Does Drinking Chlorophyll Really Help Your Skin?
Somewhere between rice water for hair growth and tutorials for soap brows, we can now officially add ‘chlorophyll water’ to the ever-growing list of beauty trends that have taken over our TikTok #FYPs as of late. Scroll through posts tagged #chlorophyllwater and you’ll find countless videos that, to the tune of a chipper, happy-go-lucky beat, exclaim the miraculous changes they’ve noticed in their skin—and beyond—after drinking this green water consistently. From clearing up acne and increased energy to less body odor and weight loss, the benefits touted are multifaceted but tempting, which is why many haven’t hesitated to hop on board.
Before you run out and purchase chlorophyll drops of your own, read on as we chat with experts on the science behind chlorophyll, whether it really can treat skin concerns, and how to incorporate it into your routine.
What Is Chlorophyll?
As you may remember from science class, chlorophyll is responsible for giving plants their green hue. It’s essential for photosynthesis, allowing plants to absorb energy from light sources like the sun. Chlorophyll is jam-packed with good-for-you antioxidants and vitamins which keep your body—and skin—healthy and strong. While drinking chlorophyll has recently become trendy, most of us already get sources of it daily. “Chlorophyll has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits which can have systemic health benefits especially when consumed in diets rich in leafy greens such as parsley, kale, and spinach”, says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adeline Kikam, DO, MS, FAAD. If you don’t get your fill that way, another popular option is to turn to supplements either in pill form or droplets added to water—hence, chlorophyll water. There’s an important caveat though. Chlorophyll itself is not easily absorbed by the body, which is why most supplements actually contain its derivative chlorophyllin. Unlike natural chlorophyll, chlorophyllin is water-soluble and contains copper instead of magnesium, making it more absorbable by the body.
The Benefits of Chlorophyll
Because chlorophyll is enriched with antioxidants and vitamins, there is evidence that it can reduce inflammation in the body which, as we know, can benefit the skin in many ways. “Some researchers found that by either consuming or applying chlorophyll topically it provides the skin with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, helps treat acne, minimizes [the appearance of] pores, and improves signs of aging”, says licensed esthetician Suyud Issa. “Other topical benefits of chlorophyll include improvement in mild to moderate sun damage”, adds Dr. Kikam. Chlorophyll is one of the additives that help make our Gentle Retinol Serum non-irritating for even acne-prone and sensitive skin types.
As far as other benefits go, more research needs to be done. Board-certified dermatologist and physician Patrick Tran M.D. even goes as far as to say that the other benefits reported—such as energy boosts and improved gut health—are more than likely a placebo effect. Plus, some mild side effects can occur when drinking chlorophyll. You may experience stomach pain, cramping, and discolored stool. If you’re looking for overall benefits from chlorophyll, your best bet is to simply load up on vegetables, as recommended by clinical dietician Steph Grasso, MS, RD. One cup of spinach has 24 mg of chlorophyll, equivalent to less than a dropper of the liquid version, her TikTok video says. Plus, you’ll get an extra dose of fiber and minerals.
If you’re focusing strictly on skin benefits, you may also choose to apply chlorophyll topically in your skincare routine. You’ll find this ingredient in Press Restart, which gives the texture its green hue. Good to know: Our chlorophyll is naturally derived, meaning its color intensity can vary from batch to batch. Don’t worry, its color does not affect the efficacy.
Bottom line: If you enjoy drinking chlorophyll, go for it. But you can also reap its benefits by applying it topically through skincare or adding more greens to your diet. No matter how you use it, just remember: Because chlorophyll is a natural photosensitizer, it can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Wear ample sunscreen to protect yourself from UV ray damage or apply chlorophyll topically during your PM routine.