Chocolates and Acne Breakouts

Thursday, February 17, 2011 Stef dela Cruz 2 Comments

The old dictum in dermatology is that your diet will not cause pimples. Doctors once declared with conviction that food will not cause breakouts – but new studies beg to differ. A new study says that chocolates may actually worsen acne.

There have been many theories about why certain types of food may cause acne to flare up. Unfortunately, it’s rather difficult to conduct a randomized control trial (which is a pretty reliable study, for those who don’t speak research) that would settle the issue once and for all.

chocolates can cause acneWell, here’s one study that may counter the old belief that diet has no relationship with acne. During the 69th meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology held just this month (February 2011), a study was presented by the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Ten men were made to eat pure chocolate in the study. Their comedones, papules, and other facial lesions of acne were counted before and after they were made to consume pure chocolate. The results showed that, alas, not only did chocolate cause a significant increase in acne lesions, but the amount of chocolate was also related to the severity of the flare up. This means that the more chocolate they ate, the worse their acne became.

Since the participants were made to consume pure chocolate, confounding factors – or factors that might have tainted the study’s reliability – were minimized. That is, neither milk nor nuts caused the worsening of acne. The research team also chose males over females because they wanted to make sure that any flare ups were not due to hormonal changes related to the menstrual cycle.

Writing this article makes me drool. Suddenly, I’m craving for dark chocolate…

The research team is speculating that theobromines in chocolate may play a role in acne, but of course this has yet to be proven.

And if you’re suffering from acne, not only should you watch what you eat, but you should also take good care of your skin from the outside. Some people use harsh facial washes thinking that the more oil they strip, the better. However, stripping your face of oil will only trigger it to produce even more oil to compensate for the dryness. It’s then much better to remove the excess oil while keeping your face appropriately hydrated. A facial wash like Cetaphil would be a great alternative to soaps and drying facial cleansers.  


Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser For Normal to Oily Skin,

8-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 3)

– Click here to purchase from Amazon –

And yes, dermatologists recommend it. Other dermatologists also recommend mild soaps like Dove for Sensitive Skin.

Dove Sensitive Skin Unscented

They’re available in boxes of 6, which I prefer because of the extra savings. But if you haven’t tried it yet, perhaps it’s best if you buy one bar first.

Dove for Sensitive Skin

Dove beauty bar soap w/ moisturizing lotion for sensitive skin - 3.15 Oz

By the way, if you’re curious what kind of chocolates they used for the study, it’s Ghirardelli Chocolate 100% unsweetened cacao. All this talk about chocolates makes my mouth water! If you’ve got clear skin, I envy you – yeah, go ahead, eat all the chocolate you want. Sigh…

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.


  1. I use them ate... hehehe.. Miss you! See you soon! :D

  2. Thank you! See you soon, let's take pictures all over the city. ^_^