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Why Is Everyone Drinking Chlorophyll and Should You Be, Too?

If you’ve been keeping up on your TikTok trends, you’ve probably seen the latest health and skincare “hack:” drinking chlorophyll. According to various influencers and content creators, chlorophyll supplements in your water can detoxify your skin, smoothen wrinkles, and aid weight loss.


Introductory biology students at UW will recognize chlorophyll as the green pigment present in the chloroplasts in plant cells, which play an active role in photosynthesis. While chlorophyll supplements aren’t new, the increase in interest from TikTok is now creating a bigger demand for the product, notably liquid drops for your water. But because chlorophyll doesn’t dissolve in water, the drops we see on social media are actually semi-synthetic sodium-copper chlorophyllin extracts (which seems a little scary to me, to be honest). 


But are these drops really going to give you the glowing, smooth skin that we see on TikTok? According to many researchers, there is simply not enough research into the benefits of chlorophyll supplements to really know for sure. While some research suggests that chlorophyll may have some mild anti-oxidant properties, it can also have some potentially negative affects. Similar to many other foreign components in the body, chlorophyll can cause nausea or stomach irritation. Interestingly, chlorophyll, which absorbs sun rays, can also make you more sensitive to light, causing increased sunburns or blisters — essentially, you can gain some wacky plant properties. 


Chlorophyll supplements haven’t actually even been tested on those under eighteen, so you can imagine how little we really know about how it affects the body. But, some of the research we do have seems to be promising; with further testing, we might be able to develop some kind of topical acne treatment that does include chlorophyll components.


If you do decide to take chlorophyll supplements to try it for yourself, remember to do your research and stay safe. It’s recommended that you speak to your doctor before starting any kind of supplement, or at least disclose it to them. If you choose to start a chlorophyll supplement regimen, it’s suggested that you limit yourself to no more than a 300 milligram dose daily, and take it for no more than three months. Remember, social media platforms like TikTok are made to show the highlight reel of a person’s life; don’t believe it works or is good for you just because you see other people posting about it!


My verdict is, it’s probably not worth the hassle. Not only is chlorophyll not essential to the human body, but supplements can be really expensive, especially now that they’re getting to be in such high demand. Plus, chlorophyll is literally what you see in the color of your leafy greens; if you just eat your lettuce and spinach, you’ll not only be getting a good dose of chlorophyll, but you’ll be consuming plenty of other healthy nutrients and anti-oxidants too. 


So how did those TikTok influencers get that beautiful, healthy glow? It’s probably their increased water intake (or photo editing because, you know, social media). We all know that water is essential to life, and, non-surprisingly, it has major benefits for the quality of your skin if you really start drinking eight cups a day. So, if you want healthy skin, skip the chlorophyll and just start doing what we’ve been told to do all along: drink your water and eat your veggies

Shima is a junior at UW currently residing in Mukilteo, WA. She is majoring in Microbiology and hopes to someday become a physician. She enjoys baking bread, watching Teen Wolf, and practicing Taekwondo in her free time.
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