If you’ve heard about probiotic cosmetic spray, it’s probably from a New York Times Magazine story published last year. In that article, journalist Julia Scott profiled the startup AOBiome and recounted her experience using the company’s signature product, a spray “contain[ing] billions of cultivated Nitrosomonas eutropha, an ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) that is most commonly found in dirt and untreated water.” The inventors of AOBiome’s spray hypothesized that before humans washed away most of the bacteria on our skin with soapy showers, the bacteria played a role in keeping our skin clean and healthy. Scott reported that her skin became clearer and softer after she gave up soap and embraced the bacterial spray. AOBiome sold out of its stock within hours of the article’s publication.
Now, after more than a year of ramping up production of its spray, AOBiome has released additional microbiome-friendly products under a new name: Mother Dirt. Now, in addition to AO+ Mist, you can buy a face and body cleanser and a shampoo that are formulated to clean your skin without killing all those ammonia-oxidizing bacteria. The products aren’t cheap—3.4 fluid ounces of the spray will set you back $49, while the same quantity of cleanser or shampoo costs $15—but you can save $10 by buying a bundle of all three.