Myths busted: Does chocolate really cause pimples?

For years we have been told eating unhealthy food will give us pimples, though it seems the main culprit for many is chocolate. Over time, there have been many studies both supporting and arguing against whether chocolate is to blame for acne.

So, should we be giving up the delicious snack any time soon? The experts at House Call Doctor break down everything you need to know.

What is the supporting evidence?

In 2013, a study published in the US National Library of Medicine suggested chocolate may worsen acne or cause new, frequent breakouts by encouraging the immune system to react aggressively to the bacteria which causes acne.

However, this reaction wasn’t proven in humans and therefore can’t be considered as solid evidence.

What other studies are there?

Chocolate has been speculated to be an influence on acne following a study in 2003 where participants who ate foods flavoured with cocoa had a higher insulin response over the group who ate the same foods without cocoa.

Conversely, a study conducted in 2012 argued against chocolate causing acne. The study involved 44 young adults and asked all of them to keep a food diary for three days. The results of the study found no link between chocolate and acne.

Does chocolate really affect our skin?

Not necessarily. The affect of chocolate on our skin depends on the individual. Despite research, there is no solid evidence single foods, such as chocolate, directly cause acne.

With this being said, overall diet does have an influence on skin. If you’re eating chocolate, it’s more likely the sugar will have an impact on your skin rather than the cocoa. This means all sugary foods can cause pimples and deeper breakouts.