Time to grow a beard? Study finds beards can reduce the risk of skin cancer

beard blocks uv rays
Close up of man touching mustache

Having a beard isn’t just fashionable, it could well be a life-saver too.

According to a recent study from the University of Queensland, facial hair can protect a man’s face from 90 to 95% of harmful UV rays from the sun.

This means that a large portion of a man’s face is protected from being sunburnt – which can help prevent skin cancer.

The researchers placed mannequins with different levels of added facial hair in the sun. Afterwards, they measured the radiation levels absorbed by each one. They found the biggest beards offered the most protection from UVA and UBV rays.

Lead author, Professor Parisi said: “While beards will never be as sun-safe as sunscreen, they certainly are a factor in blocking UV rays.”

While this certainly doesn’t mean men with beards should skip sunblock, it just means that a portion of their skin is safer from the sun.

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.

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