Enjoy Dark Chocolate for Smooth Skin
Think chocolate is one of the worst things for your skin? Think again.
RealAge skin expert, Dr. Amy Wechsler, has a recipe for hot chocolate that can make your skin glow.
Dark Is Key
In one study, just 6 weeks of a daily dose of cocoa made skin smoother, better hydrated, and less sun sensitive. And 12 weeks did even more. All thanks to the skin-boosting antioxidants in cocoa, called flavonols. But it's got to be dark chocolate, according to Wechsler. "Skip cocoa mixes, which don't have the same flavonol levels, and go for the real thing: dark, unadulterated cacao powder that contains 70 percent or more cacao," she writes in her new book, The Mind-Beauty Connection. Here's her to-die-for recipe (actually, it's her husband Harry's!):
Harry's Super Simple, Healthy Hot Cocoa
The secret to this easy recipe? Heat it slowly. Slow heat helps release the antioxidants.
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder with 70% or more cacao (such as Scharffen Berger natural cocoa powder or Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa)
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup skim or low-fat milk
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently (do not let it boil), stirring frequently, until cocoa is just beginning to steam. Pour into a mug and enjoy.
The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Reverse Stress Aging and Reveal More Youthful, Beautiful Skin. Wechsler, A., New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008.