fbpx

Does Chlorophyll Help With Acne?

Acne breakouts are never fun. Not only can acne be painful, but it also can make you feel self-conscious and less confident. If acne persists long enough, most people set out to clear their acne through dietary changes, skincare products, medications, or other types of manual intervention.

So when social media influencers started raving about the benefits of liquid chlorophyll for acne, people were intrigued.

And while some reports suggest that chlorophyll might be a beneficial component when it comes to getting rid of acne, it also comes with a fair share of warnings and potential side effects you should pay close attention to if you are considering giving it a try. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

But before we move on to how chlorophyll can improve skin health and clear acne breakouts, you need to understand how your diet can trigger acne. Many people are surprised to learn that certain foods can trigger acne breakouts. So before you begin buying supplements to clear your skin, try to figure out if removing inflammatory foods from your diet can clear your skin. If you want to learn more, check out GoodGlow’s acne resource guide for in-depth information on how to take your skin’s health into your own hands.

What is Chlorophyll, and What Does It Do?

Chlorophyll is the green pigment that gives plants their color. Just like we have melanocyte cells that produce melanin and give our skin its color, plants have chloroplasts, which are organelles that produce chlorophyll.

The primary function of chlorophyll in plants is to absorb light and energy from the sun and convert it into chemical energy that can be used to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water. This process is called photosynthesis, and it’s how plants make their food.

This tells us that chlorophyll is vital in sustaining plant life, but what does it have to do with human health?

Well, since chlorophyll is found in edible plants such as spinach, parsley, broccoli, kale, asparagus, etc., it’s known that it’s rich in vitamins C, A, E, and K. These vitamins are powerful antioxidants that can help fight free radicals by carrying oxygen throughout the body and boost enzymes that detoxify our bodies and relieve inflammation.

However, since eating these plants is healthy and nourishing for our bodies, we’ve developed a way to boost these effects by consuming chlorophyll in liquid or supplement form.

To put things into perspective, one cup of spinach has around 25 milligrams of chlorophyll, while one cup of parsley has about 20 milligrams.

On the other hand, one cup of liquid chlorophyll (which is the recommended daily dose written on bottles of liquid chlorophyll) contains 100 to 300 milligrams of green goodness, which is around ten cups of edible greens, give or take.

Therefore, to maximize the intake of this nutrient, many have taken to ingest concentrated chlorophyll to help relieve inflammation and eliminate inflammatory skin conditions such as acne.

Drinking chlorophyll is particularly being touted on social media as a quick way to eliminate pimples and a one-week ticket to clear skin.

But can chlorophyll really help with acne, or is this just another social media trend like the many others that cycle in and out each week?

Does Drinking Chlorophyll Help With Acne?

Based on minor clinical trials, it was determined that chlorophyllin, a chlorophyll-derivative, exhibits some antibacterial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities.

This makes sense since chlorophyll is a polyphenol, a component that helps manage blood pressure levels, keep the blood vessels healthy and flexible, promote good circulation, and reduce chronic inflammation throughout the body.

However, at this stage, chlorophyll’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities, specifically against acne-causing bacteria, are difficult to determine.

But in this small study, it is suggested that some components may potentially decrease both mRNA and protein levels of acne-related inflammation.

Simply put, chlorophyll and some chlorophyll derivatives can help control the growth of acne-causing bacteria and reduce the inflammation that leads to acne on the skin’s surface.

And while this is a new and interesting avenue to explore when it comes to managing acne, we can assume that chlorophyll can positively impact acne, specifically because of the vitamins and minerals it contains and their anti-inflammatory properties.

As we already mentioned, chlorophyll has abundant levels of vitamins C, A, E, and K, all antioxidants that help fight inflammation.

Vitamins A, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins that help renew the skin and keep the mucous membranes healthy.

Vitamins A and E are also great for keeping the skin moisturized and strengthening the skin barrier, which is important because a compromised skin barrier with an insufficient count of lipids to defend against pathogenic bacteria is one of the main triggers of acne.

