Science 4 min read

How To Fight Water Scarcity and Have Healthier Skin

Kim Britten | Shutterstock

Kim Britten | Shutterstock

Fresh water reserves are overexploited. As shortages are in the forecast, humanity will soon have to decide how best to utilize water for drinking, agriculture, and personal hygiene. Sacrifices will have to be made.

Our Blue Dot Might not be so Blue

As early as 2020, 30-40% of the world population could face water scarcity. Five years later, that number will encompass 30 nations (1.8 billion people). By 2030, the world will have to face a global water deficit of 40%.

In 2035, the world’s energy consumption will increase by 35% and with it a 15% increase in water usage. Another five years later a worldwide water shortage could occur. The world’s population is expected to reach over nine billion by 2050, and with that fresh water demands will be higher than ever.

In short, water scarcity threatens the whole world and is already affecting many regions. Drastic measures will have to be taken to stem the tide of water scarcity.

Hygienic needs might not be the first priority in solving water scarcity, but they could potentially save us a lot of fresh water.

The AO+ Mist, a Spray to Restore Good Bacteria

Mother Dirt is the consumer products division of AOBiome. Mother Dirt develops products to combat skin problems, namely the AO+ Mist, which is a spray consisting of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria that live off of ammonia produced by sweat.

The AOB is a strain of bacteria that’s found everywhere in nature wherever there’s nitrogen cycle taking place. They are considered to be safe. In the case of AO+Mist, they are live-cultured to cosmetic-grade quality and can hinder infection. The AOB eliminate irritating compounds from the skin such as urea and ammonia. In doing so, they leave beneficial byproducts like nitric-oxide that tame bad bacteria.

The company also produces shampoo, a skin cleanser, and a moisturizer that don’t contain live cultures but also don’t contain any preservatives either. All the company’s products are produced using plant-based ingredients that go through rigorous testing.

The manufacturer recommends spraying the body with AO+Mist twice a day, focusing on the high sweat-producing areas of the body  That being said, they insist that AO+Mist is not a replacement for soap. Instead, they want people to understand the difference between “clean” and “sterile”. Obsessed over bodily hygiene, most people wash off the bad bacteria and good bacteria without being aware that they could harm their skin’s biome.

#Showering does not a #healthy #skin makeClick To Tweet

Take a Shower in Bacteria

The story of David Whitlock, co-founder of AOBiome, is rather unusual. This chemist swears that he has not showered for twelve years. Instead of getting rid of dirt with water and soap daily, Whitlock sprays live bacteria on his body harvested from plants.

The MIT graduate confesses, however, that he sometimes uses a sponge soaked in water to remove stubborn dirt. Whitlock uses this unorthodox method to restore good bacteria to his skin. He believes that people wash too often and that it hurts their skin.

The Yanomami Don’t use Soap; The Healthiest Skin

A study revealed that the native Amazonian Yanomami people have the richest and most diverse complement of bacteria ever seen on human skin.

The Yanomami, living in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, have the most diverse collection of bacteria ever identified, according to a study published in Science Advances Magazine. Many of these new microbes would have a positive effect on overall health. For example, bacterial protection from producing kidney stones.

This semi-nomadic tribe has inhabited a remote, mountainous area in the south of Venezuela for thousands of years. They remained without civilized contact until 2008. The Yanomami didn’t have access to the ideal Western lifestyle and, therefore retained its microbial diversity.

People wash the good bacteria off the body due to exaggerated hygiene constraints. It has been reported that antibacterial products and overwashing may do more harm than good. In addition to the good bacteria, healthy fats and oils are also removed during washing.

The human body responds to a lack of healthy oils by overproducing them. This creates an illusion of needing expensive cleansers to feel clean. Unfortunately, most of our health and beauty solutions are built to turn a profit rather than meet a need.

A next-gen product like the AO + Mist not only promotes body health, restoring good bacteria, but may well replace water for hygiene in an increasingly water-scarce world.

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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