STYLE
08/06/2013 02:37 pm ET

5 Guilt-Free Beauty Benefits Of Dark Chocolate

If you believe eating dark chocolate is really bad for your skin, it's time to change the way you think. Indulging in the sweet treat won't make you break out. In fact, there are beauty benefits to getting "chocolate wasted."

Dark chocolate (the good stuff that's low in sugar and high in cocoa) is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that nourish skin. And its intoxicating aroma and conditioning properties make it the perfect ingredient for hair care. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why you should add dark chocolate to your beauty regimen.

It repairs dry skin. Iron, calcium and vitamins A, B1, C, D and E are among the many nutrients that we can obtain from dark chocolate. Swap out that extra cup of coffee or green tea for a cocoa-rich drink that will deeply moisturize skin and leave behind a healthy glow. Or you could slough away dead skin cells with a DIY chocolate body scrub made out of olive oil, brown sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla.

It shields against harmful UV rays. Flavonols found in dark chocolate have been clinically shown to help your skin protect itself from sunburn, redness and other signs of UV damage. When applied directly to the skin, it also has the ability to repair and hydrate body parts that have been exposed to the sun. But we wouldn't suggest slacking on sunscreen.

It erases wrinkles and fine lines. Things seem a bit calmer right after we nibble on a piece of dark chocolate, and we all know how stress impacts our skin. And as our friends over at YouBeauty explain, "Cocoa helps reduce stress hormones, which means less collagen breakdown in the skin and fewer wrinkles." Sort of like eating your way to pretty.

dark chocolate beauty benefits

It adds shine to lackluster locks. A homemade hair mask made out of unsweetened dark chocolate? Why yes! Add honey and yogurt to the mixture before applying to your hair. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on for about one hour. Wash out with a cold water rinse and you will have super shiny strands.

It promotes hair growth. Copper, zinc and iron are minerals that promote the cell renewal growth process, and dark chocolate happens to be full of them. So eating chocolate every day will increase oxygen and blood flow to the scalp and lead to healthier and strong hair.

Have you ever used dark chocolate in your beauty regimen? Give us the deets!

More beauty-boosting foods right this way:

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BEFORE YOU GO
Drink These Smoothie & Juices For Better Skin, Hair & Nails
PHOTO GALLERY
Drink These Smoothie & Juices For Better Skin, Hair & Nails

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