Beards are back in style and in full force, so you might be wondering whether men with beards are healthier. For generations, beards have gotten a bad rap. A number of naysayers have argued that bearded men carry a multitude of disgusting bacteria under their beards, so the beards are dirty. We wondered about the same thing and quickly discovered the truth.
Let’s take a closer look at what science states about those beautiful beards.
What the studies say.
In a study published in March 2014, scientists found that men without beards are more likely to carry higher levels of some bacteria. They tested the beards of 408 male healthcare workers, with and without beards. Findings showed that bacteria colonization was similar for bearded and none bearded men. However, certain bacteria were more prevalent in those without beards, including some seriously bad bacteria that have become antibiotic-resistant, such as MRSA.
In 2016, the BBC got their hands on this study and the findings made them wonder. Do beards fight infections? They decided to find out for themselves and swabbed an assortment of beards. They sent those swabs to Dr. Adam Roberts, at the University College London.
Dr. Roberts managed to grow more than 100 different types of bacteria from those samples. During the study, he noticed that something was killing harmful bacteria. He quickly found the culprit, another microbe. Which when tested against an antibiotic-resistant form of E Coli, it effectively killed the pathogen. Our faces and bodies are covered with bacteria, both good and bad and it looks like your beard might be the right place for those good bacteria to prosper.
How do we feel about this information?
We feel that bearded men are healthy as well, maybe even healthier than bare-faced ones…but not to the point of kicking up a stink about it. In order to maintain a healthy, great-looking beard, you need to wash it daily and apply healthy beard oil or balm so that it can get the nutrients it needs.