1. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    The mother dirt experiment

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Jack Asher, Aug 10, 2015.

    So I just got my Mother Dirt in the mail. I've mentioned it here before but that was before I had the goods. I had ordered my first suply in March, but my building didn't inform me the package had arrived until a month later. The bacteria can only survive for 3 weeks unrefrigerated.

    Since then the culture has gotten cheaper, and so I was able to order a months supply for only $65.

    I'll recap for those who don't know.
    Once upon a time there was a biologist that was studying the microbiome on horse skin. While getting a sample one day he watched a horse sniff all over a field until it found a particular patch of dirt, and then rolled in that patch vigorously. Being a scientist he took samples to ascertain "what in hell".

    He found a strain of bacteria that eats ammonia (nicknamed AOB for Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria), which you know as the reason sweaty people stink. Taking into consideration the new found evidence that our skin plays host to a plethora of bacteria, almost all of it beneficial to our skin, the scientist fella started culturing and experimenting.

    We've know for a couple of years now that the bacteria on our skin are incredibly varied and exist in a vast community. The micro-biome on your elbow is distinct from the species on your wrist. For the most part they exist in a symbiotic relationship with us, eating dead cells and other bad things, and excreting oils that help us stay soft.

    Only we aren't the best of hosts. Soap doesn't harm these bacteria much, but the preservatives inside it do. Our cleaning routine of smearing the (highly specialized) bacteria all over our bodies helps little, as does super hot water. And a vigorous shower schedule is hell on the poor little guys. Most dermatologists recommend short showers in lukewarm water every 2-3 days. Air, or pat dry, instead of wiping the bacteria all over. And you don't need shampoo.

    The whole shampoo fallacy exemplifies the point. Studies show your hair looks fine if you use regular soap, but instead we use special soap that strips the oil from our hair. But your hair needs oil or it will become brittle, so we add oil back into our hair. The top level of skin cells are called the horny layer and their job is to keep moisture on the live cells beneath them. So what do we do? Exfoliate (a term that means "rip your skin off") and then apply moisturizer.

    It's like washing your car with a sandblaster and then waxing over the stripped paint.

    So Mother Dirt is just a spray containing these bacteria, the ones that used to live on our skin and have been devastated by our obsession with smelling pretty. I just got mine on Friday, and I've been using it since. Once a day I get naked in the kitchen, and spray myself down with a little bottle from the fridge. I was worried the refrigerated spray would be unpleasantly cold, but it's actually quite nice. Just like getting sprayed with a plant mister. I don't have a concrete sensation of the smell of the mist, but I could probably distinguish it from tap water. I think it smells more like rain than anything else, but that's kind of an obvious answer seeing as it's water suspended in the air.

    So far there's very little change. No one has told me that I smell like ass, but I don't know if it's because the Mother Dirt is working or because everyone is too polite to tell me. There are obvious reasons to take a shower of course. Being dirty, or vigorous sex, but for my day to day abolutions I think I'm replacing my shower routine.

    More as it develops.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Somehow I don't picture you going for this product.

    :pop:
     
  3. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Well if you want pictures I'll have to PM them to you. I'm not allowed to post the glory of my naked body on threads. "Pornography" rules and such.
     
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  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    This reminds me of my grandfather. He used to say that during the winter time one bath a week was good enough, and that one every few days during the summer was sufficient.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    No, a verbal summary will do. Is there going to be a control, one limb perhaps?
     
  6. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Good thing you said limb instead of appendage. :superlaugh:
     
  7. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Unfortunately not. The problem two fold. First all of my skin problems are on my face, and there really isn't a way to only spray half of that and be sure there was no cross contamination. Second, aside from the improvements in skin quality, smell is the most observable effect, and that's kind of all or nothing as far as both society and I are concerned.

    However if you wanted to vulonteer to be the control and to not shower for the next month we could compare results.
     
  8. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Have you tried giving up cow's milk? The natural hormones in the milk wreak havoc on some faces.
     
  9. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Skin bacteria excrete oil? o_O
     
  10. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    If it really is bacteria out of the ground, it'll smell like rain because of petrichor:

    The term was coined in 1964 by two researchers, Isabel Joy Bear (Australian) and Roderick G. Thomas (British), for an article in the journal Nature.[1][2] In the article, the authors describe how the smell derives from an oil exuded by certain plants during dry periods, whereupon it is absorbed by clay-based soils and rocks. During rain, the oil is released into the air along with another compound, geosmin, a metabolic by-product of certain Actinobacteria, which is emitted by wet soil, producing the distinctive scent.
     
  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    I don't drink milk, so giving it up isn't going to help things much.
    Um. No, they don't but they keep skin moist in some way I can't find documented. Sorry.
     
  12. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Sorry, I forgot to follow up on this. It doesn't smell like rain, I don't think. I'm sure I could distinguished between the Mother Dirt mist and misted water, but the English language lacks any way to describe what I'm smelling. More than anything though it smells like misted water.

    Now that I'm thinking about it, I might be able to smell it on my skin. But all of this sensory input is too subtle for me to say with any certainty that what I'm experiencing is real and not just my imagination.
     
  13. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Well it's been over a week since my last shower, and 11 days since my last shower with soap. So far no one has commented on the way I smell, and I have asked. Of course they could be being nice about the whole thing. The skin on my face is still dry in patches and a little flakey. I do see an improvement however in the amount of flakes. For the past week I've been wearing a hat when I go outside. I wear a hat in any case, but now I'm doing it because I'm not washing my hair and my dandruff has been pretty terrible.

    Or at least it was. Over the past three days my dandruff has decreased considerably!

    While other people can't really smell me, I can definitely smell myself in the morning before I use the spray. A New York Times writer who used the spray for an article described it as "oniony" but to me it smells like burning plastic. But apparently this is kind of normal for another couple of weeks.

    So far I'm calling my experience cautiously optimistic.
     

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