Chocolate is a constant companion for many of us — we turn to it to cheer ourselves up after a bad day or to celebrate happy events like birthdays, festivals and anniversaries. There’s no denying that this scrumptious ingredient can add an aromatic icing to any occasion. But did you know that besides being a terrific mood enhancer, it can also improve the mood of your skin?
CHOCOLATE FOR BEAUTY
While the world is becoming more aware of chocolate’s health benefits, the recognition of its incredible potency as a beauty ingredient began fairly recently. Other than the chocolate facials already available in salons, we are seeing a rise in beauty products with chocolate as a primary ingredient.
Made from the antioxidant-rich cacao bean, dark chocolate is well known for its heart-healthy properties. However, recent studies suggest that it may also be beneficial for your skin. Sheela Tanna, nutritionist and fitness consultant, explains, “Dark chocolate is an excellent source of antioxidants, which help in boosting memory. The alkaloids in it enhance breathing flow. Besides that, the flavonols in it can improve skin hydration, increase blood flow, and shield the skin from the damaging UV radiation.”
HIGH ON VERSATILITY
The ingredient has already become a staple in beauty routines for many, since it is believed to moisturise the skin while also giving it a healthy glow. Cocoa powder can also provide moderate exfoliation and help lend a healthy glow to your skin. Thanks to its versatility, chocolate is now used in various skincare products such as scrubs, lip balms, body washes, lotions and moisturisers, etc.
Acknowledging the beauty benefits of chocolate, Mithila Ahuja, dermatologist, shares, “Its nutrients and antioxidants can nourish your skin and remove dead skin cells easily. With cocoa butter being rich in fatty acids and capable of moisturising the skin, it is a fantastic ingredient to include in moisturisers and lip balms. The presence of oleic, palmitic and stearic acids further boosts its nourishment quotient for the skin.”
That’s not all, folks! Cocoa can also help prevent the breakdown of collagen, making skin glow and slowing down the skin ageing process. And let’s not forget about the anti-inflammatory qualities of dark chocolate, which can help soothe sensitive skin, according to Tanna. So, if acne is a concern for you, you will be happy to know that chocolate can help reduce the redness and inflammation caused by it.
(Inputs by Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, aesthetic physician)
DIY STRAWBERRY AND CHOCOLATE MASK FOR HYDRATED SKIN
2 dark chocolate cubes 2 strawberries
Cut strawberries into halves.
Melt dark chocolate cubes in the microwave for no longer than 10 seconds.
Don’t let the paste become too hot to the point where it may cause damage to skin.
Dip the strawberry slices into the dark chocolate paste and use it to apply the paste on your skin. Use the slices to give your face a massage for five to 10 minutes.
Keep the paste as well as the strawberry slices on your face for 15-20 minutes. The combination of strawberry and dark chocolate helps in hydrating the skin. Strawberries also help fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles and other signs of ageing, as it is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants.
Use warm water to wash your face, then pat it dry.
DIY COCOA POWDER MASK FOR FIRM SKIN
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp milk
1 tsp gelatin
1/2 tbsp honey
Microwave the milk and gelatin together.
Add honey and cocoa powder, then stir it well. The sticky mixture should have the consistency of a face mask.
Slather it on your face and leave it for 30 minutes.
Peel it off once the face mask has dried well.
Anyone above 30 can use this face mask for a more youthful appearance. Cocoa powder helps repair UV-induced damage by increasing blood flow. Gelatin increases collagen, giving skin a plump, young appearance.