#UK I ‘showered’ in bacteria for a week, and it totally changed my definition of clean

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mother dirt spray

A startup called Mother Dirt has developed a “AO+ mist” — a spray containing a type of bacteria called AOB that you put on your skin, which may restore it to a natural, healthier state.

Our extreme, hygiene-obsessed routines are unnecessary, Jasmina Aganovic, president of Mother Dirt, told Business Insider. “We’ve confused ‘clean’ with ‘sterile,'” she said.

David Whitlock is the founding scientist of Mother Dirt’s research partner, AOBiome. Whitlock, who uses the spray religiously, told Business Insider he hasn’t showered in 12 years. Of course, Mother Dirt doesn’t recommend that its clients do this, and you should definitely still wash your hands.

But just to get a feel for the most extreme case, I attempted to stop showering for a week, and sprayed myself with AO+ mist instead.

Here’s what it was like:

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Why does this product exist? Just like our intestines, our skin is home to a rich ecosystem of bacteria and other microbes. Most are harmless, and some are actually good for us. For example, many animals contain ammonia-oxidizing bacteria or AOB, which break down the ammonia in sweat. AOB isn’t found on the skin of most modern humans, but studies have found it on the skin of the Yanomami people indigenous to the Amazon rainforest.

Every time we lather ourselves with soap and shampoo, we’re taking off bacteria like AOB. This ties into something called the hygiene hypothesis, which states that people who aren’t exposed to microbes as a child are more likely to develop allergies and other diseases because of a weakened immune system.

So I ordered a free sample of Mother Dirt’s AO+ mist, soap, and shampoo. It arrived in the mail a week later in a special temperature-controlled pouch (because the bacteria survive longer when kept cold).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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