#NationalChocolateDay is October 28 and it’s just in time for a hot cup of cocoa to go along with the October breeze.
Like most girls, I love chocolate but refrain from consuming too much of it because it does such damage to my skin, contributing to ugly breakouts that take too long to clear up. Although chocolate isn’t the direct cause to breakouts, research proves that anything high in sugar is to blame as it causes inflammation, in some cases severe, if consumed heavily. Milk and white chocolate contain dairy, sugar and other additives, which are the ingredients in most chocolate candy or treats sold at our local markets. This makes perfect sense as to why one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup too many results in me overwhelming my face with exfoliants and facial washes to reverse the trauma.
Dark chocolate has been said to be not just a tasty treat, but also beneficial to health and skin. Made from the seed of cocoa trees, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants; they protect skin by limiting the production of free radicals, which can damage skin cells.
Lucky for me and all of my chocolate lovers out there, I’ve created a short cheat sheet to enjoy this delicacy for chocolate’s national appreciation day while also keeping our skin glowing. Here are a few chocolate goodies to look forward to.
Dark Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Who doesn’t love a chocolate covered strawberry? And, because of #NationalChocolateDay, we don’t have to wait until Valentine’s Day when most are struggling to find a Valentine anyways!
Strawberries are a healthy addition to any diet and covering them with dark chocolate makes them all the better. Like all berries, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. One serving of strawberries contains 149% of your recommended daily vitamin C, a vital molecule for skin health.
Strawberries are also naturally acidic, which is effective to remove excess sebum on skin.
Rich Hot Cocoa
According to a study completed at Cornell University, the antioxidant concentration in hot cocoa is almost twice as strong as red wine, two to three times stronger than that of green tea, and four to five times stronger than that of black tea. All of which are good not only for the skin but also the heart. The tricky part is avoiding the cocoa mixes that are often full of artificial monstrosity, ingredients that could eradicate any good benefits. To stay away from ingredients that contribute to break outs such as sugar, corn syrup and a medley of vegetable oils, create a healthier version of a customized hot cocoa that fits your taste buds from scratch. That way, you determine what’s in it. Don’t know where to start? Try these recipes.
Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans (For Coffee, fraps and more)
If you love caffeine, you will be happy to know that chocolate covered espresso beans are healthy. Eating the beans raw or infusing them in your drinks provides more antioxidants, which we already established are good for the skin. They also contain less calories and because the caffeine is absorbed quicker, you will avoid the negative effects such as jitteriness, rapid heart rate, and increased blood pressure.
Bonus: On The Skin
Chocolate treatments like facials, hair and skin masks have made their way into salons and spas around the world. Why miss out? If you’re counting your calorie intake, then at least include chocolate in your beauty regime. A chocolate mask is packed with all of the antioxidants your skin needs. Chocolate infused scrubs are amazing exfoliants for the face and body and even chocolate based lip balms can condition, moisturize and protect your lips while also giving them a nice taste (for kissing) and softens them.
As you can see, chocolate can be a friend. This is just a list to start you off - but don’t stop here. Grab a chocolate milkshake on your lunch break or if you need an alcoholic beverage after work, a chocolate martini won’t hurt! Either way, I hope you enjoy #NationalChocolateDay!