What is a skin microbiome – the Benefits of Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB)!

When asking friends or family about dieting or nutritional advice, it doesn’t take long before someone suggests taking probiotics or making sure the yogurt you eat has probiotics in them. That’s because probiotics help contribute to our natural gut flora (aka gut biome) that is made up of bacteria. The truth is our gut biome is in a constant state of flux. There is a constant battle between the “good” natural gut flora in our intestine, and the “bad” bacteria that cause things like bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort when there is imbalance in the gut biome. This same principle applies to our skin!

The Battle of the Skin Biome

Whether we like it or not, our skin is home to millions of bacteria. However, despite common belief, not all bacteria on our skin are bad. In fact, there are several bacteria that use our skin’s environment to survive, but don’t cause disease. This elaborate ecosystem of organisms on our skin is called our “skin biome”!

The moment we’re born, the skin biome passed down to us from our mothers is nurtured and constantly evolving as we interact with our environment, nature, and develop lifestyle behaviors. However, today our skin biome faces numerous challenges. One such challenge is the current obsession with cleanliness and the pursuit of sterile environments. This has made it increasingly difficult for beneficial organisms to survive. Remember how we talked about our skin biome being shaped by our natural environment? Well, present day urban living has made it difficult for us to re-establish or sustain beneficial bacteria that we would typically be exposed to in nature.

These shifts in our skin biome, becoming less diverse over time, has left us more susceptible to common skin problems that we see every day (ie skin allergies, increased skin irritation, etc).

There is Hope ... Peacekeeper Bacteria to the Rescue

All around us in nature is a special group of "good" bacteria called Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB) and have been deemed the "peacekeeper" bacteria. They play an integral role in our environment because they convert toxic waste into beneficial compounds thewhat is a skin microbiome environment needs. Believe it or not, AOB were once commonly found on our skin! AOB has been known to work wonders in maintaining skin health. One of the primary ways it accomplishes this is by using our own sweat, which contains irritating compounds(ammonia & urea) into beneficial chemical compounds (nitrite and nitric oxide) that normalize our skin pH, which then keeps the "bad" bacteria in check!

Nitrite acts as a natural defense against "bad bacteria" while nitric oxide is an antioxidant that helps soothe the skin. Having an increased production of these two compounds allows for balance to be restored in the skin biome and can, in turn, reduce dependence on conventional products like soaps, deodorants, and moisturizers. Remember how AOB like sweat? This means they are most at home in places where there is a propensity to sweat (ie scalp, underarms, palms, groin, and feet) due to the increased density of sweat glands in these areas.

As mentioned above however, less time outdoors coupled with the present day use of harsh skin care products (soaps, deodorants, etc) has made it almost impossible for AOB to thrive in our skin biome.

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a way to actively restore the AOB on our skin? As it turns out, there is! Please see my product review HERE. I will go over an amazing product and address common questions and concerns in that product review article.

Final Thoughts

I recently became familiar with the skin biome over the past year and found the subject absolutely fascinating. As a health care professional, I definitely believe the importance of establishing and maintaining a healthy microbiome, both within our gut and our skin is understated. I hope this post will help to increase awareness about the microbiomes all around us and how AOB can be used in our favor to improve our skin health. Again, if you're looking for a way you can increase AOB on your skin, please take a look at my product review HERE on an amazing, innovative product.

Let’s Stay in Touch

As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at the following address: kent@theclearskinsolution.com. If you found this post particularly interesting or you feel you learning something valuable that a friend or family member could benefit from, please share the knowledge on one of your social media outlets using one of the share buttons below or hovering in the left side bar.  All post shares are very much appreciated.



Hi everyone! I want to thank you for visiting The Clear Skin Solution. I'm currently a resident physician in Texas who just so happens to be very interested in skin care, nutrition, and overall wellness/healthy living. It is my hope that you will learn something from my website. I am very dedicated to providing you with relevant, accurate information so that you will be better equipped to make better informed, healthier decisions. Please feel free to contact me though my website email or social media outlets.

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6 thoughts on “What is a skin microbiome – the Benefits of Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB)!”

  1. Oh, I am so happy I found this article!
    I am so gonna share it! This is what I’m trying to tell many times in argues with people that have an obsession with cleanliness. The “Hygiene freaks” do not believe me. For them bacteria=bad!! And this is simply not true. There are bacteria that we can not live without.
    I am so glad I can throw this article to their face now LOL 😀

    1. Hi Anna! Thank you for checking out my post. Yes, I can completely relate with you in that department. It is an ongoing process to educate the community that not all bacteria are bad. In fact, I think some people either don’t realize or forget that when a yogurt says it has “live cultures” in it, that means it has live bacteria in it that serve as probiotics. I hope your efforts prove fruitful in educating those around you. 

      Best regards,


  2. Great article! I have purchased many different products for stomach issues as I have bad stomach problems, I have been told about probiotics as well. Both of my children have skin issues; one has very sensitive skin and the other bad acne so of course I found your article interesting. It is great to hear that there is a natural way to restore AOB on our skin. I am thinking about investing in the Mother Dirt product in your review for my son. Thanks again for the info.

    1. Hi Shwana! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post, I’m glad you found it informative and relevant to your current situation. Yes, probiotics are currently a hot topic in the research world and several research studies are underway investigating the scope of the effect of the bacterial flora on and inside our bodies. It has even been suggested that our gut flora have a link to our mental health! 

      With the Mother Dirt AO+ Mist, it is a refreshing experience every day and I have personally noticed improvements in how my skin looks and feels. If you do end up deciding to try the Mother Dirt product, please do let me know how your experience turns out. Looking forward to hearing from you.


  3. Hi
    What an amazing article!
    Nowadays people are obsessed with soaps and deodorants and became a maniac for cleanliness.
    But in the modern life, we cannot avoid this factor.Therefore, your article will be helpful to understand the problems and know about AOB. Moreover, mother dirt will solve the problem.
    Thank you for a great article.

    1. Greetings! I’m glad you enjoyed my article about our skin microbiome and the key role that Ammonia Oxidizing Bacteria (AOB) in maintaining a healthy skin microbiome. It is truly my goal to raise awareness about the drawbacks inherent with being overly concerned about keeping our living spaces “overly sanitized”. As they say, too much of anything can be a bad thing. This certainly applies to the use of mainstream soaps and detergents and the negative affect it has on AOB. 

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