On the other hand, vitamin K, when used topically, has wound-healing abilities that help the skin recover after an injury or trauma by being involved in the formation and support of proteins that help maintain healthy skin cells.

But besides that, when ingested, vitamin K has many vital functions within the body, including anti-calcification, anticancer, and, most interestingly, insulin-sensitizing properties.

This action can help decrease acne because we know that insulin or insulin resistance can lead to increased production of the IGF-1 hormone, which is a big factor in the development of acne.

Lastly, we have vitamin C, which is an incredibly popular melanin-inhibitor frequently found in skin care products that help fade hyperpigmentation, improve UV damage on the skin, and boost collagen production.

However, when taken through food sources like fruits and vegetables, vitamin C can help fight the free radicals that cause inflammation and improve the skin’s barrier function, thus improving the skin’s overall health, including making it less susceptible to developing acne.

So, we can see that drinking chlorophyll does have some potential benefits when it comes to managing acne.

But before we get too excited, it’s important to note that these studies are very preliminary and more research needs to be done to determine the efficacy of chlorophyll for acne.

Additionally, it’s important to remember that chlorophyll is a very large molecule, and when you drink liquid chlorophyll, not everything goes into the skin. Most of it is broken down into smaller pieces that are then absorbed into the bloodstream.

The rest of it is being excreted through urine, so it’s important to keep that in mind when you’re thinking about using chlorophyll specifically for acne.

That said, chlorophyll-rich juice is definitely not a magic compound that is going to give you clear skin overnight, and there are, in fact, some side effects that you should be aware of.

Side Effects of Drinking Chlorophyll for Acne

Drinking too much chlorophyll can lead to an array of side effects, ranging from an upset stomach, diarrhea, and green stool because, again, this is a pigment that stains.

It can also interact with certain medications like blood thinners, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before you start taking chlorophyll instead of resorting to self-dosing, as you might not be so pleasantly surprised by some of the side effects.

Additionally, there are some major concerns about how drinking chlorophyll can affect the skin, as it’s been observed that the green juice can cause rashes and blisters.

Chlorophyllin, which is the compound we mentioned earlier, can accumulate in the lining of the blood vessels in your skin which can lead to irritation, rashes, burning, and redness.

Furthermore, chlorophyll can also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and prone to sunburns.

Remember, chlorophyll is a pigment whose main function is to absorb light and turn it into energy for plants, which means it can do the same to your skin.

Finally, one of the most severe skin reactions associated with self-medicating with chlorophyll is pseudoporphyria, a condition that manifests on the skin as inflamed, swollen, and painful blisters that can lead to permanent scarring.

Therefore, considering all this, we can determine that while there are potential benefits to drinking chlorophyll for acne, there are also some significant risks. Self-medicating might not be worth it in the end.

Does Topical Chlorophyll Help With Acne?

Topical chlorophyll can be a better option if you want to use this green pigment for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

While, again, we don’t have as much research on topical chlorophyll and its effect on acne, this route looks more promising than drinking liquid chlorophyll due to the reduced risk of experiencing some of the side effects we mentioned earlier.

Additionally, some research confirms topical chlorophyll can reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne and the size and severity of lesions.

Namely, a study conducted on 24 participants with various severity of acne applied a lotion containing chlorophyllin for four weeks and experienced a significant reduction in their acne symptoms, including a decrease in the number of acne lesions and reduced inflammation.

These findings suggest that topical chlorophyll might be an effective acne treatment; however, further research is needed to confirm these results.

And although this might be the case, we are already seeing an increase in demand for skincare products that contain this powerful antioxidant due to the overall stability and safety of removing potential irritants in a lab and carefully formulating a product that is both effective and safe to use.

Best Skincare Products with Chlorophyll

While chlorophyll is still a very new ingredient, it’s one that’s going to become increasingly popular in skincare products due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and soothing properties.

With that said, here are two excellent skincare products that contain chlorophyll and can help improve your skin:

Most Popular:
Youth To The People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser

Gentle, soothing, and effective at removing daily grime and makeup, the Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser is a foaming gel cleanser that cleanses the skin without stripping its natural moisture barrier and leaving it dry, stretched, and irritated.

