Abigail James

Is Chocolate Good for Your Skin?

In her third article for Ancient + Brave, multi-award-winning facialist to the stars, "The Queen of Skin" (The Times) and author Abigail James discusses whether chocolate is good for you skin. 

Chocolate and skincare is hot topic for many of us, and as a chocolate lover myself this is an important question with a quick simple answer of YES chocolate is amazing for skin! But not all chocolate, let me tell you why….

Cacao in its purest form, i.e. the raw material used in what we generally know as mass produced chocolate and confectionary is great for the skin health. Extremely high in antioxidants and flavonols (antioxidants that help protect the skin from pollution & UV damage)  It also promotes blood flow and circulation, bringing fresh nutrients to the skin. Its packed with vitamins and minerals, such as Iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.  

Cacao also has anti-inflammatory benefits, and we know that inflammation has a detrimental effect on our skin and whole health. Internal inflammation is a key trigger for skin conditions such as acne, sensitivity, and premature ageing. 

DID YOU KNOW….. The aroma of chocolate alone can release serotonin in the brain, the happy hormone reducing stress hormones! Pure and dark is the way forward.

So is chocolate bad for your skin? This is a misconception, cacao as mentioned above is amazing for your skin, what’s not good for your skin is the other processed ingredients often added to mass produced chocolate bars, drinks and treats. 

The refined sugars and fats we know are not good for our health and can trigger inflammatory responses within the body and impact on our glycaemic load (How an ingredient dramatically increases our blood sugar levels) which can lead to many health issues, premature ageing and skin conditions such as acne. 

There is also often the added dairy milk which for acne prone skin can be a huge trigger. 

As much as you might fancy eating a whole bar of milk chocolate to yourself, that’s not the best choice. 

The key is quality over quantity! 

The darker and purer the chocolate the high levels of the good stuff, small amounts with a big healthy impact. 

You could potentially consider cacao as part of your healthy diet and supplements especially when the cacao is combined with other added ingredients such as collagen. This then gives a super impact of the vitamin and mineral benefits of the cacao with the hydrating, skin supporting benefits of the collagen. 


It’s good to have a recap of the importance of collagen and what collagen does in the body….  

Collagen is the building blocks of our skin, hair, bone, blood vessels, ligaments and connective tissue, it’s an essential protein within our body and skin. Collagen is composed of amino acids, organised into long chains of polypeptides, creating flexible and strong collagen fibres, which degenerate with age. 

In our mid 20’s our collagen production starts to slow down and accelerates as we age, dramatically reducing as we hit menopause. So it makes sense to be adding what we can to our diets to support our bodies and skin to age the best we can. 

To read more from Abigail James www.abigailjames.com

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