If you have a “bit of chocolate a day” habit, you might already have heard of some of the research surrounding the health benefits of chocolate, which in its purer forms has been tied to heart and metabolic health.
Now it turns out that it might be a skin protector too.
A study in the Journal of Nutrition indicates that high-flavanol cocoa protects skin from UV rays. No, not when you slather it on the skin, but when you eat it.
According to the journal article summary, “One group of women ingested 326 mg/d of high flavanol cocoa, rich in the antioxidants epicatechin and catechin, and another group consumed only 27 mg/d over a 12-week period. At the end, the high flavanol group showed decreased sensitivity to UV light … skin hydration and thickness, as well as reduced roughness and scaling.”
What this information does not mean is that eating a Kit Kat or Snickers bar every day is advisable. Processed chocolate candy contains very little cocoa. But a small amount of organic, fair-trade (and raw, if you can find it) dark chocolate may very well assist your skin in protection and self-repair.