Men’s course facial hair is the perfect trap for festering food and bacteria from colds, not to mention germs transferred from hands during a good old beard-stroking session. Add in the incubation effect of heat from the skin and you have the perfect environment for a very grim stew indeed.
Carol Walker, a consultant trichologist from the Birmingham Trichology Centre told the MailOnline: ‘Beards harbor more germs because facial hair is courser than other hair, so traps dirt and germs more easily.’
While one of the great pleasures of a beard may be caressing it like a Bond villain’s cat, this just adds to the problem.
‘If their hands are dirty, they transfer dirt from their hands on to their face and mouth,” says Carol Walker.
And step away from that chai latte…
‘If someone’s eating dairy products it can get stuck in their beard and become a bit rancid.
Factor in the beard’s ‘insulator’ and it’s germ warfare on your chin.
The big question, of course… what becomes of someone on the receiving end of a smooch from a bearded man?
‘If you’re affectionate with someone, if you kiss them, you can pass on bacteria.’
Urgh. Still, there is some goodbeardies have nothing to fear and some experts insist that beards aren’t creepy at all – well, no more so than the rest of the human body.
Professor Hugh Pennington, Professor of Bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen, says: ‘It’s the same bacteria that’s on your skin. It’s not problematic and it’s not a health risk.’
Still… we’re spotting a gap in the market for anti-bacterial beard sanitizer spray here.