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Why Cocoa Should Be Part of Your Skincare Routine

Why Cocoa Should Be Part of Your Skincare Routine
Photo: Allison Kahler/STYLECASTER

Chocolate is delicious. It’s a perfect example of mankind living up to its divine potential. But it’s also good for you. Like drinking water and wearing sunscreen is good for you, making it — quite possibly — the world’s most delicious spa treatment.

Too Faced cofounder Jerrod Blandino discovered this the easy way in Hawaii while getting an antioxidant-rich chocolate facial. He left with his skin glowing and an idea to introduce chocolate as a main ingredient in his products. When the Too Faced Chocolate line first launched, it immediately became a cult favorite, and now it’s back with a luxe take on the cocoa-infused line: Chocolate Gold. All the products are created with real gold and 100% natural cocoa powder.

If you want to get technical, which I do, chocolate comes from cocoa and cocoa comes from cacao and cacao is a bean that comes from the Theobroma cacao tree. From that tree, cacao beans are plucked, fire-roasted and ground down into cocoa powder. When left in its purest form, that powder is packed with flavonoids (more on them in a minute) and tons of vitamins and minerals.

Flavonoids are a powerful type of antioxidant found in plants, and they are filled with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. The specific type of flavonoid in raw cocoa powder is flavanol, which can help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow and cholesterol levels, and prevent plaque from accumulating in the arteries when in the form of chocolate that’s 60% or more cacao

Flavonoids can even act as natural SPF, as German researchers found in 2006. The study, which asked 24 women to drink cocoa for three months, found that the women who drank flavonoid-rich cocoa were naturally more protected from sun damage when exposed to ultraviolet light. Not only that, but at the end of the study, the women who drank the flavonoid-rich cocoa had smoother, more moisturized skin.

While this is all a great case for eating chocolate, what about putting directly on your skin? In addition to all those flavonols, raw cocoa powder is packed with magnesium, iron, calcium as well as vitamin E, vitamin K and several B vitamins — all of which can be absorbed by your skin when applied topically.

The vitamins and flavonols protect skin and fight free radicals, which can cause sunspots, and essentially act as a natural sunscreen (though definitely don’t skip SPF altogether). Magnesium acts as a photodamage barrier (as does vitamin E when combined with vitamin C) and protects the skin while also providing deep hydration and collagen-type plumping. Plus when it’s in powder form, cocoa is a gentle exfoliant, which also promotes blood flow to keep you looking young and dewy.

So whether you want to grab a piece of super-dark chocolate, a chocolate face mask or cocoa-powder-infused eyeshadow from Too Faced, you now have the excuse you need. I know I fully intend to pile it on my face and in my mouth this Valentine’s Day — or just next Tuesday. Whichever!

Check out the entire Too Faced Chocolate Gold collection here