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Celery juice for acne: Can it help?

Celery juice is hydrating and nourishing, but when it comes to reducing acne, more research is needed.

Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 5 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
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Curology Team Avatar
by Curology Team
Updated on Jul 6, 2023 • 5 min read
Medically reviewed by Meredith Hartle, DO
We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Crisp, clean, and green, celery and celery juice are often touted for their potential health benefits. But when it comes to skincare, is this crunchy classic just another fad? Here we’ll dive into the potential benefits of celery juice for acne and other health and skincare concerns, as well as the possible side effects of hopping on this green juice bandwagon. 

Potential benefits of celery juice for the skin

A food trend that’s no stranger to Instagram nutrition influencer feeds, celery juice has gained popularity due to its many potential benefits: It’s high in water content, low in sugar, and, like many fruits and veggies, rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which are key to keeping your body happy and healthy. But regarding acne, let’s cut right to the chase: Currently, there’s no evidence supporting celery juice’s skin benefits, like preventing and treating breakouts. That said, it does have several potential health benefits worth mentioning:

Low in sugar

Celery contains very little sugar, and slashing your sugar intake by choosing low-sugar beverages may boost your skin health because sugar is high on the glycemic index (GI), and high-GI foods are linked to acne breakouts. Sugar can also increase skin aging due to the process of glycation, which damages the skin’s collagen fibers.¹

High in fiber 

Celery juice is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Consuming fiber may lead to a range of health benefits: It may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and some gastrointestinal disorders, and it’s linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.² 

Full of nutrients

Celery juice is quite nutritious. It’s a great plant-based source of vitamins and minerals like (drumroll, please!) vitamins A, C, E, B6, and K, phosphorus, zinc, folate, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, and more.³ These nutrients are important for overall health, including the health of your skin.⁴ 

Hydrating

Dehydration can take its toll on your skin, and staying hydrated may help reduce skin dryness and roughness. Celery’s high water content helps to hydrate the body, and research shows that staying hydrated is key to living your best (healthy) life.⁵

Contains antioxidants

Celery juice properties include antioxidant characteristics that allow it to neutralize free radicals, which can damage the skin and increase signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. The antioxidants in celery juice include compounds like caffeic acid, ferulic acid, apigenin, luteolin, and tannin, as well as polyphenols like flavonoids and phenolic acids. Different compounds in celery are linked to healing effects⁶—a recent study found that celery extract is a significant source of antioxidants and has promising antibacterial properties that may be useful in dietary supplements.⁷

green celery juice

Potential side effects of celery juice

Celery juice can be a refreshing, nutrient-dense drink to enjoy throughout the day, but you should also be aware of the potential drawbacks. As always, our experts recommend speaking with your healthcare provider before adding something new to your diet. The following are a few of the potential side effects of drinking celery juice: 

  • It may cause phytophotodermatitis: Topical exposure to celery and subsequent sun exposure may cause a reaction called phytophotodermatitis. This can happen with intense exposure to sunlight after the skin has come into contact with plant juices that contain photosensitizing substances. The result is a reaction that’s similar to an enhanced sunburn. So if you’re heading out in the sun, be sure to keep the juice away from your skin (and don’t forget your SPF!).⁸ 

  • It may cause phototoxicity: It’s rare, but for some people, eating psoralen-rich foods like celery can cause generalized phototoxicity, where the skin or eyes become very sensitive to light.⁹

  • It contains sodium: One cup of celery juice contains 189 milligrams of sodium,¹⁰ approximately 8% of the daily amount recommended by the FDA.¹¹ If you’re watching your salt intake, you may want to watch your intake of celery juice, too.

  • It may cause an allergic reaction: While celery allergies are uncommon, celery juice, like any other food, may cause an allergic reaction. If you have a celery allergy, you may experience itching or swelling in your mouth after drinking celery juice. 

Does celery juice help acne? 

Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition that affects adolescents, adults, and sometimes even children.¹² When you have acne, your pores become clogged, which leads to the formation of those whiteheads, blackheads, and red bumps that you probably recognize. Oil (also known as sebum), bacteria, and hormones are just a few factors that can lead to acne breakouts.

While there’s no current evidence backing the idea that celery juice can help you achieve clear skin, we’re all about including more veggies and fruits in your diet to help boost your overall health. Our dermatology providers recommend topical treatments that contain active ingredients like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, beta-hydroxy acids, azelaic acid, and more to treat acne. Many are available over the counter, or you can try Curology’s personalized prescription formula.

