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“I have not taken a shower in over 12 years:” Here’s what a chemical engineer suggests we try instead

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BOSTON — Forget the soap and bath gels! A Massachusetts company says spraying live bacteria on your skin is all you need to keep clean.

“I have not taken a shower in over 12 years,” Dave Whitlock said.

It may sound crazy — but Whitlock, a chemical engineer and MIT grad says he doesn’t miss bathing at all.

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

In fact, what Whitlock does believe is healthy is restoring good bacteria to our skin that our ancestors enjoyed long ago — bacteria that’s been slowly stripped away by excessive cleaning.

To prove his theory, Whitlock helped found “Aobiome,” a company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“We’ve confused clean with sterile,” Jasmina Aganovic said.

Aganovic, also an MIT grad, says as humans, we need to reconnect with our environment.

“We’ve taken the dirt out of our lives. We don’t spend as much time outdoors as we used to — even as little children,” Aganovic said.

To add a little dirt back into our lives, Aobiome has created “Mother Dirt” — specifically the AO+ mist containing live bacteria that’s sprayed directly on the skin twice a day. It has no odor, and feels like water.

“Our users are able to reduce their dependence on conventional products. Examples include cutting out or cutting down on deodorant, cutting out or cutting down on moisturizers,” Aganovic said.

There’s a Mother Dirt shampoo and cleanser that doesn’t contain bacteria, but Aganovic says it won’t interfere with it either.

While Whitlock still doesn’t shower, he does use Mother Dirt every day and hopes the rest of the world will join him.

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

While Aobiome officials believe in the health benefits of these live bacteria, they’re not making any scientific claims right now — but they will soon begin clinical trials on inflammatory skin conditions like acne.

10 comments

    • wisill

      Well if you ever run into him, give him a sniff. I’ll take YOUR WORD for whatever it is he smells like. My mind says a cross somewhere between yeast and a dirty sock.

  • Wilson

    Why is it that highly educated people have the least amount of common sense??? Is it really so much of a bother to take a 5-10 minute shower every day???

    • wisill

      The issue is not the physical energy you expend taking a shower, it’s the fact you’re wasting water during global warming and those few gallons wasted during that shower might mean the difference between life and death for a family of 3 by the year 2100. At least that’s what THEY will tell you!

      I say take the dang shower, by 2100 that will have worked its way back down into the aquifer and it’ll be drinkable again!

    • Kenny

      Not showering for 12 years is ridiculous. However, Whitlock may have a point.
      The hygiene hypothesis was posed over 20 years ago, and attributes the rise in incidence of allergies and chronic inflammatory diseases to excessive cleanliness in today’s society. While the evidence for this is definitely not robust, I believe it is still a factor in this increase in incidence.
      Perhaps we ARE depleting ourselves of normal skin microflora and perhaps this spray is the answer….but I highly doubt any clinical trial done will show any statistically significant results. They have nothing to measure, no clinical endpoints…what are they going to measure, the dryness of peoples skin who use or don’t use the spray?? way too many variables there. So most likely, this spray will end up similar to probiotics, herbal and complementary medicines – used by some, but with no proven efficacy.

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