What are the benefits of growing a beard or moustache? - a Movember feature!

On Nov 16, 2013

A man proud of his beard.
Image Source: Flickr, Joe Goldberg

As we are in the heart of "Movember," many men are donning an assortment of facial hair looks. Lets explore the lesser known benefits of facial hair. You may just want to keep that beard or moustache after November 30th.

1) Keeps your face moisturized

  • Even though many moisturizer makers want you to believe otherwise, your face has a natural moisturizing system. Sebaceous glands are microscopic glands present primarily in the face and scalp that secrete an oily substance called sebum. Sebum waterproofs and lubricates your face and hair. Sebaceous glands secrete sebum onto the hair covered areas of your body and are usually connected to hair follicles on your face. Having a beard keeps you naturally moisturized by preventing the sebum from being rubbed off your face. In addition, your beard protects your face from the redness and dryness caused by windburn.

2) Razor burn defender​

  • Not every man is a poster child for smooth shaving, resulting in a baby's bottomesque smooth skin. An obvious benefit of having a beard is that you do not have to shave daily. This can actually be good for your skin since daily shaving creates irritation. Shaving can also lead to acne and folliculitis (an infection of your hair follicles) by bacterial spread with the shaving razor.

​3) Facial hair protects you from the sun!

  • Your facial hair has the ability to block 95% of the sun's UV rays, as according to a recent study from the University of Southern Queensland. The most common type of skin cancer (and also the most common cancer in Americans in general) is a basal cell carcinoma. This type of skin cancer frequently affects the areas on a man's face usually exposed to the sun, including the scalp, face, and neck. Having those beard whiskers block some of the UV radiation may prevent you from developing this tumor on your beard covered areas of your face. In addition, as readers of Central Skin should know, the sun's UV rays cause facial aging, creating wrinkles and decreasing the thickness and elasticity of your skin. Your beard may prevent you from developing these signs of aging by protecting your face from the sun! 

​4) Masculinity booster

  • What does facial hair have to do with masculinity? It appears that the more facial hair a man has, the more masculine that he is perceived by both men and women according to a study published in Evolution and Human Behavior.

Barnaby Dixson and Robert Brooks. The role of facial hair in women's perceptions of men's attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities. Evolution and Human Behavior. 
K Aleisha Fetters. 5 lesser known benefits of having a beard. Fox News; June 20th, 2013.
April 2013.
Facial Hair


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