Last year, an esthetician told me that my skin would be clearer and healthier if I added more chlorophyll to my diet. I put it off for months. Then I saw that Reese Witherspoon swears by it, and I knew I had to try it. (Come on, how gorgeous does she look in Big Little Lies?) So I started an experiment.
First, let’s get this out of the way: Chlorophyll isn’t the poison old-timey movie villains use to knock out their victims. You’re thinking of chloroform. Chlorophyll is the substance that gives leafy green veggies and blue algae their color. It’s an antioxidant, and tons of research (including a pretty lengthy summary from Oregon State University) shows chlorophyll could help heal wounds more quickly (hellooo, pimples and acne scarring), increase energy and reduce body odor. There are no known negative side effects, so I decided to go for it.
Chlorophyll is usually sold as an over-the-counter liquid supplement that you can add to water or juice, but it’s notorious for tasting chalky and staining everything, including your mouth and clothes. So I opted for Verday Chlorophyll Water instead—a lightly flavored, pre-mixed chlorophyll drink that uses other veggies like cucumber and ginger to mask the taste. I drank one bottle (the equivalent of 100 mg of chlorophyll) every morning at 9 o'clock for two weeks.
Even from the first day, I noticed a big change in my energy. After drinking my daily chlorophyll water, I felt charged and ready for the day (but not jittery, like I do after drinking coffee). Some mornings, I skipped the caffeine altogether. When I ordered my afternoon iced tea, I found myself wishing I were drinking another chlorophyll water, which tasted surprisingly un-chalky, light and refreshing. This is going to be a breeze, I thought.
But then on day eight, I got a pimple. And not just an ordinary clogged pore, but one of those painful, underground ones that make your whole face hurt. Damn you, chlorophyll water! But then, I noticed the pimple disappeared more quickly than usual (in about three days, as opposed to a week), and my skin began to look less red and oily. Hey, maybe this stuff is working after all.
On day 10, I went to the dentist. “You have a lot more staining going on than usual,” my longtime hygienist told me. “Are you eating or drinking anything different?” Yes. Yes, I am. I went home and immediately did a round of white strips, and vowed to drink my chlorophyll from a straw from then on.
So here we are, on day 14. I’ll definitely be including more chlorophyll in my life—in the form of green, leafy veggies like kale and chard, and as a liquid substitute for my morning coffee. I still don’t quite have Reese Witherspoon’s skin, but I’ve had the energy of Tracy Flick for the last two weeks, and I’m not turning back.