Chocolate Sunscreen: A New Phenomenon?

Recent British studies reveal a new health benefit connected to eating chocolate

Photo Modified: Flickr/GoblinBox

Chocolate has a reputation as being the ultimate emotional pick-me-up and delicious dessert ingredient, but did you know that chocolate is also an edible sunscreen?

According to a study conducted by the British Association of Dermatologists, chocolate, along with tomatoes, oranges, and nuts also have sun-protective qualities. Tomatoes, for example, get their red color from lycopene, an antioxidant that makes your skin more resistant to the sun’s harmful rays.

The best news by far, however, is that the flavonoids in chocolate can act as a minor barrier to the sun’s harmful rays. London scientists have discovered that eating around 1 ounce of dark chocolate every day for 12 weeks enabled adults in a study to withstand double the amount of UVB ray exposure before their skin began to redden.

Don’t toss out the SPF 30 just yet, though: the British Association of Dermatologists warns that the sun protection that foods like chocolate and tomatoes can provide is extremely limited: in most cases only up to SPF 1.3.


As if anyone ever needed an excuse to eat more chocolate.