GoodGlow Score

4.7 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Skin Type

Skin Type

Normal, Oily, Dry, Combination, and Sensitive Skin

hypoallergenic

Reduces Infalmmation

Youth To People’s cleanser contains superfoods including kale, spinach, green tea, and alfalfa help redcue redness and inflammation in the skin.

ph-balance

Balances PH of Skin

Vitamin C and E extracts help to balance the natural PH balance of the skin.

Benefit

Ingredient Callouts

Youth To People’s cleanser is completely free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates, dimethicone, and mineral oil

Water/Aqua/Eau, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Sorbeth-230 Tetraoleate, Polysorbate 20, Brassica Oleracea Acephala (Kale) Extract, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Glycerin, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Decyl Glucoside, Sorbitan Laurate, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Gluconolactone, Calcium Gluconate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Maltodextrin, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Chlorophyllin-Copper Complex (CI 75810), Gardenia Jasminoides (Jasmine) Fruit Extract, Fragrance/Parfum.

One of the most popular products from the clean skincare brand Youth to The People, the Kale + Green Tea Superfood Cleanser is a gentle gel cleanser containing several antioxidant-rich ingredients, including vitamins C, E, and K, that help reduce inflammation, fight free radical damage, and protect the skin from environmental stressors.

And although it’s not specifically marketed as an acne-fighting cleanser, this product does contain chlorophyll, which, with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, is an excellent option for those struggling with acne.

Youth to The People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser Pros:

  • Excellent for sensitive, acne-prone skin.
  • Soothes inflammation and actively reduces irritation.
  • Helps relieve redness caused by acne.

Youth to The People Kale + Green Tea Superfood Face Cleanser Cons:

  • Pricey.

Lightweight Moisturizer:
Youth To The People – Air-Whip Moisture Cream

Lightweight and moisturizing, the Air-Whip Moisture Cream is a hydrating face cream that quickly absorbs into the skin without leaving a greasy or oily residue.

GoodGlow Score

4.7 /5 5/5 Product Rating
Protecting Skin

Lightweight, air-whipped gel moisture cream

Featuring hyaluronic acid and a custom superfoods blend of kale, spinach, green tea, alfalfa, vitamins C, E, K

Effective

Effective

Soothes inflammation on the skin and repairs damaged skin barrier

Natural

Clean, 100% vegan formula

No parabens, phthalates, sulfates, phthalates, dimethicone, or mineral oil. USA made and supplied in recyclable packaging. No animal testing.

Skin Type

Suitable for all skin types

Friendly for all skin types, best for combo/oily

Water/Aqua/Eau, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Lecithin, Butylene Glycol, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Sodium Hyaluronate Crosspolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Hydroxyethylcellulose, Brassica Oleracea Capitata (Kale) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Medicago Sativa (Alfalfa) Leaf Extract, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Extract, Hyaluronic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Pentylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol, Sodium Acetate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Cellulose, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Sodium Benzoate, Benzyl Benzoate, Natural Fragrance/Parfum, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Chlorophyll (CI 75810)

Formulated with kale, spinach, and green tea, the Superfood Air-Whip Moisture is a lightweight moisturizer rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K, which work together to soothe inflammation, reduce acne and redness, and fade acne scars.

Additionally, and due to its whipped, lightweight texture, this cream is ideal for those with oily and acne-prone skin as it doesn’t clog pores or leave behind a greasy residue that can further aggravate acne.

Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream Pros:

  • Lightweight, whipped texture hydrates the skin without leaving it greasy.
  • Excellent for sensitive, irritated, and acne-prone skin.
  • Contains barrier-repairing ingredients.

Youth To The People Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream Cons:

  • Expensive.

Does Chlorophyll Help With Acne Scars?

Due to its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, chlorophyll could potentially help fade some types of acne scars, mainly discolored patches such as hyperpigmentation or post-inflammatory redness, with consistent use.

However, since chlorophyll is still a relatively new ingredient, there is not enough evidence to support its efficacy in fading acne scars.

