what it comes down to is this: when I eat chocolate in any amount over a "fun size" candy bar, I get a break out. This doesn't happen nearly as often with other sweets/treats so whether its the sebum or not, I believe eating chocolate does indeed cause pimples.
If the occasional pimple is the price to pay for eating chocolate, sign me up (as long as I have my zit cream and Matte For Men Cleansing Cloths nearby!).