Beards are not only crazy hot (hey, its science), they're actually good for you. So if someone ever brings up that one study that found feces particles in beards, you can counter with any of the following 8 facts:
1. A beard can protect your face from the sun's damaging rays.
"Men with a lot of skin exposure end up with leathery skin and increase in wrinkles," Dermatologist Bobby Buka, founder of Greenwich Village Dermatology and section chief at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, told The Huffington Post. "There's a condition known as dermatoheliosis -- that is chronic sun damage. The manifestion of that is spots, saggy skin and wrinkled skin."
As Jonha Revesencio mentioned in her HuffPost blog, "Science Explains Why a Beard Makes You Look Hotter," beards are able to block up to 95 percent of the sun's harmful UV rays. Citing researchers from the University of Southern Queensland, Revesencio explained that a beard can mitigate sun damage and even reduce a man's risk of contracting skin cancer.
2. A beard can keep you warm in winter.
As the temperature drops, your beard is there to keep you warm.
"Having facial hair of any kind acts as a barrier of protection -- especially in winter months," Buka told HuffPost. "When we're talking about wind and cold weather chapping of the skin, it acts as thermal protection as well as physical protection against the elements."
3. A beard can ward off throat disease.
Facial hair can help keep airborne bacteria out of your mouth, which assists in protecting your throat. The effectiveness of the beard has been documented as far back as 1875! In the book Pulmonary Tuberculosis: Its Pathology, Nature, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prognosis, Causes, Hygiene, and Medical Treatment, Dr. Addison P. Dutcher noted:
There cannot be the least doubt that the beard, and the hairs that grow in the nostrils, were designed by nature to guard the lungs from the invasion of these deleterious particles. Such being the use of the beard, individuals engaged in employments where the air is constantly filled with particles of fine dust should never shave. I have come to this conclusion from a careful observation of the effect of wearing the beard and of shaving upon the air passages and lungs. And I could, if space allowed, record many cases of throat and lung-diseases that have been permanently cured by wearing a beard.
Also on HuffPost: Can We Guess Your Facial Hair Situation?
4. A beard can assist those with asthma.
Similar to the prevention of throat disease, beards provide another barrier between your body and toxic exposures. "If you have a reactive airway condition like asthma, [a beard provides] an additional filter before [toxins] enter your lungs," Buka told HuffPost.
5. A beard can reduce the chances of bacterial infection. (Bye bye, acne!)
Beards can add an extra layer of protection from infections. While bacteria naturally exists on the skin, shaving can create openings that bring in the bacteria and lead to infections and ingrown hairs. Not shaving can also reduce acne flare-ups.
According to the bookThe Acne Cure, by Terry J. Dubrow and Brenda D. Adderly, shaving can bring on acne breakouts, worsen existing acne and contribute to acne-related skin infections, per an article on Livestrong.com quoting the book.
6. Not shaving can clear up your schedule for more important things.
In 1972, Dr. Herbert Mescon, then professor and chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, told The Spartanburg Herald that the average man will spend an estimated 3,350 hours of his life shaving. That's 139 days! Nearly five months! Growing a beard can save you so. much. time.
7. Most men feel more attractive with a beard.
German consumer-goods company Braun asked 1,000 New York men this past year about their grooming practices. 67 percent of the men surveyed said they sport facial hair -- a beard or a mustache -- and over half said they feel more attractive with a beard. 55 percent said they have received compliments about their facial hair, while 41 percent said a beard makes them feel more confident.
8. A beard can improve your sex life.
Consider this your classic case of the chicken and the egg.
An anonymous 1970s study, quoted in the bookThe Dependent Gene, found a correlation between beard growth and the potential for sex. "The stimulus for increased beard growth is related to the resumption of sexual activity," the author of the experiment found, after spending extensive periods in isolation. When the likelihood of a sexual encounter increases so does testosterone secretion, which may impact beard growth, the book analyzes.
So, more sex, more beard? Or more beard, more sex?! Well, both.
According to a 2008 study carried out by psychologists at Northumbria University, "women ... rated men with stubble as tough, mature, aggressive, dominant and masculine -- and as the best romantic partners, either for a fling or a long-term relationships," per the Telegraph.
Further quoting from the researchers in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, the Telegraph notes: "Facial hair, or beardedness, is a powerful sociosexual signal, and an obvious biological marker of sexual maturity."
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