On the other hand, a good skincare routine, including using products that contain chlorophyll and work great for your skin, could smooth out some of the textured types of acne scars, such as atrophic scarring; however, a combination of a great skincare routine and professional treatments are going to give you the best results.

Need more help? Ask our team!

I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their acne naturally. If you cannot easily find an answer to your question on the website, please reach out to me by email ([email protected]) or send me a message on Instagram or Twitter. I will reply within 24 hours.

Get The Definitive Guide To Permanently Clear Skin

Unmasking Acne eBook

Everything you need to beat acne at the source. 250-Page eBook, Clear Skin Food + Drink Database, and Members-Only Content

Get The Kit

sam wood is GoodGlow's Chief Editor
Analyzed by Sam Wood

Hi I’m Sam Wood. I’m the chief editor, lead acne expert, and health coach behind GoodGlow. I’m also an author of one of the top selling acne books on Amazon, a husband, father of two, and a pretty good cook!

I’m so glad you found GoodGlow and hope the information I have spent the last 10 years cultivating will help you clear your skin and improve your overall health.

I began experiencing acne breakotus as a sophomore in high school, but unlike most of my friends, my acne actually got worse as I got into my 20s. I exercised regularly, ate healthy (or so I thought) and spent hundreds of dollars a month on high end skincare products and supplements to help clear my skin. Despite these measures my acne breakouts and scarring only got worse as the years wore on.

This greatly wore on my self confidence and mental health. Simple things like taking pictures or going out with a large group made me feel self conscious. So I avoided these situations whenever I could help it.

As a last ditch effort I decided to try an extremely restrictive diet recommended by a close friend with an autoimmune disease. After following this diet for about two months my skin started to clear for the first time in over 8 years. The good news is that this restrictive diet is not actually necessary for 99% of people to permanently clear their skin, and over the course of a few months I was able to add back about 90% of my “normal diet”.

After clearing my skin I spent the next 4 years self experimenting on myself with different diets, supplements, skincare products to try and find a pattern for what was triggering my acne breakouts. I even tried different meditation, ice baths, and accupuncture to try and isolate the root cause of the breakouts.

In the end I realized that an extremely restrictive diet was not necessary for clear skin. The most important thing to do is to avoid inflammatory foods in your diet. Some common examples of this are fried foods, alcohol, sugar, and dairy.

Most impoirtantly I stopped reading trendy websites for skincare advice and began reading medical journals authored by dermatologists and nutritionists. Although the information in the articles was great the information was not easily understandable to most readers (including me). I spent hours dissecting individual posts and looking up terms I did not understand. Over the next 6 months I gradually began to understand these journals and started self experiemting some of the research on myself.

After experiencing quite a bit of success personally, I started sharing my research on forums and with close friends struggling with acne. When I shared the research it was in easy to understand, plain English. Everyone I talked to loved what I had to say and kept asking more and more questions. So I decided to start a blog so I could just send someone a link when they asked a question instead of rewriting something I had sent 100 times before 😅

While the same directional principles apply to everyone, acne is very personal and should be treated on an individual basis. That’s ultimately why I created GoodGlow. To help everyone reverse engineer the root cause of their acne and clear their skin permanently.

To date I’ve helped over 2,500 people clear their skin using a natural, holistic approach. If you are unable to find an answer to your question in any of the articles my team has written please reach out and I will do my best to guide you to the proper information and resources so you can make a thoughtful, informed decision.

Read more of Sam's articles.

Leave a Comment

Optin-Splash

FREE Clear Skin Blueprint

Get the Diet + Supplement Blueprint and start your journey towards clear skin today!

- Food To Eat Guide
- Foods to Avoid Guide
- Meal Balance and Shopping Guide
- Supplement Guide

Close
Optin-Splash

FREE Clear Skin Blueprint

Get the Diet + Supplement Blueprint and start your journey towards clear skin today!

- Food To Eat Guide
- Foods to Avoid Guide
- Meal Balance and Shopping Guide
- Supplement Guide

Close