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Consult Curology’s experts 

Skincare trends can be fun to try, but they can also be time-consuming and (sometimes) expensive. Our dermatology providers recommend consulting the experts when you’re looking to try something new for your skin.  

With Curology, you’ll receive a consultation from an in-house, licensed medical provider who will provide expert guidance for the treatment of acne, rosacea, and aging concerns. Getting started is as easy as taking a quick quiz and snapping a few selfies to send to your dermatology provider to review, and we’ll provide a treatment plan with your personalized prescription formula to address your skin concerns and goals. We’ll guide you throughout your skincare journey and answer any questions you may have! 

Sign up today to get your personalized prescription formula, plus access to our other dermatologist-designed products, like our cleansers, moisturizers, and sunscreen.

FAQs

Potential benefits of celery juice for the skin?

Currently, there’s no evidence supporting celery juice’s skin benefits, like preventing and treating breakouts. That said, it does have several potential health benefits worth mentioning:

  • Low in sugar: Celery contains very little sugar, and slashing your sugar intake by choosing low-sugar beverages may boost your skin health because sugar is high on the glycemic index (GI), and high-GI foods are linked to acne breakouts.

  • High in fiber: Celery juice is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

  • Full of nutrients: Celery juice is quite nutritious. It’s a great plant-based source of vitamins and minerals like (drumroll, please!) vitamins A, C, E, B6, and K, phosphorus, zinc, folate, selenium, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, potassium, sodium, calcium, and more.

  • Hydrating: Dehydration can take its toll on your skin, and staying hydrated may help reduce skin dryness and roughness.

  • Contains antioxidants: Celery juice properties include antioxidant characteristics that allow it to neutralize free radicals, which can damage the skin and increase signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles.

Are there any side effects on drinking celery juice?

As always, our experts recommend speaking with your healthcare provider before adding something new to your diet. The following are a few of the potential side effects of drinking celery juice: 

  • It may cause phytophotodermatitis: Topical exposure to celery and subsequent sun exposure may cause a reaction called phytophotodermatitis.

  • It may cause phototoxicity: It’s rare, but for some people, eating psoralen-rich foods like celery can cause generalized phototoxicity, where the skin or eyes become very sensitive to light.

  • It contains sodium: One cup of celery juice contains 189 milligrams of sodium, approximately 8% of the daily amount recommended by the FDA.

  • It may cause an allergic reaction: While celery allergies are uncommon, celery juice, like any other food, may cause an allergic reaction.

Does celery juice help acne?

While there’s no current evidence backing the idea that celery juice can help you achieve clear skin, we’re all about including more veggies and fruits in your diet to help boost your overall health.

• • •

P.S. We did the homework so you don’t have to:

  1. Danby, F.W. Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clin Dermatol. (2010).

  2. Anderson JW, et al. Health benefits of dietary fiber. Nutr Rev. (2009).

  3. Celery juice. FoodData Central. (2020).

  4. Park, K. Role of micronutrients in skin health and function. Biomol Ther (Seoul). (2015).

  5. Liska D, et al. Narrative Review of Hydration and Selected Health Outcomes in the General Population. Nutrients. (2019).

  6. Kooti W, Daraei N. A Review of the Antioxidant Activity of Celery ( Apium graveolens L). J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. (2017).

  7. Emad AM, et al. Antioxidant, Antimicrobial Activities and Characterization of Polyphenol-Enriched Extract of Egyptian Celery (Apium graveolens L., Apiaceae) Aerial Parts via UPLC/ESI/TOF-MS. Molecules. (2022).

  8. Seligman PJ, et al. Phytophotodermatitis from celery among grocery store workers. Arch Dermatol. (1987).

  9. Greenaway C. A tropical skin eruption. Can J Infect Dis. (2002).

  10. Celery juice. FoodData Central. Ibid.

  11. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Sodium in Your Diet. (2022 February 25).

  12. Zaenglein, A., et al. Guidelines for the management of care of acne vulgaris. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. (2016).

Meredith Hartle is a board-certified Family Medicine physician at Curology. She earned her medical degree at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, MO.

* Subject to consultation. Subscription is required. Results may vary. 

• • •
Our medical review process:We’re here to tell you what we know. That’s why our information is evidence-based and fact-checked by medical experts. Still, everyone’s skin is unique—the best way to get advice is to talk to your healthcare provider.
Curology Team Avatar

Curology Team

Meredith Hartle, DO

Meredith Hartle, DO

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