My weakness is sweets. I love them. It’s hard for me to keep walking when plate of cookies appears at work. Even if someone brings in mass-produced, preservative-filled scones, do I eat one? Yes! Sometimes after lunch, I’ll make my way down to the café for a cookie.
I just celebrated a birthday and my friends and co-workers who know me so well brought me chocolate bars. Did I eat a couple of squares and tuck the rest away for another day? Ha! If you think I did that, you don’t know me at all.
Problem is that my skin reacted. Big time. I don’t remember the last time it’s looked so broken out and unhappy.
And I know better. I just wrote a paper about how milk chocolate and low-fat dairy are two of the worse things to eat for a youthful, vibrant complexion. Here’s a passage:
In a study where acne sufferers were put on a low-glycemic load diet, the degree of acne was lessened after 12 weeks.2
Frequent consumption of a high glycemic load diet has been linked to acne. Research has shown a strong link between acne and dairy consumption, particularly nonfat milk.2, Consumption of whole milk and cheese did not show correlation with prevalence of acne.11,14 The hormones in milk are thought to elevate insulin levels, which stimulate the synthesis of androgen hormones. Those hormones increase oil production on the skin, which leads to acne. Chocolate also has a high glycemic load and has also been linked to an increase in acne.10
After writing that paper, I stopped with the non-fat milk. I don’t drink a lot of milk anyway, usually just a couple tablespoons in my coffee each morning, so I made the switch to whole. I also cut back on lattes to once a week, if that. It’s helped.
After my birthday, I wanted to see what would happen if I cut out chocolate. Would all my skin problems be solved? I decided to put myself on a two-week chocolate detox. No chocolate-chip cookies. No hot chocolate. Definitely no Lemon Hemp Clusters from Theo Chocolate (OMG, you guys, they’re amazing!)
I can generally do something really hard, if I know it’s just for a short while. For example, the first thing I do when I get on the treadmill is put it on countdown. I don’t want to see how many minutes I’ve already been running. I want to see that I only have 20 minutes left. I can run for 20 more minutes. I can’t just run indefinitely. I’m doing the same for this chocolate detox. I can avoid chocolate for 2 weeks. I can’t say I’ll never eat chocolate again.
I’m on day 3 and my skin is already healing.
References (if anyone’s interested)
2. Keri J, Rosenblatt A. The Role of Diet in Acne and Rosacea. J Clin Aesthetic Derm. 2008;1(3):22–26
10. Foolad N, Saric S, Burney W and Sivamani RK. The role of nutrition in dermatology. Austin J Dermatol. 2017; 4(1): 1072.
11. Burris J, Rietkerk W, Woolf K. Acne: The role of medical nutrition therapy. J of the Acad of Nutr and Diet. 2013;113(3):416-430. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2012.11.016.
14. Larosa CL, Quach K, Koons K, Kunselman A, Zhu J, Thiboutot D, Zaenglein A. Consumption of dairy in teenagers with and without acne. J of the Am Acad of Dermatol.