Nicole Curtis, special to wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Beards offer more than just a symbol of masculinity.
A recent article by Mother Nature Network shows having a beard can benefit your health.
The study says beards protect against the sun. Beards block 90 to 95 percent of UV rays, slowing the aging process and reducing the risk of skin cancer, according to the University of Southern Queensland.
Dermatologist Dr. Nick Lowe tells Mother Nature Network that hair generally offers good protection against sun.
"It's similar to an SPF," he says. "The higher the hair density and thickness, the higher the SPF."
Facial hair near the nose reduces asthma and allergy symptoms, according to the study. Experts suggest that mustaches can also act as a filter and stop allergens before they settle in.
© 2014 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.