The surprising benefit of beards you probably didn’t know about

After Will Forte recently had his beard tested on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, after having read an article which stated that many beards carry tons of bacteria…even fecal matter. He was very excited when the swab for fecal matter was negative, but I think the rest of us were a little grossed out. Who knew that was something we needed to be worried about? And let’s face be real, beards are back with a vengeance, and if it turns out all the cuties we like with facial hair are harboring scary bacteria, smooching those people is going to become a little less appealing.

Luckily, another study was just conducted, which found that it’s actually the people with clean shaven faces that are more likely to carry harmful bacteria. And those with facial hair? Yeah, they were harboring some pretty nasty bacteria themselves, but they also were found to be cultivating a disease-fighting antibiotic. And that antibiotic was found to be killing off much of the harmful bacteria nestled in the test subjects facial hair.

Dr. Adam Roberts, a microbiologist who conducted the experiment, spoke to the BBC to explain how this could be a world changing discovery. Roberts shared that antibiotic-resistant infections kill at least 700,000 people a year, which is a number projected to rise to 10 million by 2050. And with no new antibiotics released in the past 30 years, an antibiotic discovery is enough to shake up the medical world.

So next time you’re asking a loved one to shave off their facial hair, think about the science that’s happening on their hairy face.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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