CLOSE
Original image
Getty

Beards Keep You Healthy and Handsome, According to Science

Original image
Getty

Don't let the prospect of microbial nastiness scare you away: According to researchers from the University of Southern Queensland, a thick, rugged beard also offers benefits that make the person they’re attached to healthier and handsomer.

In their 2012 study, researchers left a group of mannequins, some bearded and some bare-faced, under the harsh sun of the Australian outback. When they compared the amount of radiation absorbed by each subject, they found that the beards blocked 90 to 95 percent of the harmful UV rays from the faces of the mannequins. This level of built-in protection in human beard-owners would successfully slow the aging process and reduce the risk of one day developing skin cancer.

"Facial hair has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of anywhere from 2 to 21," one scientist on the study, Alfio Parisi, told Men's Journal. "The percentage of UV blocked to the skin depends on the thickness and angle of the sun. ... Provided the beard is of reasonable thickness, I do not think there is a need to slather sunscreen over the beard due to the protection it provides." Though the adequate thickness of a beard can be hard to quantify, Parisi told Men's Journal that "it has to be a thick bushy beard and not just stubble."

Beards are also good at capturing dust and pollen, which sounds like bad news for people with asthma or hay fever. Instead, they work like fuzzy fortresses, protecting your nose, eyes, and mouth from irritants. What's more, an impressive coat of facial hair retains moisture and acts as a barrier against harsh wind, keeping the skin underneath fresh and youthful.

For men who sport their beards with pride, the fact that their appeal is supported by science may come as no surprise. For those who feel pressured to bare all, it’s just one more reason to toss the razor and embrace the beard.

[h/t: Lost at E Minor]

Original image
Target
arrow
This Just In
Target Expands Its Clothing Options to Fit Kids With Special Needs
Original image
Target

For kids with disabilities and their parents, shopping for clothing isn’t always as easy as picking out cute outfits. Comfort and adaptability often take precedence over style, but with new inclusive clothing options, Target wants to make it so families don’t have to choose one over the other.

As PopSugar reports, the adaptive apparel is part of Target’s existing Cat & Jack clothing line. The collection already includes items made without uncomfortable tags and seams for kids prone to sensory overload. The latest additions to the lineup will be geared toward wearers whose disabilities affect them physically.

Among the 40 new pieces are leggings, hoodies, t-shirts, bodysuits, and winter jackets. To make them easier to wear, Target added features like diaper openings for bigger children, zip-off sleeves, and hidden snap and zip seams near the back, front, and sides. With more ways to put the clothes on and take them off, the hope is that kids and parents will have a less stressful time getting ready in the morning than they would with conventionally tailored apparel.

The new clothing will retail for $5 to $40 when it debuts exclusively online on October 22. You can get a sneak peek at some of the items below.

Adaptive jacket from Target.
\

Adaptive apparel from Target.

Adaptive apparel from Target.

Adaptive apparel from Target.

[h/t PopSugar]

All images courtesy of Target.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Big Questions
Why Do Shorts Cost as Much as Pants?
Original image
iStock

Shorts may feel nice and breezy on your legs on a warm summer’s day, but they’re not so gentle on your wallet. In general, a pair of shorts isn’t any cheaper than a pair of pants, despite one obviously using less fabric than the other. So what gives?

It turns out clothing retailers aren’t trying to rip you off; they’re just pricing shorts according to what it costs to produce them. Extra material does go into a full pair of pants but not as much as you may think. As Esquire explains, shorts that don’t fall past your knees may contain just a fifth less fabric than ankle-length trousers. This is because most of the cloth in these items is sewn into the top half.

Those same details that end up accounting for most of the material—flies, pockets, belt loops, waist bands—also require the most human labor to make. This is where the true cost of a garment is determined. The physical cotton in blue jeans accounts for just a small fraction of its price tag. Most of that money goes to pay the people stitching it together, and they put in roughly the same amount of time whether they’re working on a pair of boot cut jeans or some Daisy Dukes.

This price trend crops up across the fashion spectrum, but it’s most apparent in pants and shorts. For example, short-sleeved shirts cost roughly the same as long-sleeved shirts, but complicated stitching in shirt cuffs that you don’t see in pant legs can throw this dynamic off. There are also numerous invisible factors that make some shorts more expensive than nearly identical pairs, like where they were made, marketing costs, and the brand on the label. If that doesn’t make spending $40 on something that covers just a sliver of leg any easier to swallow, maybe check to see what you have in your closet before going on your next shopping spree.

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios