What Exactly Are We Talking About
Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants. Its what gives spinach, kale, wheatgrass, spirulina and parsley their green hue.
You may remember learning in high school science about chlorophyll as part of photosynthesis: The chlorophyll in plant cells uses sunlight to make food from carbon dioxide and water, and generates oxygen as a byproduct. Plants need it, but its not a necessary nutrient or compound for humans, which is partly why chlorophyll supplements havent been extensively studied.
And the kind of chlorophyll supplement were discussing hasnt been squeezed from plant leaves. Chlorophyll does not dissolve in water, so supplements are actually made from chlorophyllin, a semi-synthetic chemical mixture of sodium copper salts that are extracted from chlorophyll. Chlorophyllin is available topically and as ingestible tablets, soft gels and liquid.
It is the last format that has found fame on social media. The tincture bottles come with a medicine dropper, which allows the green liquid to aesthetically swirl into water perfect for magical TikTok visuals as in the two videos below.
What You Should Know About The Chlorophyll Water Skin Care Trend All Over Tiktok
Curious to learn more about the chlorophyll water trend? We asked dermatologists for the DL.
Over the last few months, you might have seen people touting the powerful benefits of chlorophyll water while thumbing through your social media feeds. Curious about how legit this trend was, we turned to insight from two
board-certified dermatologists. With their help, were dishing on everything you need to know about the chlorophyll water trend and helping you decide whether to chug or not to chug.
Whats Chlorophyll Water, Anyway?
Long story short, chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants and algae. Specifically, its located in the chloroplast AKA the tiny organelles responsible for photosynthesis.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants absorb energy from sunlight, andliquid chlorophyll is the extraction of the pigment, explains Dr. Annie Gonzalez,a board-certified dermatologist at Miamis Riverchase Dermatology.
Chlorophyll waterand chlorophyll drops or powders you can add to your waterare now being sold by health and wellness brands. In recent months, largely due to their presence on social mediathese products are gaining some serious momentum. Examples include Sakaras Detox Water Drops and cocokinds Detox Chlorophyll Tonic.
The Potential Benefits of Drinking Chlorophyll Water
at Mt Sinai School of Medicine. Chlorophyll water contains antioxidants that reap a variety of skin benefits like helping with free radical damage and fine lines and wrinkles.
Getting Started With Chlorophyll
Luckily, adding chlorophyll to your diet is fast, cheap, and easy. Make a quick stop at your health food shop and youll usually find liquid chlorophyll, typically ranging in price from $15 to $20. Best of all, a bottle usually lasts for months, meaning youre really getting a pretty good value for your money.
Take a look at the ingredient label before you buy to make sure there are no strange ingredients or additives that shouldnt be in there. Ideally, it should contain no more than three ingredients and with no dairy, corn, gluten, wheat, or parabens.
Though there are numerous brands available out there. I personally get my liquid chlorophyll from a brand called Land Art which is available at most health stores. I spent just $15 and it lasts me for upwards of 6 months at a time.
To get started, just add about a teaspoon of chlorophyll into your water. It will turn a dark green color from the chlorophyll but doesnt have much of a strong taste. Drink this chlorophyll mix two to three times per day to get the best results.
You also can swish this mixture in your mouth a few times per day to get rid of bad breath and promote good oral hygiene.
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Magnesium For 300+ Essential Processes
Yes, chlorophyll delivers that wonderful mineral magnesium, which is most effective topically applied. Many people are deficient and over 300 enzymes in our bodies need magnesium to function and carry out essential processes. Magnesium helps to get oxygen through your body, including into your skin, and helps metabolise the skin-healing antioxidant Vitamin C. Magnesium deficiency can lead to itchy inflamed skin due to increased histamine production and lower levels of the fatty acids which are essential to build healthy, supple skin. Chlorophyll also contains potassium and calcium.
What Is The Best Way To Consume Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll occurs naturally in most of the plants we eat, so ramping up your green vegetable intake is a natural way to increase the amount of chlorophyll in your diet, said Reid. However, if you want to ensure youre consuming enough chlorophyll, several of the experts we spoke to recommended wheatgrass shots, which are a potent source of chlorophyll, according to DeCesaris. Nutritionist Haylie Pomroy added that wheatgrass is also packed with nutrients like protein, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus and many other essential nutrients.
Most of the experts we consulted agreed that more research needs to be done regarding specific chlorophyll supplements. However, DeCesaris noted that since there dont seem to be many negative side effects of adding a chlorophyll supplement to your diet, theres no harm in trying it.
Ive seen enough people feel benefits anecdotally from including chlorophyll in their routine to feel that it can be a good part of an overall healthy lifestyle, despite a lack of rigorous research behind it, she said.
is well known to possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so in that respect it likely does help to support the health of our cells, and thus tissue and organ function, but more research is needed to fully understand the entire scope of its health benefits, Reid added.
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Tiktokers Are Drinking Liquid Chlorophyll Experts Debunk This Wellness Craze
If you have a TikTok account or a teenager you may have heard about the latest wellness trend: chlorophyll. A few drops added to water is supposed to treat acne, prevent cancer, detoxify the body and boost energy levels.
Thats a lot of power for a dropperful of green liquid.
Stephanie Grasso, a registered dietitian in Oakton, Va., is a TikTok influencer who recently racked up more than 5.3 million views for a savvy and truthful video on liquid chlorophyll. She explained that theres little science behind the trend, and its probably healthier to just eat leafy greens instead.
I had to create this video to not only educate, but to show my followers that they do not need to buy expensive supplements to reach their health goals, Grasso says. She worries that TikTok influences impressionable young people seeking quick fixes. Search for TikTok videos with the #chlorophyll hashtag and youll find theyve racked up more than 200 million views.
What kind of research has been done to spur these health claims, I wondered. Is there any harm from trying this trend? Heres what I discovered.
How Should Dermatologists Counsel Their Acne Patients About The Role Of Nutrition In An Acne Treatment Regimen
I think of nutrition as an adjunct therapy in the treatment of acne. For acne patients, were concerned about achieving quick results that prevent permanent scarring. This means that medical therapy is still the mainstay of treatment. However, dietary change should be considered a potentially very effective adjunct therapy in the right patient population.
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Should You Apply Chlorophyll Topically Or Ingest It
Aside from the aforementioned study that used light in conjunction with liquid chlorophyll, little research has been done to prove the plant pigment’s efficacy in directly treating acne. However, Nazarian says it can be applied topically on its own if you so choose.
Will drinking chlorophyll help with acne? “The trials and research on this are still being done, but there is some evidence that supports orally taken chlorophyll in an anti-aging regimen,” explains Nazarian. “Chlorophyll’s natural antioxidants are thought to fight free radical damage, leading to improvement in signs of skin aging, such as decreased wrinkles and repairing DNA damage.”
While you can purchase liquid chlorophyll and put it in your drinks or food, you can also get the good stuff straight from the source by making a smoothie with leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard greens, and chard.
Next: Read what happened when I tried another green drink to clear my acne.
Stylefact Or Fiction Beauty Vitamins Aren’t As Magical As They Claim
“There’s basically no research,” said Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd, a dermatologist in Miami, Florida. “I’m pretty active on TikTok … So I’ve been seeing all of these videos, and there are really no studies for drinking chlorophyll water and its impact on the skin. There’s no studies, actually … There are studies using it topically but there are no studies orally.”
Katta said that since the studies are small and only look at the gel, she wouldn’t “generalize those very few, small studies to just putting chlorophyll water on your skin.”
However, chlorophyll itself is an antioxidant, which can help with aging, is anti-inflammatory and has some antimicrobial activity, according to Dr. Patricia Farris, a dermatologist and clinical associate professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. Farris noted that while there isn’t much data, chlorophyll “is one of those ingredients that ought to be of benefit, and ought to be explored and studied.”
“I don’t see anything in our literature just yet that would make me tell people to run out and start drinking or using chlorophyll water,” Farris said. “… But it’s an interesting molecule. It’s got antioxidants and antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activity. So might it be helpful for acne? Sure. It should be a good anti-aging agent as well. But we just don’t really have good studies on it.”
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Risks And Side Effects
Because they completely natural, chlorophyll and chlorophyllin are not known to be toxic. In fact, over the past 50 years there have been practically no toxic effects attributed to their consumption, even in people with weak immune systems, such as those healing from cancer.
While the risk for toxicity is extremely low, chlorophyllin supplements might cause minor adverse effects like green discoloration of urine or feces, temporary discoloration of the tongue, or mild indigestion/diarrhea. These usually go away quickly and are only caused by supplemental chlorophyllin use, as opposed to eating foods that naturally contain chlorophyll.
In pregnant women, chlorophyll or chlorophyllin supplements havent been researched very much, so at this time its not recommended that theyre used during pregnancy or when breast-feeding.
One interaction to keep in mind is that certain medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight can interact with chlorophyll. This means taking these medications along with chlorophyll can increase sensitivity to sunlight even more and make you susceptible to burns.
Use chlorophyll supplements carefully if you take photosensitive drugs or are especially prone to sunburns, blistering or rashes when youre exposed to UV light.
What Are Some Of The Most Recent Developments In The Study Of Diet And Acne
Evidence continues to accumulate linking high glycemic load diets to acne. In a cross-sectional study published last year, more than 24,000 subjects were asked to complete an online questionnaire about their dietary intake as well as current acne. An association was noted between the consumption of sugary products and sugary beverages with adult acne, with a weaker association noted for fatty products and milk. This population study, although showing correlation only, adds to the body of evidence we have linking diet and acne.
A number of randomized controlled trials have looked at low glycemic load diets as an intervention in the treatment of acne, and have supported its use. In these intervention trials, a low glycemic load diet has resulted in lower lesion counts and less sebum, as well as a decrease in the size of sebum glands and less inflammation on skin biopsy specimens. Beneficial hormonal changes have also been demonstrated.
In one of our review articles published last year, we also described a number of supplements that have been linked to acne. Its important to ask your patients about whey protein supplements, muscle building supplements, vitamin B6 and B12 supplements, and iodine, as reports have linked all of these to acne.
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How Often Should I Take Liquid Chlorophyll
Apparently every morning. For best results, TikTok users are advised to add 15 drops of the aforementioned Elixil to the entire glass and mix well to enjoy.
Does it taste bad?
No. If many reports on the internet pass by, it tastes like mint-injected water it certainly looks like the bottom of a dirty pond, but nonetheless.
Are all possible benefits recognized by skin care professionals?
Not exactly. The general consensus is that taking chlorophyll causes the following:
- Suppresses skin inflammation and bacterial growth
- Stimulates the immune system
Chlorophyll In Skincare Detox
We know chlorophyll as what makes plants green but thats really just a by-effect of the incredible healing substance that flows through plants. With a molecular structure thats almost identical to the haemoglobin in our own blood, the only difference is that the central atom is magnesium instead of iron.
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Get The Benefits Of Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll isnt a miracle cure and it wont make you instantly healthy. It is, however, a great way to supplement your health and squeeze in a few benefits with minimal time and effort required on your part.
Liquid chlorophyll benefits everything from your immune system to your gum health, so why wouldnt you want to add it into your diet?
As always, though, make sure to follow a healthy diet rich in plant-based, whole foods and get in regular exercise as youre able to. Then add liquid chlorophyll into your diet for an extra boost of health benefits on top of an already healthy lifestyle.
Liquid Chlorophyll Is Not Proven To Clear Acne Or Reduce Redness
Some TikTok users say drinking liquid chlorophyll in your water can give you clearer skin, with less acne and redness.
While some small studies indicate topical chlorophyllin, a derivative of chlorophyll that you apply to your skin, can cut down on redness, there is no data to suggest that liquid chlorophyll can do the same, Shah said.
Even though it isn’t a magic solution for acne, Shah said you may see slight changes if you try it anyway.
“Liquid chlorophyll has not been proven to have any effect on acne or redness, but given its anti-inflammatory properties, it could have some benefit,” Shah told Insider.
“Also, users are drinking more water as a result of this liquid chlorophyll trend, so adequate hydration may also be playing a role.”
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Get Glowing With Floralux And Chlorophyll
We recognize the benefits of using plant-based ingredients in skincare. That’s why we stay away from using any harsh chemicals or icky synthetics that can irritate or damage your skin. Our skin treats are:
Chlorophyll and other plant-based ingredients in our cruelty-free acne treatment and skincare products can smooth and revive your complexion, the clean and green, never mean way. With Floralux, you can see the chlorophyll benefits for skin and watch it boost your natural beauty. Ready to try your new fave? Check out our full plant-packed skincare collection here.
It Clears Breakouts And Fights Acne
The benefits of Chlorophyll for the skin are many, and one of them is that it is a great blood detoxifier.
If your blood is clear, then the occurrence of your pimples will also reduce. Furthermore, it is a great source of antioxidants that fight free radicals, damaging your skin cells and tissues.
Chlorophyll prevents germs and bacteria from growing on your skin by reducing inflammation and clearing out your breakouts. Regular usage of chlorophyll along with your topical ointments can make your skin visibly clear.
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Is There Any Science Behind Drinking Chlorophyll For Acne
Although theres been a lot of hype on social media about drinking chlorophyll for acne, there is minimal research on the subject. In fact, the research that seems to have triggered this fad is based not on the ingestion of chlorophyll, but rather on a topical product used in conjunction with photodynamic therapy.
In one study, containing just 24 subjects, there was a greater improvement on the half of the face that used a topical chlorophyll derivative as opposed to the other side of the face. However, we have little research looking at the ingestion of chlorophyll.
Can Drinking Liquid Chlorophyll Clear Up Acne Like The Tiktok Trend Claims
Like so many, I was bored in my childhood bedroom when I downloaded TikTok at the peak of the pandemic’s stay-at-home orders. I soon became obsessed with the creative platform’s sense of comfort and relatability through short-form video content. In no time, I found myself late-night scrolling through “SkinTok” and makeup tutorials, watching creators like break down ingredient lists, Mikayla Nogueira swatch new makeup launches, and Meredith Duxbury give new meaning to “a full face of foundation.”
Most recently, though, my curated beauty feed has been filled with liquid chlorophyll, a concentrated form of the naturally derived substance that gives plants their green pigment and is also found in green vegetables, like spinach and parsley.
TikTokers’ have been dropping the dark-green liquid into their water like Kool-Aid in hopes of clearing their skin. A quick “chlorophyll” TikTok search reveals over 200 million views relating to the hashtag with users creating content on the trending green drink.
The first jaw-dropping video I watched was made by user . In her 18-second video, below, her skin started out irritated with red acne marks on her forehead, nose, and cheeks. In less than a minute’s time, Taylor documents her week of drinking a “dessert spoon-size” of liquid chlorophyll, which she adds to her water every day. Over three million viewers have watched Taylor’s viral video and have seen the drastic difference in her skin’s texture and redness.
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