According to research, your facial fuzz may actually be protecting your health
Beards get a bad rep. Despite dominating the men’s style scene for the past few years, claims that ‘Peak Beard’ has been reached have been coming from all angles for almost as long, and with recent claims in the media that they might carry more bacteria than a toilet seat, it’s safe to say that there are as many haters as there are die-hard fans.
But beard lovers will be pleased to know that a new study has finally found in their favour – and that actually, it’s their clean-shaven friends that could be posing something of a hygiene risk.
According to the report, which was last week published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, tests showed that clean-shaven hospital workers were more than three-times as likely to be carrying harmful bacteria than their bearded co-workers.
With bearded men so much less likely to be carrying the MRSA virus, it begs the question as to why, and the explanation, it seems, is micro-trauma to the skin. It occurs during shaving and can result in abrasions, which may support bacterial colonisation and proliferation.
More intriguing still, though, is the theory of other researchers – namely Dr. Michael Mosley and Dr. Adam Roberts – with the latter being a micro-biologist at University College London.
Beards, they claim, may actually fight infection!
Roberts grew more than 100 different types of bacteria from the beard samples, but found that in a few of the dishes, something was actually killing some of the other bacteria – something Mosley and Roberts believe to have anti-bacterial properties.
So there you have it, beard believers – not only does your facial fuzz make you look utterly manly indeed, but it may also be protecting your health! Just make sure you give yours a good wash once or twice a week, and keep it well groomed and conditioned with one of our excellent beard oils.
Image above: Braid Barbers. Photography: R Braid