Beards are having a moment in the sun. It shouldn't shock you to hear that beards are pretty popular these days, but did you know that beards can also protect you from the sun, thus preventing skin cancer. Even better than that, the less sun you get means the less your skin looks aged, so our beard-boasting friends get a little boost to their youthful good looks. Yeah, beards are sexy.

But what does that really mean and how did scientists come to this conclusion? You didn't think we'd leave you hanging, did you? Of course, we'll dive into the how and why of this new research. You might even get some pictures of sexy beards along the way. So if you're the proud owner of a beard (or just the lover of a proud owner of a beard) make sure you keep reading to find out why beards are better.

Beards are pretty stellar.

I think we can all agree that a well-manicured facial landscape is a thing of beauty.

Why do we love beards so?

Science doesn't simply accept facts. It wants to know why. WHY are beards so wonderful?

The Study

via: Getty

To test the powers of beards, scientists at the University of Queensland left mannequins out to sit in the sun. Some of the mannequins had beards while others didn't. After leaving them in the sun, the scientists measured the radiation levels absorbed by each.

The findings?

What they found was that a full beard can block up to 90-95% of UV rays. Nice!

Don't throw away your sunscreen just yet though.

“While beards will never be as sun-safe as sunscreen, they certainly are a factor in blocking UV rays," explains lead author Professor Parisi. Apparently, beards aren't all-powerful.

But there are other benefits

We always knew beards were hot, but this study gave us scientific proof: beards can help prevent your skin from aging.

How does that work?

One of the biggest factors in skin developing wrinkles, liver spots and other signs of aging is sun exposure.

Limit the sun, limit the damage.

“Sun exposure is the primary cause of photo-aging and skin damage so it makes sense that if your face is covered by a heavy beard, it may well protect your skin from the signs of aging," says dermatologist Dr. Adam Freidmann.

Grow a beard, keep your youthful glow.

Basically the more facial hair you've got, the safer your skin is. The same applies to head hair too. Keep some luxurious locks up there to reduce the amount of damage your skin takes.

Oh yeah, and don't get cancer.

We probably should have led with this one, shouldn't we? The less sun exposure you get, the less likely you are to get skin cancer. Apparently, we should all be growing beards.

Beards have a great aesthetic.

Let's not forget that beards have cultivated an impressive aesthetic in addition to having important health properties.

There's the classic style.

Manly men. Cigars. Brandy. It's hard to go wrong.

But there are also some more wacky beards out there.

You could add some color!

You could add some impressive styling.

It is possible that this man has gone overboard. Unlikely, but possible.

A little of column a, a little of column b.

You can combine style and color to create some serious facial hair artwork.

That's before you even put anything IN the beard.

Glitterbeard anyone?

The Christmas Beard is like a glitter beard x2.

We see a very practical, everyday look showcased here. You definitely want to grow a beard now, right?

Your beard may protect you from sunlight...

But maybe you want to use it to light things up in a slightly different way.

You can put anything in a beard!

And if you commit it does look cool, because beards are hot and healthy.

Why not embrace a softer side of masculinity?

Throw some flowers in that beard.

Plastic horses?

UV rays definitely aren't getting through those. It's a skin preservation tactic.

Never question your beard choices.

In fact you can wear any dang beard style you choose and feel confident in the knowledge that you're just protecting your skin.

You're sexy and you know it.

Get funky. Beards are hot. Science says so.

And your beard is a work of art.

Wear it proudly in the knowledge that you're actively not getting skin cancer!

So even if this research isn't exactly top notch...

We think it's reason enough to embrace the beard.

So whether you're more of a traditional beard enthusiast...

And trust us when we say we also are traditional beard enthusiasts.

Or pushing the limits of beard-dom.

Color! Sparkle! Style! Decorations!

Now you can rest easy.

Knowing that science supports you and your choices.

The next time someone tells you to shave...

All you have to do is share this study with them so they know you're simply protecting your health.

And looking good while you do it.

Hats off to all our beard having friends. Your facial hair is delightful and so are you.