Like all the superfoods before it, celery juice is the health-food trend of the moment, touted by celebrities and regular folk alike as the answer to just about every health woe out there. One of the many claims about the green drink is its ability to clear up even stubborn cases of pimples. But is there a connection between celery juice and acne? Let's just say the jury is out.
The much-hyped celery juice trend has actually been out for a few years. One of the first enthusiasts was Anthony William who bills himself as the "Medical Medium." Celery in its juiced form, William claims, has the ability to improve or heal "all kinds of acute and chronic illnesses and symptoms, including digestive issues, skin conditions, migraines, fatigue, autoimmune illnesses, brain fog, and hundreds of others." The key, he adds, is to use an extractor to juice the stalks, to avoid adding other fruits or vegetables in the mix, and to drink it on an empty stomach every day before eating anything else.
Anecdotally, it certainly sounds promising. Do a basic search for "celery juice and acne," and you'll find testimonials like this one by blogger Espresso and Fit, who says her skin is "clearer than it's been in years" since she began drinking the green stuff. YouTubers like Kat Sanchez also swear by celery juice to clear hormonal breakouts. It should be noted that Sanchez did not drink pure celery juice, as William recommended to, to achieve her results. To see the photos and videos, the results do look impressive, if not perfect; the users still appear to show signs of skin eruptions, though they're not nearly as plentiful or red as in the "before" pictures, and even some of the scarring marks seem to have faded away.
But is the science there to prove it? Truth is, there hasn't been much research done on celery juice and acne — or on celery juice and any medical condition, for that matter. A small study on rats showed that celery seed extract may be as effective as aspirin and naproxen for arthritis inflammation, and that it may inhibit the bacteria that causes ulcers. But these preliminary findings are hardly the last word on celery as medicine. And no one has yet done any long-range research on the veggie juice as an acne treatment.
Nutritionist Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of New York-based Amy Gorin Nutrition, concurs. "There have been very few research studies conducted on celery juice, and so we can’t draw conclusions about potential associated health benefits at this time," she tells Romper. "I can tell you that anything you’re reading out there about the health benefits of celery juice beyond basic things like providing hydration, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are likely anecdotal."
Drinking any kind of pure juice, Gorin adds, provides your skin with the hydration it needs to stay healthy. And celery itself contains not only vitamins and minerals, but also potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, and digestion-aiding fiber (when you eat it in its stalk form). "Is it a miracle vegetable over other vegetables? Absolutely not," she says. "That's why we say to eat the rainbow, because each vegetable out there provides unique benefits—right down to the antioxidants that provide a vegetable with its color."
So why are the juicing bloggers getting such good results? They may not have been getting enough water in their diet to begin with, or perhaps the juice is replacing their less nutritious breakfast choices, which would promote better health overall. It's just too soon to say for sure that there's a cause-and-effect between celery juice and acne.
If you're still curious about trying this newest health craze, Gorin says there's no harm in trying it. Not wild about the taste of celery? Try an apple or a bowl of berries instead; eating more fruit could help clear up your skin just as well as a glass of green juice. "Research has linked low fruit intake with acne, so aim to take in 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit a day, as well as 2 to 3 cups of vegetables a day," says Gorin. In other words, taking Mom's advice about eating right may be as good (or better) as following the lead of a writer who gets his information from the spirit world.