In general, the food you eat is not thought to make acne worse or better, but a recent report questions the role of chocolate in worsening acne – specifically chocolate made of 100% cacao.

Previous studies have not shown a link between acne and chocolate, but these negative studies were conducted with chocolate candy, which contains sugar, milk, and other adulterants. What’s different about this new study is that it was performed with unadulterated chocolate made of 100% cacao. A study was done on 10 male subjects with very mild acne. They were then given up to 12 oz of Ghiradelli unsweetend 100% cacao chocolate in one sitting. For the next week, they ate their normal diet. Total acne lesion count climbed from average 2.7 at baseline to 18.2 one week later.


This very small study suggests that in those who are prone to mild acne, pure chocolate can make acne in that individual worse. A study of a larger group of patients is underway. If you are prone to acne, it may be wise to avoid pure chocolate or moderate your total chocolate intake.

Laurie Nelson, N.P.
Charlotte Skin & Laser

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