You probably can’t imagine life without your daily shower. It’s something most of us would never think about giving up, fearing the dirt and smell that would accumulate on our skin and hair. However, a new Massachusetts company, AOBiome, is looking to change attitudes about hygiene with new cleansing bacterial technology. Julia Scott, writing for The New York Times, describes her experiences with AOBiome’s developing bacterial skin tonic in the article “My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment,” in which she gave up showering for four weeks in favor of testing the tonic’s hygienic qualities. So what is the tonic made of, and does it work?
The premise for AOBiome’s tonic (AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist)was built on the theory that some bacteria are beneficial to us, and instead of washing these good germs away, we should be encouraging them to flourish on our skin. David Whitlock, a chemical engineer and inventor of the tonic, got the idea from horses rolling in the dirt to clean themselves. He hypothesized that there must be beneficial bacteria in the dirt that fed off perspiration, thus helping to keep the animals clean. Using soil samples, Whitlock found the innocuous bacteria N. eutropha, which would become the basis for the tonic. Whitlock himself has not showered in 12 years, instead only using the bacteria. The bacteria feed off ammonia in the perspiration, producing nitrite and nitric oxide. This has a cleansing effect, and also has immune system and anti-inflammatory benefits.
AO+ Refreshing Cosmetic Mist is not currently intended to be a substitute for all soap; the company recommends spritzing it on several times a week in addition to sparing use of other gentle hygiene products. This is good for potential users like Julia Scott, who reported that: “My skin began to change for the better. It actually became softer and smoother, rather than dry and flaky, as though a sauna’s worth of humidity had penetrated my winter-hardened shell. And my complexion, prone to hormone-related breakouts, was clear. For the first time ever, my pores seemed to shrink.” Unfortunately, she also found that the tonic did nothing to prevent grease build-up on her hair, nor eliminate all body odor, making her self-conscious during social situations.
Those studying these bacteria are hoping that one day, their anti-inflammatory and probiotic qualities will be of medical use as well as cosmetic, helping to treat problems like eczema and fight malicious bacteria. There are also dreams of possibly altering body odor one day, in order to repel disease-carrying insects, like mosquitoes.
Caring for Your Skin
There are a lot of exciting developments in skincare, and while it remains to be seen how products like AOBiome’s skin tonic will evolve and affect the health and beauty industry, there are currently many great skincare products and treatments that have been time-tested to be safe and effective. From everyday skincare products like facial washes, exfoliants, and moisturizers, to radiowave and ultrasound technology to treat signs of aging, there’s no reasonto neglect your skin’s health with the options available today. If you’re ready to take charge of your skin’s vitality or you’d like to look younger with a non-invasive treatment, it’s important to find a reputable dermatologist you can trust, like Dr. Diane Walder or Dr. Stacy Chimento. Dr. Walder is a renowned skincare expert, offering great advice and skilled treatment in Miami. For more information on skincare and anti-aging procedures, call Dr. Walder‘s office today at 305-866-2177 to schedule your appointment.