There are many fallacies facing the cocoa pod and it’s sinfully delicious off-springs. Cocoa powder, unsweetened, is exceptionally good for you. Chocolate, if the cocoa content is at least 70%, is a super food. Not only that, the cocoa nibs (also called cacao nibs, chocolate nibs or the heart) were once considered a throw away by-product from chocolate making. They are the broken cocoa bean particles remaining after the beans have been roasted, winnowed and cracked. They, too, join the rank of foods with high antioxidant properties.
What does all this have to do with your skin? Well, chocolate is good for your skin too. Not only does it possess tremendous benefits if you eat it, scientific studies have also found that using pure chocolate and pure chocolate by-products on your skin in the forms of treatments also offers surprising benefits!
Dark chocolate has plenty of antioxidants present in it. It is an antioxidant powerhouse! Antioxidants reduce our risk of both degenerative diseases and cancer. The large amount of these antioxidants is due to the purity of cocoa and dark chocolate. These compounds found in chocolate and cocoa are found in plants that promote healthy cellular tissue throughout the body. They are known as flavonoids. Dr. Carl Keen, a professor of nutrition and internal medicine at the University of California Davis says that “The concentration [of flavonoids in chocolate and cocoa] greatly exceeds what you’ll find in most fruits and vegetables.” Pure cocoa powder (with no sugar) has twice the amount of flavonols than dark chocolate and dark chocolate has twice the flavonols of milk chocolate. Antioxidants work with the skin to diffuse damage caused by both internal and external factors such as sun damage, pollution and smoking. Antioxidants also help to protect skin from future damaged.
Eating dark chocolate and cocoa protects your skin with natural defenses by maintaining collagen and reducing sun damage which normally leads to pre-mature aging of the skin. It also improves skin texture, and increases skin thickness, density and hydration.
Dark chocolate and cocoa also contains epicatechin which is a natural antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. That means the epicatechin helps to guard cells from free radical damage which causes skin to age.
Chocolate Honey Face Scrub
(Increases circulation and softens dry skin. Not suitable for oily skin.)
2 teaspoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon raw turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil, olive oil or sesame oil
Combine all the ingredients until it forms a paste. Gently apply to freshly washed skin and lightly massage with your finger tips for 30 seconds.
Rinse with warm water and you are left with soft, detoxified skin that smells wonderful and looks smooth and silky. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.