Sweet Valentine's Day News:
The Dark Chocolate Wrinkle Rx Revealed
If you're planning on giving your romantic partner chocolates to express your love on Valentine's Day, you're not alone. Lovers have been doing it for years, and now new research shows chocolate — particularly the dark variety — may be the gift that keeps on giving.
A growing body of research suggests that dark chocolate may help put the brakes on wrinkles and some of the other telltale signs of aging.
Is dark chocolate better than Botox or Dysport? Nope, but "Dark chocolate is rich in flavanols, which means it's loaded with antioxidants that can help reduce some of the visible signs of aging," says All About Facial Rejuvenation's Chief Medical Advisor Yael Halaas, MD, a facial plastic surgeon in New York City.
Dark cocoa contains flavanoids called epicatechins and catechins which protect your skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays and boost skin elasticity by improving blood flow to the proteins that give skin its supple structure.
"Like everything else, the key is moderation. Too much of a good thing is still too much, even if it is a really, really good thing like chocolate," Dr. Halaas says. "Chocolate still has lots of calories and sugar, and even though it can protect your skin from the sun, it shouldn't replace sunscreen and other sun safety habits."
Aim for an ounce of dark chocolate a day, she continues. "If you get a big heart filled with chocolates, eat the dark ones first and try to limit yourself to two or three pieces a day," she says. Chocolate has to be dark and contain at least 70 percent cocoa to achieve any health or anti-aging benefits.
You can eat more if we're talking about chocolate-covered cherries, as cherries are also potent anti-aging powerhouses. Cherries contain flavanoids called isoqueritin and queritrin that may help reduce some of the signs of aging. They also contain melanin, which improves sleep quality, and better sleep is the antidote to puffy, tired-looking eyes.
Dark chocolate and cherries can make great Valentine's Day gifts, but if you are really concerned about the effects of aging on your skin, talk to a facial plastic surgeon about your options.
Enjoy, and Happy Valentines Day from the editors of All About Facial Rejuvenation!
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