You don't need to be woo-woo about wellness to be influenced into buying chlorophyll water right now. If you're on TikTok, you've probably seen some variation of the viral clip: an influencer promoting their "morning supplement routine," which involves a large glass of ice water, a medicinal-looking tincture of liquid chlorophyll, and a metal or glass straw (for aesthetic) to mix it all together.
While the drinkable sludge-green water parading as a "supplement" looks about as appetising as liquified seaweed, what's more persuasive is the claim that these kitchen-counter influencers are making — essentially, that chugging a glass of chlorophyll water a day will give you better skin and clear your acne.
The hashtag #chlorophyllwater has already amassed over 29.3 million views on TikTok, but we thought it wise to speak with a licensed dermatologist to get all the facts about liquid chlorophyll and how it can impact the skin — before ordering a $14 (£12) bottle of the green stuff from The Vitamin Shoppe.
You can use your school science recall to think about chlorophyll: It's the compound that gives plants their green color through the process of photosynthesis. "Chlorophyll is a green pigment found in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria," explains Hadley King, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. "It's essential in photosynthesis, allowing plants to absorb energy from light. In the human body, chlorophyll has antioxidant properties and therefore has been shown to potentially improve signs of skin ageing."
However, according to Dr King, most of the benefits of chlorophyll come from its topical application — as in, putting chlorophyll directly on the skin, not drinking it. "Some clinical trials have shown that chlorophyll in a topical form has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that may help reduce acne," says Dr King, "but with orally-consumed chlorophyll, we don't yet have data about its effects on acne."
This doesn't mean that TikTok is lying to you. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, asserts that when taken in conjunction with a healthy diet, drinking liquid chlorophyll might be good for the overall health of your skin. "There's some data suggesting that oral chlorophyll may enhance production of red blood cells in the body," he explains. "This could mean better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your organs, including your skin."
Of course, make sure to touch base with your doctor before becoming a micro #chlorophyllwater influencer. They'll probably echo the same sentiment: There's no real downside to dripping the green drops in your mason jar of ice water. But as with other forms of digestible "beauty pills," don't expect miracles. If getting rid of acne (or maskne) is your goal, try drinking more tap water first.