We live in an era of more everything, including our personal care products. We have cabinets and counters overflowing with products for every occasion and issue, yet perfect skin still eludes us. How is this possible?
We hypothesize that the dramatic shift in our lifestyles and modern chemistry have altered the diverse ecosystem of microorganisms that exist on the skin. We’ve long believed that killing bacteria is the best way to be “clean” and if we are “clean” that we will be healthy. More and more research is pointing to the reality that sterility might not make us healthier. In fact, “clean” and “sterile” likely look like two very different things.
In fact, the data is showing a powerful picture. Despite being cleaner than ever, the statistics don’t indicate that our skin is getting better. In fact, data suggests our relationship with our skin might be getting worse.
As an example, up until about 100 years ago, humans had a naturally occurring beneficial bacteria on our skin: Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria, or AOB. It’s found everywhere in nature, especially dirt. But between our mostly-indoor lifestyles (i.e. minimal contact with nature) and the chemistry in our cleansing products, we’ve removed them from our skin. That’s why we created our patented AO+ Mist, which is a live probiotic spray infused with Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria, to help restore balance to the skin’s ecosystem.
In fact, AOB are often called the “peacekeepers.” That’s because they consume the irritating components in our sweat (ammonia and urea) and convert them into byproducts that have a calming, soothing, and balancing effect on the skin. They’re also a keystone species, which means they have a large impact on their environment, and if removed from their environment the ecosystem would change drastically.
Think about it...if AOB once lived on our skin, but now they don’t...could that also mean that skin issues are a modern problem? These are the questions that fuel us in everything we do. This is exactly why we believe that changing our relationship with the microbial world could be one of the biggest shifts in public health, and why our company values are centered around reconnecting with nature.
So get outside, reconnect with nature and definitely get dirty! :-)