NOW we know why ZZ Top is still alive and kickin'.

A new study out of the University of Southern Queensland in Australia has found that a big secret to being healthy is a BIG, SEXY BEARD.

Here's why:

#1.)  Beards protect your face from the sun. Men with beards...or bearded ladies in carnivals...are exposed to 30% fewer UV rays on their faces.

#2.)  Beards can trap allergens that might cause asthma attacks.

#3.)  They keep water from leaving your skin, which keeps it moisturized and makes a person's face AGE more slowly.

#4.)  They raise your neck temperature, which helps fight colds.

(Daily Mail)

In honor of this groundbreaking study, here's the song "Got Me a Beard" by The Beards: