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Is That Valentine's Day Chocolate Making Your Acne Worse?

Chocolate is delicious all of the time and it’s especially abundant around Valentine’s Day, but does indulging in chocolate treats lead to acne down the road?

The scientific community’s answer to this question has changed over time, and the current understanding suggests, sadly, that the answer is yes. Dr. Rajpara of Gardens Dermatology explains why.

The Latest Theory

For awhile, doctors believed that food consumption had no impact on a person’s acne. They latest theories postulate that the following sequence of events connects chocolate and acne:

1. You eat chocolate

This is a wonderful thing, but the chocolate you eat contains some amount of sugar. Dark chocolate contains less sugar while milk and white varieties contain more sugar, but the fact remains that you have consumed sugar.

2. Your blood sugar level rises

After you eat sugar, the level of sugar in your blood stream increases. This is hardly surprising.

3. Your body releases insulin

When your blood sugar level rises, your pancreas releases the hormone insulin. Insulin enables your cells to use the sugar for energy. If there is more sugar than your cells can use, insulin helps store sugar in your liver and facilitates its release when your blood sugar is low.

4. When insulin levels rise, so do levels of insulin-like growth factor, also called IGF-1

1GF-1 stimulates the growth of acne and other skin lesions.

5. Now you’ve got acne.

Though chocolate might be linked to acne, you can reduce the impact by choosing dark chocolates lower in sugar and consuming chocolate in moderation. You should also abide by acne prevention best practices like keeping your skin clean and avoiding pore-clogging cosmetics.

If you struggle with acne, you can take action and take control of your skin. Whether you hope to do away with acne scars, have difficulty controlling breakouts, or want an expert to design a skin care regime with products specifically suited to your skin’s needs, the dermatologists at Gardens Dermatology can help. To learn more and schedule an appointment, visit

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