Wednesday, 20 July 2016 15:43

The Chocolate Connection to Sun Protection

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Athough many clients mistakenly believe that chocolate can cause acne, they may not know that several studies have shown that dark chocolate – with 70 percent cocoa – may fight sun damage. Dark chocolate is rich in flavonoids, a plant-based antioxidant, and has been proven to provide a number of health benefits, including lowering the risk of heart attacks.

A 2006 German study had 24 women drink hot dark chocolate every morning during breakfast for three months. Twelve women had a beverage that was made out of chocolate that was high in flavonoids, while the other 12 had a drink that tasted and looked the same but did not contain high-flavonoid chocolate. The scientists conducted tests at the beginning and end of the trial, one of which irradiated the skin with ultraviolet light until it turned red. The women that drank the flavonoid-rich chocolate drink did not redden nearly as much as the participants that did not drink the flavonoid-rich beverage. The 12 women that ingested the flavonoid-rich drink also had skin that was smoother and moister than the others.

A 2009 study published in The Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology also found the same results and stated that the doubling of the mean minimal UVB erythema dose – in other words, the smallest amount of UVB that was exposed to the skin in order to create redness – in those that drank a high-flavonoid chocolate drink was statistically significant.

Because 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate was found to only provide an SPF of two or three, clients should still protect their skin with broad spectrum sunscreen and protective clothing.

Benabio, J. (n.d.). Food Friday: Eat Chocolate for Sun Protection.
Raloff, J., & ScienceNews. (2006, June). Chocolate as Sunscreen.
Williams, S., Tamburic, S., & Lally, C. (2009). Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 8(3), 169-173. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00448.x

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