July 26, 2016

Why your Skin Needs Dirt. {Sponsored}

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This is a post written by Mother Dirt—an elephant partner. We’re honored to work with a company dedicated to conscious consumerism, protecting our environment, and lookin’ good while doing it. ~ Ed.

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Why are we having so many skin issues?

In just one generation, the amount of products we use daily has grown exponentially. Women apply an average of 168 different chemicals to their bodies every day. The bulk of this routine is built around personal hygiene and cleanliness. In fact, an entire industry has been built around the idea that bacteria on the skin is bad.

Despite being “cleaner” than ever, and having more options than ever, healthy skin still eludes us. The numbers are big—and growing:

Because of this, we’ve become more conscious about our products, leading to the booming “natural products” category, with consumers opting for paraben-free products, sulfate-free products, shampoo without chemicals (or no ‘poo period), aluminum-free deodorant, etc.

So, why do we continue to have these issues?

Less is more?

We’ve all heard the phrase “less is more,” and this idea plays a large part in the natural products movement. It stems from the inherent knowledge that solutions usually go hand in hand with simplicity. But somewhere along the way we’ve confused sterile for clean, and even many of our natural products with fewer harsh chemicals are making us too clean, and stripping away essential components of our skin.

The philosophy behind Mother Dirt and our research partner AOBiome is working to restore the skin to its natural state—before modern hygiene and chemistry meddled with it.

It’s driven by our ongoing effort to restore good bacteria to the skin, with simple plant-derived products, containing 10 ingredients or less. We believe changing our relationship with the microbial world is one of the biggest shifts in public health. This is why we’re a mission-driven company, where all purchases support our research in skin health.


Bacteria is natural. Sterility is not.

Why bacteria on the skin? We’ve learned from our need for gut probiotics that healthy bacteria are a necessity in our bodily systems to keep us strong and thriving. But good bacteria aren’t just for the belly. It turns out, our skin also relies on a balance of bacteria to be healthy too.

And yet, everything from preservatives, to antibacterials, to all the common treatments for acne and eczema are largely rooted in the idea that bacteria is something to be avoided. If we apply this same logic, it makes sense that we’re experiencing more problems by constantly wiping out bacteria from our skin, and many academic institutions are researching this to understand more.

We’ve seen movements like yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda become more mainstream as people search for solutions to the variety of health issues they face. The common thread with all of them is they harken back to simpler times when people had to rely more on nature, as opposed to technology and industry.

At Mother Dirt, we’re also going back to basics. Way back. We’re talking about something as old as dirt.

In fact, it’s a bacteria that’s found in dirt.

Meet Your Skin Microbiome

Up until about a hundred years ago, we had a naturally occurring beneficial bacteria on our skin, Ammonia-Oxidizing Bacteria, or AOB. It’s found everywhere in nature, especially dirt. But we’ve wiped them out with modern chemistry, and with the fact that we no longer spend as much time outdoors.

AOB work as peacekeepers for your skin, because they consume the bad components in your sweat, and convert them into good things for your skin. This makes for a healthy skin microbiome, which is your own personal ecosystem on your skin.

And if the word “microbiome” is new to you, here’s a quick intro: Microbiomes exist in nature. They’re localized communities of living things (plants, animals) that have developed in conjunction with their local climate, for example tundra versus desert. We have miniature versions of these living on our skin, in our belly, in our mouths, just about everywhere. Except instead of plants and animalsm we host microorganisms. And like any ecosystem or microbiome, these organisms work together to create balance. Adding in antibacterial to your microbiome is a harsh disruption to your skin’s balance. Adding beneficial bacteria, like AOB, to your skin restores balance.

Introducing AOB: Good Bacteria for the Skin

So how do we get that good bacteria back on our skin?

You don’t have to go live in the Amazon or roll in dirt to have a strong and diverse microbiome. It’s actually quite easy in our modern society to nurture the good bacteria on your skin and get your skin system working so it can take better care of itself.

Mother Dirt has developed the only live probiotic for the skin using AOB, in the form of AO+ Mist along with biome-friendly shampoo and cleanser formulated to nurture the good bacteria of the skin.

Within two weeks of use, the AO+ Mist improves the appearance of skin issues including sensitivity, blotchiness, roughness, oiliness, dryness, and odor by replacing essential bacteria lost by modern hygiene and lifestyles. 60% of users are able to stop using deodorant, and on average rethinking clean removes two or more products from personal care routines.

ao mist product details

shampoo product details

Society has accepted that the things that kept us healthy and sane thousands of years ago are just as effective now, so much so that doctors are advising their patients to meditate and yoga. So it only makes sense that the same holds true for our skin.

Simplify your skincare, bring your skin back to basics, and your flourishing microbiome will thank you.

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Editor: Emily Bartran

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