Beards have suffered a pretty bad rap over the past few months. Scientists waited until everyone grew out their face fuzz to reveal that beards contain millions of poo particles, and a recent study posited that turf-jawed men were ‘more likely to be sexist, cheat, fight and steal.'
The verdict was clear: it may look good, but it's turning you into a smelly, poo-smuggling bastard.
So praise be to the Journal of Hospital Infection, which claim that beards could actually be good for your health after all.
Their findings state that clean-shaven men are more than three times as likely to harbour methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA). According to the NHS, MRSA is a form of bacteria that's resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics.
Researchers poked and swapped the faces of 408 hospital workers' faces, from bearded to stubbly to clean-shaven, and came to the conclusion that facial hair could actively fight infection.
The report read: "Our results suggest that male hospital workers with facial hair do not harbour more potentially concerning bacteria than clean-shaven workers, and that in some instances, clean-shaven individuals are significantly more likely to be colonized with potential [hospital acquired disease-causing] pathogens."
Which is great news, but it's slightly too late; because the big beard is dead, and it was killed by former Boyzone crooner Shane Lynch.
Rest in peace beards, 2015 - 2015. It didn't need to end like this.