Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria is about to seriously disrupt skin care

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria is about to seriously disrupt skin care
Probiotic science has piqued consumer interest, and one state-of-the-art company has been quietly selling personal care products that replenish and preserve skin’s natural microbiome with good bacteria. 

Mother Dirt’s signature product—on the market since last year—is a body mist that reintroduces ammonia-oxidizing bacteria to skin. That bacteria is commonly absent thanks to conventional personal care products. So starting this week, the Mother Dirt product line has been ramped up to include a face and body cleanser as well as a shampoo, both of which preserve AOB.

Mother Dirt is the personal care brand of the AOBiome company, which has as its mission the development of topical therapeutic and consumer biologics.

Age-old wisdom
The idea is hardly a new one. In fact, the founding scientist at AOBiome has been investigating AOB and its benefit to human health for over 15 years.

“Around 2000, when MIT-trained engineer David Whitlock hit the scientific conference circuit to explain his theories on how bacteria had kept our pre-soap ancestors clean, most people thought he was nuts,”reports Nidhi Subbaraman​ for The Boston Globe.

The human body hosts a phenomenal number of tiny organisms that help regulate life. The micro biome “consists of hundreds of trillions of microorganisms, outnumbering human cells by 10 to 1, with as many as 3 million bacterial genes to our 23,000,” ​according to AOBiome.

And since skin is the body’s largest organ, many such microorganisms live there.

Skin health
AOBiome is looking into the effects of good bacteria on the architecture of the skin, infection prevention and vascularization. 

“Modern hygiene has selectively depleted the natural balance of the skin microbiome particularly affecting AOB. By restoring the appropriate AOB levels, we believe a range of human health conditions could be impacted,” ​explains the company website.

Microbiology drives the company as it moves to develop more targeted products. Just last month AOBiome began phase-two clinical testing on an anti-acne formula that would be the first live topical therapeutic for this purpose.

Human nature
Ethical products that cater to optimized urban lifestyles are winning in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

Since AOBiome is essentially focused on helping the human environment thrive in a more natural state with the benefit of scientific skin care, the consumer preference for effective, natural products and for goods that do more benefit than harm to the environment bode well for the company.

Additionally, the AO+ Mist, like dry shampoo, is a product that let’s consumers reduce the amount of water they use as part of their daily personal care routines. And according to the Globe item, has “a small but earnest following among young urban professionals who are experimenting with nontraditional approaches to staying healthy and clean.”

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