What to Read Next

Chocolate Does What for Your Skin? You Won't Believe It

June 29, 2012

The recent rash of UV-related studies have been such a buzz kill. Spray tanning can kill you, skin cancer is on the rise, etc., etc. Happy summer, everyone -- no sunshine for you, go live in a cave instead. Sigh.

But, wait, what's this? There's finally some good news on the UV front and it's a doozy; chocolate is nature's sunscreen (sort of).

Not that I really need incentive to eat chocolate, but a new study shows that the compounds found in high-flavanol cocoa can not only give antioxidant benefits and prevent heart disease, but protect our skin from UV rays.

Related: 8 Must-Eat Superfoods for Women

The study in the Journal of Nutrition reports that the group of women who ate 326 mg per day of high-flavanol cocoa for 12 weeks had decreased sensitivity to UV light, increased blood flow, and increased skin hydration and thickness than those who ate less of the sweet stuff.

Related: The Anti-Aging Ingredient More Important Than Sunscreen

The result? The high-flavanol group was less susceptible to sunburns.

Now, don't think that these findings give you carte blanche to scarf Kit Kats and Milky Ways every morning before heading outdoors. Highly processed chocolate bars like those have loads of sugar and not nearly enough real chocolate. Opt instead for organic and raw dark chocolate (the higher percentage of actual cacao the better) which contain the goods your skin needs and much less of the junk it doesn't.

If you need me, I'll be (the pale one) in the chocolate aisle.

More from TotalBeauty.com:

7 Best Ways to Keep Your Skin Looking Healthy
8 Summer Must-Haves
The Best Sunscreen for Your Skin

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Buying Medigap Plan F? Read This First

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan option, but there's another plan you should consider.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men: Before you consider spending thousands on getting a cosmetic procedure to look younger, you should..

13 Ways to Get Him to Fall For You

The following 13 tips — as told by popular songs — will help you take him from casual acquaintance to No. 1 lover in no time.

This Movie Deal Is Sure To Get Your Attention!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Goodyear® Tire Buying Tips

Goodyear® will help you find the right tires for your vehicle. Browse our tire catalog, view offers, find a store, or use our tire selector.

Hilton HHonors™ Card

Earn 40,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points. Apply for Your Card Today.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Military Mortgage Rates In 2016

Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Don't Let Wrinkles Stop You From Meeting New Women

Men: Before you consider spending thousands on getting a cosmetic procedure to look younger, you should..