Does Chocolate Actually Cause Acne? Things To Note

(Last Updated On: June 29, 2019)

I’m sure lots of you are like me and have heard over the years that chocolate is the cause of acne. I’ve heard that so many times since I was a teen, and yet I never thought to actually see if it was true! Let’s answer this question once and for all so we can enjoy our chocolate in peace.

Also Read about whether milk actually causes acne here.

Fact Or Myth? A Word From The Experts

We’ve all heard both sides of the story on chocolate, but dermatologists tell us that no, chocolate won’t make you break out. There’s actually little evidence at all of fatty foods causing you acne. I do have a caveat for you though: a diet high in sugars and fats can increase sebum production on your skin, promoting inflammation in the body and acne.

So no, chocolate by itself won’t mess up your skin, but if you overindulge, you do have a higher chance of acne.

Also Read: Does biotin cause acne?

Does The Kind Of Chocolate Matter?

Actually, yes it does. Not to the extent that you might be thinking, but milk and white chocolate are less preferable than dark chocolate. This is because for most people, eating dairy and lots of sugar triggers hormonal changes and breakouts.

If you’re like this, the milk and white chocolate will make things worse. Dark chocolate is safer for you. It contains less sugar and has a high cocoa content.

Cocoa is an antioxidant that has great health benefits for the cardiovascular system and the skin, protecting it from free radicals and damage. Just don’t go crazy and have too much in one sitting, regardless of the type!

Other Foods That Could Cause Acne

There are lots of unhealthy and processed foods out there that get the same reputation as chocolate when it comes to causing acne. Foods don’t cause acne on their own though. Sure, your diet does have an impact, although genes are important too.

That’s why even if you have a fairly healthy diet genetics can still make you predisposed to acne. Take a look at your skin type then. Oily skin tends to break out more because there’s more sebum that can lead to clogged pores. Try to stay away from oily foods then.

Treat With the Right Foods

It’s pretty smart to treat your acne from the inside out when you’re not using products. You can do this pretty simply by eating a good amount of vitamins and minerals while staying hydrated.

Fish and Flaxseed

What foods specifically could help your skin? Fish oil can do the job pretty well. Things like fish, walnuts, and flaxseed can reduce inflammation in the same way that chocolate causes it.

Green Tea

Green tea reduces the damage from environmental stressors, so when you’re feeling stressed and dealing with a tough situation, it can help.

Vegetables and Juicing

It’s quite simple: fruits and vegetables can naturally clear up acne. Many of them have beta-carotenes that reduce oils and stop that inflammatory response. Even dark berries are good for the skin when eaten.

Drinking Water

This may seem like an obvious one, but if you drink more water, usually your skin is clearer. This is because water flushes out the toxins in the skin by increasing blood flow that gets rid of impurities.


Not everyone has found success clearing up their acne with probiotics, but these can reduce inflammation in the gut, which can reduce acne. There are studies documenting the connection between microbes in the gut and acne, so try yogurt, miso soup, pickles, and sauerkraut.

Other Simple Lifestyle Changes

You don’t have to only commit to changing your diet to get rid of your acne. Eating some chocolate isn’t the end of the world, but if you want to balance it out, there are a few simple things you can do.


Sleeping helps reduce stress that can cause acne and mess up your skin. Just sleeping more can help decrease your acne.


Doing a little physical activity has the same positive effect as sleep. It increased blood circulation that adds oxygen to your skin and carries cell waste away. Just remember to shower after so you don’t cause more breakouts!


The face produces more oil than any part of the body. On top of that, you’ve got makeup, dust, dirt, and tons of other things clogging your pores. Just try and wash your face once in the morning and at night to clear things up. You can also wash your face after applying any hair products to be sure that extra oils aren’t trapped in your skin.

Does Coconut Oil Help?

Coconut oil has been used for a long time when it comes to the skin, but it’s only been recently that people are starting to think it can help with acne. It is a gentle and thorough cleanser, and can be used as an antibacterial shield, and even as a protection from sunburn. It’s ideal for cleaning up the skin while preventing wrinkles and premature aging too.


So many people, including myself, have thought for years that chocolate can cause acne such as neck acne. In reality, there’s not much evidence that it does. Sure, the sugar can get to you, but in moderation and depending on your skin type, there are few problems. Try other dietary changes or even coconut oil to reduce your acne if you’re starting to see problems.

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