Will chocolate make my skin break out?

For years, our moms have been saying that eating chocolate will cause breakouts. Until recently, however, there was no scientific study to prove that. 

Last year, a research study did in fact show that consumption of pure chocolate can worsen facial acne in male patients who already have a history of acne. In the study, patients ate 6 ounces of Ghirardelli chocolate a day. It may have been good for their taste buds, but their faces did not like it. Their acne got worse after 1 week.

Other than chocolate, in dairy products and high-glycemic-index foods have been shown to worsen acne, perhaps due to hormonal influences.


Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Whether or not eating chocolate causes acne is a longstanding debate in dermatology. Many people insist that chocolate brings on breakouts, but the handful of scientific studies that have been done (most of them many years ago) haven't been able to prove it. One small, preliminary study in 2011 did find that men who ate up to 12 ounces of pure chocolate in one sitting had more acne several days later, and the number of spots increased with the amount of chocolate they ate. But the study is hardly the last word, and larger ones are in the works. There is better evidence, however, that dairy products worsen acne, possibly because of the sugars or hormones in milk. High-glycemic-index diets also seem to affect your skin. Therefore, if you have a chocolate craving but you're worried about breakouts, avoid milk chocolate. Instead, nibble on a bit of dark chocolate, which has less sugar, less fat and contains antioxidants that are good for your skin and overall health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.