You've probably seen some headlines recently suggesting that beards are basically toilet bowls — nay, filthier than toilet bowls — and veritably covered in fecal bacteria.

This is probably not a thing you need to worry about.

As Nick Evershed at the Guardian helpfully points out, the "results" aren't from an actual scientific study. Instead, a TV news anchor took a handful of swabs from random dudes' beards and talked to a single microbiologist about what he cultured from them.

And then bacterial fearmongering set in, with outlets making the leap from the detection of gut bacteria to the detection of poo bacteria to the dangerous and gross presence of fecal matter. 

The problem with this is that bacteria known to associate poop is not necessarily literal poop. In fact it's probably not. And saying that something is gross for being covered in bacteria is pretty ridiculous, because anything that exists in our physical realm is definitely going to be covered in bacteria.

I have bad news for y'all: You're covered in poo bacteria. COVERED. Look to your left, look to your right. There's probably poo bacteria on both sides and also in front of you. It's okay. It's really fine. Embrace the poo bacteria, it is a part of you because you are a multitude of microorganisms, each more special than the last.

But unless you've put it there intentionally, you almost certainly don't have poop on your face. No matter how thick your beard is.

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