Chocolate lovers, rejoice. Your favorite dessert is actually great for your skin: Chocolate (well, specifically dark and raw chocolate) contains flavonoids—a subcategory of phytonutrients—with antioxidant actions that help neutralize free radicals and fight oxidative stress. In fact, research shows that when women supplemented with cocoa flavanols for 24 weeks, they experienced positive effects on facial wrinkles and elasticity.
“We definitely see this nice, clear gut-skin axis there with the dark chocolate,” Rossi explains. Of course, the chocolate you choose matters: The higher the percentage of cocoa in dark chocolate, the less sugar (and the more antioxidants) there will be. “If you can get a good 80%, you’re doing well,” notes Rossi. “Even if you’re into 70%, you know, it’s better than going with your typical dairy [or] white chocolate in terms of those flavonoid benefits.”