Thursday, July 16, 2015Market

New study claims beards are a breeding ground for bacteria

© Thinkstock/L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques

Two research studies have found that beards can contain many bacteria, with some sources claiming it exceeds the average toilet seat; skincare brands have an opportunity to launch cleansing washes and sprays. An analysis by Charlotte Libby (Mintel) for CosmeticOBS-L'Observatoire des Cosmétiques.

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Key points

1. The proportion of men shaving their facial hair has decreased as the fashion for beards continues; the proportion of UK men using shaving preparation products fell 3 percentage points from 2012-13.
 2. The Journal of Anaesthesia reported that beards can spread bacteria following a study investigating surgical masks preventing bacteria, and whether a beard affected the results. Meanwhile, a US TV network swabbed men's beards and tested the results, finding significant bacterial presence.
 3. Mintel’s research shows that nearly a quarter of Italian men’s toiletries users would be interested in beard cleansers.

Men are more focused on grooming their facial hair

The fashion for beards and facial hair has continued to gather pace since 2013, and as a result men are spending more time grooming and styling their facial hair. As many as four in 10 German and Italian men, for example, now have a beard or stubble.

France, Germany, Italy and Spain, attitudes towards beards, 2013

% men

France

Germany

Italy

Spain

I have a beard/stubble

22

40

39

31

I ensure that my beard/stubble always looks neat

8

22

27

18

Base: male internet users aged 16+ (France 972; Germany 992; Italy 991; Spain 1,001) …

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