I know this thread is over a year old, but I wanted to contribute my $.02.
My husband eats chocolate constantly, never gets acne, and never has. He's not prone to it. It doesn't seem to affect him at all. Lucky duck!
I drink one hot chocolate, and bam! 2-4 days later I have a huge cyst in my face that takes about a week to resolve. I know for a fact that it is the chocolate that causes this, and not the dairy, nor the sugar. This is how I know... as long as I avoid chocolate 100%, I don't get acne, even if I'm eating cookies, drinking soda, ice cream, sweet lattes, etc. I could eat candy and sugar all day long, as long as it contains very little chocolate (a little bit of the cheap stuff doesn't have any effect). I can also drink 3-4+ glasses of milk per day, and eat ice cream all day long, as long as there is no chocolate, I won't get any acne.
This is when I discovered the connection: I was once on a cleansing diet where I was eating only vegetables, brown rice, potatoes, and drinking these whey shakes, and thought I would be sneaky and add raw cacao to the shakes, which was delicious!! I sweetened with stevia to make it taste divine, and after about 3 days of this, I was repaid with several huge cyctic acne on my face which scarred for many months. I thought, "could chocolate be causing this acne?" I researched online and found a thread on a board showing that vegans have long known the cacao/acne connection, and have had to give it up because they got acne when consuming it. I was very, very unhappy with that, but stopped the cacao, and didn't get anymore acne during my clean diet.
And in fact, most of the time my diet is not very clean. I eat a lot of fried food, a lot of sugar, a lot of dairy. And yet, the ONLY time I have acne problems is when I eat chocolate. The higher quality and darker the chocolate is, the worse my acne response. The only other thing that seems to exacerbate my acne is drinks sweetened with erythritol, and I do not know the connection there, but I have definitely experienced it.
Anyway, I LOVE chocolate, so I still eat it occasionally, and consistently pay for it with cysts in my chin, cheek, or jawline. I have been testing this for years, and for me, chocolate always causes acne. Not sugar, not dairy. CHOCOLATE.
Hope this helps someone. If I had known MY chocolate/acne connection when I was in my twenties (I'm now in my thirties), I would have avoided a LOT of scarring. I used to eat a chocolate bar a day (the really dark stuff) after all the hype was published about how great it was for you. I had up to a hundred zits on my face at all times, it was quite awful. I am certainly going to educate my own children on this when they get to that acne age, since they almost certainly will react the same way I do.
Edited by bigbluetoes, 14 November 2012 - 12:46 PM.