Vitality

David Whitlock Hasn't Showered In 12 Years, Sprays Live Bacteria 'Mother Dirt AO+ Mist' Onto His Skin Instead

Dirty
Could dirt actually be good for us? Lazurite (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Dave Whitlock hasn’t taken a shower in over 12 years, and he doesn’t miss them at all.

“No one did clinical trials on people taking showers every day,” he told CBS Boston. “So what’s the basis for assuming that that is a healthy practice?

Whitlock, a chemical engineer and MIT grad, believes instead that restoring good bacteria to the skin is a healthier option. He believes that our ancestors enjoyed this bacteria, and that it has slowly been stripped away by excessive cleaning. Whitlock intended to prove his theory, so he helped found AOBiome, a company based in Cambridge, Mass.

AOBiome intends to bring a little dirt back into our lives.

“We’ve confused clean with sterile,” said Jasmina Aganovic, the general manager of consumer products at AOBiome. “We’ve taken the dirt out of our lives. We don’t spend as much time outdoors as we used to, even little children.”

The company created a product called Mother Dirt, a spray containing live bacteria that is sprayed directly onto skin twice a day. The product has no odor and feels like water.

“Our users are able to reduce their dependence on conventional products,” Aganovic said. “Examples include cutting out or cutting down on deodorant, cutting out or cutting down on moisturizers.” There’s a Mother Dirt shampoo and cleanser that doesn’t contain bacteria but, Aganovic says, won’t interfere with it either.

Whitlock may not shower, but he does use the Mother Dirt spray daily, and hopes that others will join him.

“I would like a billion people a day to use this,” he said.

AOBiome does believe there are health benefits to the live bacteria, but the company is making no scientific claims as of now. They will soon begin clinical trials of the product on inflammatory skin conditions, including acne.

We’ve heard of probiotics, or “good” bacteria found in foods like yogurt, being beneficial to our guts. AOBiome utilizes ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB), which is found naturally in dirt. Whitlock discovered that this bacteria converts sweat’s urea and ammonia into good bacteria with anti-inflammatory properties. According to Bloomberg, Whitlock smells perfectly fine, and his skin looks great.

Mother Dirt products became available in July this year and were the first cosmetic products to purposefully contain live bacteria.

Loading...