Mon, Aug 12, 2019 - Page 8 News List

‘I don’t smell!’ Meet the people who have stopped washing

A growing number of people are eschewing soap and trusting bacteria to do the job instead — and an entire industry has sprung up to accommodate them

By Amy Fleming  /  The Guardian

In the resulting blood pressure study, it was observed that no one trialling AOB treatment had had a headache.

“In the placebo group, people had the normal number of headaches, but in the drug group: zero headaches,” says Hoffman. A hypothesis for a migraine treatment evolved from there. Trials are continuing.

Meanwhile, the jury is out on the best way to ensure a healthy skin microbiome. Mother Dirt’s CEO, the biochemist Jasmina Aganovic, says detergents such as sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium dodecyl sulphate should be avoided, so as to protect the sensitive AOB. Even essential oils, such as lavender and tea tree, have antimicrobial capabilities.

“It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use them, but you need to be careful about how — not all over the body, not super-concentrated,” she says.

Spending time outdoors, and “forest bathing” in particular, has also been shown to be beneficial to the microbiome. But, Aganovic hastens to add: “The tempered approach of the scientist is there’s a lot we don’t know, and we’re excited about the potential, but we must also be careful not to overclaim.”

There is one area where most agree that soap is still useful. Ballantyne continues to reach for soap for hand washing, but opts for a lower pH type. Segre also recommends hand-washing with soap. As Skotnicki puts it: “Washing your hair and your body has very little to do with hygiene. But washing your hands is essential.”

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