Chocolate Isn’t Just for Your Sweetie
Valentine’s Day just wouldn’t be complete without the gift of decadent, delicious chocolate. But if you’re concerned about calories and weight gain, fret not, for you can indulge without fear as chocolate has numerous beauty benefits as a skin care ingredient. Chocoholics rejoice! Not only is chocolate rich in flavor, it’s also loaded with health-promoting, skin-saving nutrients, making it a guilt-free pleasure.
Although chocolate has formerly gotten a bad rap and was thought to trigger acne, dark chocolate is actually full of antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus and calcium. The magnesium found in the cacao bean stimulates the production of the hormone progesterone, which counters hormone or stress related breakouts.
Other chocolate benefits include:
- Antioxidant: Chocolate is one of nature’s richest sources of free-radical fighting antioxidants; there are 10,000 milligrams of flavanol antioxidants in every 100 grams of cocoa. Chocolate contains a potent combination of antioxidants: flavonals, catechins and polyphenols.
- Moisturizes skin: Cocoa butter is an excellent humectant that seals in moisture and keeps the skin smooth and youthful.
- UV protection: Studies have shown that ingesting chocolate can reduce skin redness from sun exposure by 25 percent.
- Nutrients: Contains vitamins such as C, D and E that nourish and hydrate the skin.
- Calming: Chocolate’s enticing aroma increases the release of endorphins, the “feel good” hormones that enhance relaxation and promote a sense of well-being. The theobromine in chocolate is a powerful brain stimulant that improves mental clarity.
I suspect you’ll need little urging to consume more chocolate, although I suggest sticking to dark chocolate, which has more cocoa and less sugar. For topical application, I recommend the following:
- Sanre Organic Skinfood Chocolate Ecstasy Revitalizing Cocoa Mask: Made with organic cocoa powder, aloe vera, chamomile and French clay, this mask smells delicious and leaves your skin toned and smooth.
- You can also try whipping up your own mask at home (just try to restrain yourself from eating it!)
- Karin Herzog Chocolate: Treat your skin to intensely decadent moisture with this Swiss-made cream and you can rest assured that the chocolate contained herein is top-notch.
- Amla Rejuvenate Cocoa Bean Treatment Oil: This light yet powerful oil contains cocoa bean to reduce inflammation, stimulate skin microcirculation and improve elasticity.
- For a delectable, tropical chocolate-infused scent, try Opus Oils Tropique, an all-natural perfume with intoxicating notes of cocoa, coconut and vanilla.
On the body, cocoa wraps are all the rage, since chocolate is known to firm, tone and detoxify the skin. To achieve the spa experience at home, exfoliate with 100 Percent Pure Cocoa Kona Coffee Body Scrub.
I shan’t be forgetting to book my Chocolate Sweetheart Facial at the Still Point, their current special for the month of February, and suggest that you do the same.
Chocolate has also made its way into makeup, lending rich color and skin-enhancing nutrients. Counter that winter pallor with 100 Percent Pure Cocoa Pigmented Bronzer-Cocoa Glow; its luminous color is derived from cocoa, apricot and pomegranate.
For fabulous, cocoa-scented eye color, try Too Faced’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar eye shadow palette from their spring 2015 collection. Blended with cocoa powder, these silky, antioxidant-rich powder shadows in such chocolate-inspired hues as warm caramel, deep mocha and bronze-tinted cocoa will make you look and feel great—just in time for Valentine’s Day.