Does eating chocolate cause acne? The simple answer is no, acne is not directly caused by the food we eat. There has always been the belief that chocolate and greasy foods contribute to acne, but no scientific research supports this conclusion. In fact, in a secondary way, chocolate may actually reduce your chances of having acne, but greasy foods may indeed increase your chances of having acne. This article will discuss the real reasons we get acne, and some of the ways that the foods we eat can impact acne.
The sebaceous glands which are located under the skin produce sebum, an oil whose purpose is to remove dead skin cells and moisturize the living skin cells. Acne forms when the sebum oil gets trapped beneath the outer layer of the skin. This can be caused beause there is an overproduction of sebum oil or because something is blocking the pathway the sebum oil needs to travel to reach the surface of the skin.
Because this process requires a lot of different mechanisms to work properly all at the same time, it is very dependent on proper nutrition. The oil production, the removal of dead cells and the health of the living skin cells all can be effected by a bad diet and improper nutrition. So while there is no direct link between certain foods and acne, proper nutrition is required to keep this very complicated process working properly.
Greasy foods can contribute to acne, but not because of nutrition. Transfer of grease from food, to the hands, to the face will cause the outer layers of the pores to become blocked and will cause acne. Foods like french fries and pizza are great examples of foods that will cause acne, not because of the ingested grease, but instead because of the grease that transfers from the food to your hands and later makes its way to your face. One of the best ways to decrease your chances of having acne is to keep your hands away from your face, especially when they are dirty and greasy.
Stress has been shown to cause acne, but the exact mechansim is unknown. For this reason, chocolate may actually decrease your chances of having acne because chocolate helps reduce stress by activing pleasure receptors in your brain. Obviously the same precautions need to be taken with chocolate as should be taken with oily foods, make sure to keep your hands away from your face unless they are clean.