With the growing body of research on human health and the microbiome, some scientists claim that using beauty products such as soap and shampoo washes away the benign bacteria that live on our skin. So a female journalist challenged her audience to stop using beauty products and instead spray their skin with a germ-infused spray.
The group of bacteria, including intestinal bacteria, that are parasitic on living organisms is called the microbiome, and the microbes that have a positive effect on the human body are called probiotics. Probiotics are found in yogurt, pickles, and other foods that we consume on a daily basis, but they do not work very efficiently in the body because they have not been well studied.
The majority of the microbiome lives in the gut and digestive tract.
The microbiome also lives on the surface of the skin.
As research on the microbiome and human health progressed, some researchers began to wonder, “Could hygiene products like soap and shampoo have the opposite effect on the skin?” Some researchers began to wonder, “Could soaps, shampoos, and other hygiene products be having the opposite effect on the skin?
The news site The Atlantic interviewed journalist Julia Scott, who has been living for a month without using any beauty products: soap, shampoo, antiperspirants, facial cleansers, and moisturizers. Instead of beauty products, Scott sprays his skin with a liquid containing bacteria, “making me the guinea pig for the strangest experiment imaginable to mankind,” says Scott.
The spray Scott uses contains a live bacterium called Nitrosomonas eutropha. Nitrosomonas eutropha is a bacterium that lives primarily in soil and is found on the body surfaces of animals such as horses, which are often exposed to soil, but rarely on human skin.
According to the distributor of the Nitrosomonas eutropha spray, the bacterium feeds on ammonia and is active, so spraying it on the skin can prevent body odor; when Scott asked an acquaintance about his body odor, he was told that it “smells like onions.” He also said that when he started using the spray, he realized that “my skin is naturally moisturized and I don’t get acne at all without using beauty products.
Scott gets his bacterial spray from Dr. Larry Weiss, who studies natural product chemistry.
Dr. Weiss co-founded AOBiome, a company that has developed a bacterial spray and commercialized it as an alternative to soap and shampoo.
According to Dr. Weiss, some of the bacteria that we wash off when we wash our bodies and heads are beneficial bacteria that have a positive effect on the human body. Even if we wash our skin every day, bacteria naturally occur on the surface of the skin, Dr. Weiss says, arguing that we should stop using chemical-based beauty products and instead harness the power of bacteria in the natural physiology of the human body.
Scott says that when he sprays his skin, “I feel like I’m injecting unknown bacteria into my skin. Scott says he only washes his face with water to keep the bacteria on his skin. Scott insists, “Even if you don’t use bacterial sprays, you should stop using shampoos, soaps, and other beauty products.
Martin Blaser, a pioneer in microbiome research, says of utilizing the microbiome on human skin, “There is a basic premise: ‘There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. Good bacteria support human health. If you use beauty products or disinfectants to eliminate the good bacteria from your skin, you may think you are emotionally clean, but in reality, it is likely that you are not,” he said.
The Atlantic reporter stopped using soap to wash his hands after hearing the explanation about the microbiome. However, he does not believe that “all of humanity should stop using soap,” and that “if we stop using soap, we can save some money and time.