Take a good look around at any ski resort--especially one where powder days and cold temperatures are rules of the season--and you'll notice something: a lot of beards. I don't really have the time or resources to put to the task, but I'm betting if you did a study on the prevalence of beards in mountain towns, they'd double or triple the prevalence in cities and suburbs. They might even compete with the mountain towns of old--gold mining settlements.
You see, these hardened locals have learned something after season after season of face shots and wind burn: beards=warmth.
But what happens if you can't grow a beard--say if you're a lady? Or if you find a beard horribly, horribly itchy and uncomfortable? Or if your beard is patchier than a 1980s denim jacket? Do you just go cold?
No, of course you don't. You could just go with a neck warmer or balaclava, but beards are about style as much as they are warmth: you want to show the world you're a hardened mountain man that doesn't care about personal grooming. So you get a Five O'Clock Shadow.
Not a five o'clock shadow, but a Five O'Clock Shadow. Yes, you can buy a facemask that's basically a knit beard. The beard-masks wrap around your face and ears with elastic and provide protection from the wind and cold. Looks-wise, they range from knit-face-blanket to full-on faux-beard.
I found out about these when a promo girl was handing out info, and let me tell you--they look kind of freaky on the ladies. At least the one that looks like a real beard does. But for dude's that have issues with real beards, these are a great alternative.
Find them at Five-Oclockshadow.com.