A Little Dirt Never Hurt Anyone

Tina Adoniou

For a long time, we've been told that killing 99.9% of bacteria was what we wanted, that it's the best way to be clean and healthy. For decades, even centuries, we've been guided by that belief that all bacteria and microorganisms are bad. As you can imagine, this has greatly shaped our society and our everyday habits, especially in the developed world.

Everything from our hygiene routines, to our household cleaning products, to the preservatives in our skincare and food, to specialized ventilation systems for our homes and offices, all have been created to keep us separate from the outside and the microbial world (and attempt to obliterate it if possible).

We know there are definitely bad microorganisms out there. However, they are orders of magnitude outnumbered by the benign, the good, and the still unknown microorganisms that exist out there as well.

In our determined attempts to be clean in order to be healthy, we've instead ended up striving for sterility, which we are now learning does not always come with healthy. Could it be that we have been getting rid of our allies in the process?

Now, this is not a reason to stop washing your hands! But instead, this is about thinking about "clean." What if restoring and maintaining beneficial bacteria is key to healthy skin? What if we change the way we treat our skin, and in doing so embrace it as the living ecosystem it is? This is what our research and mission are dedicated to.

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