I was reading an article about how cocoa is good for you. I knew that cocoa was full of antioxidants but w hat this article was saying is that cocoa with a high antioxidant concentration has been shown to smooth the skin when ingested regularly, but a new study is one of the first to prove that it has anti-aging effects when applied topically.
In the Journal of Nutrition they published an article on how Long-Term Ingestion of High Flavanol Cocoa Provides Photoprotection against UV-Induced Erythema and Improves Skin Condition in Women. In this study, 2 groups of women consumed either a high flavanol or low flavanol cocoa powder dissolved in water. The ingestion of high flavanol cocoa led to increases in blood flow of cutaneous and subcutaneous tissues, and to increases in skin density and skin hydration. Skin thickness was elevated and transepidermal water loss was diminished within the same time frame. Dietary flavanols from cocoa contribute to endogenous photoprotection, improve dermal blood circulation, and affect cosmetically relevant skin surface and hydration variables.
They did find that the concentration of flavonols must be higher than what is normally in dark chocolate in order to be effective. In the study they used a cream containing Acticoa, a cocoa extract rich in antioxidants.
Products containing Acticoa are available in Europe. In general, the best skin products of this kind are those in which cocoa is listed among the first four ingredients.
So don’t let anyone tell you chocolate is bad for you! Indulge!