LIVING

Beards And Moustaches Can Actually Protect You From The Sun's UV Rays

Here's to not shaving!

08/25/2017 11:55 EDT | Updated 08/25/2017 11:55 EDT

Now you have a good excuse for growing in that facial hair.

Last year, we found out that beards may be more hygienic and bacteria-resistant than clean-shaven skin, and now we've got even more proof that facial hair is beneficial to one's health.

Back in 2012, a study by professors at The University of Queensland found that beards can protect you from 90 to 95 per cent of the sun's harmful UV rays with a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor) of up to 21.

The study's lead author, Professor Parisi, explained: "While beards will never be as sun-safe as sunscreen, they certainly are a factor in blocking UV rays."

And in a new interview with The Independent, U.K. dermatologist Dr. Adam Freidman backs up those findings, explaining that beards and moustaches can help protect against skin cancer and changes in facial appearance.

Hero Images

"Sun exposure is the primary cause of photo-ageing and skin damage so it makes sense that if your face is covered by a heavy beard, it may well protect your skin from the signs of ageing.

"This means fewer wrinkles and a reduction in age spots commonly found on the face," he said.

It makes sense that if your face is covered by a heavy beard, it may well protect your skin from the signs of ageing.

But if you think that five o'clock shadow will protect you from the sun, think again. According to the research, the thicker the beard, the more protective qualities it has.

Yes, bigger is better.

This also applies to those who have lots of hair on their head.

"People with a thick head of hair do not tend to get skin cancer or photo ageing on the scalp until they lose their hair. So we can see that there is a UV protective effect," explained Freidman.

A previous study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection found that clean-shaven men were more likely to carry infection-causing bacteria resistant to antibiotics on their cheeks when compared to bearded men.

Clean-shaven men were more likely to carry infection-causing bacteria resistant to antibiotics on their cheeks when compared to bearded men.

Clean-shaven men were also more likely to have colonies of a bacterium that causes skin and respiratory infections, and food poisoning.

Researchers hypothesized that this may be due to micro-abrasians caused by shaving their skin, "which may support bacterial colonisation and proliferation."

So go ahead, grow out that beard!

Also on HuffPost: