Massachusetts chemical engineer who hasn't showered in 12 years helps launch skin care product line with natural bacteria BY Joel Landau NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Updated: Tuesday, September 8, 2015, 11:41 AM A A A Share this URL Let's talk dirty. A Boston-area chemical engineer is taking an unusual approach to personal hygiene. David Whitlock hasn't showered in more than 12 years. "No one did clinical trials on people taking showers every day," the MIT graduate told CBS Boston. "So what's the basis for determining that is a healthy practice?" Whitlock is working with AOBiome, a Cambridge-based company that uses naturally occurring bacteria in a new line of skin-care products including mists, shampoos and cleaners. It may sound like Whitlock would have a hard time getting close to people, but the company says his research could change the way people approach skin care. I have not taken a shower in over 12 years. Jasmina Aganovic, AOBiome general manager of consumer products, told the Daily News that Whitlock's approach to hygiene is definitely unique. She said the iconoclastic scientist "does not smell," but noted that the company is not recommending people stay away from the shower. Water is not harmful to the body, but the company is trying to provide an alternative to the soaps and antibacterials that people use; those products can sterilize us too much, the thinking goes, the point where we aren't getting the healthy benefits of bacteria on the skin. "We want people to rethink the hygienic practices of the last several decades and how much we are at war with the microbacterial world," Aganovic said. The company's "Mother Dirt" product line contains live ammonia-oxidizing bacteria, which clean and eliminate odor without harming the organisms that are beneficial to the skin, she said. The products contain live AOB, a microorganism found in soil, which consume the irritating components of sweat and transform them into compounds that can actually benefit the skin, she said. The eradication of the healthy bacteria leaves the skin vulnerable to such problems as sensitivity and dryness, the company said. Whitlock is working with the company's research team to help develop additional products, Aganovic said. In the meantime, he won't be showering any time soon.