Few women would probably be upset with the latest study that says people with beards are healthier and more handsome. This would only make them hard to get that beard removed from their man’s face.
According to the professors at the University of Queensland, beards can protect the face from up to 95% of harmful UV rays. That’s a UPF (ultraviolet protection factor, to you and me) of 21.
The lead author of this research, Professor Alfio Parisi, defended the claims and explained: “While beards will never be as sun-safe as sunscreen, they certainly are a factor in blocking UV rays.”
This lower UV exposure has other benefits for the face of the hirsute fellow. Less UV means a slower ageing process. That means that despite beards making you look like a 19th Century fur trapper, your skin will actually be more youthful and wrinkle free.
Also, men with beards are less likely to attract skin cancer. The benefits just keep coming, don’t they?
Dr Adam Friedmann, a Harley Street dermatologist, told the Independent: “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 (liver spots) commonly found on the face.”
It’s not all bad news for the less-hairy among us. This research also holds true for those with a load of hair on their heads.
Dr Friedmann continued: “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.”
In case you’re wondering, the study included a very technical experiment during which mannequins – some bearded, some not – were left in the sun to see how much radiation they absorbed.