Beachgoers In China Have A Strange Way To Protect Their Fair Skin

It’s called the face-kini. Middle-aged women in China do not like getting all tanned on the beach.

That is exactly why they came up with the most unusual piece of swimwear to protect their skin from the sun – the face-kini.

This balaclava-like mask is ideal for beachgoers who wish to protect their fair complexion and make sure they stay away from harmful UV rays.

But it’s not all the innovative face-kini does. According to CNNGo, the face-kini has other benefits, like preventing jellyfish stings, repelling mosquitoes and warding off sharks.

Although the trend started in 2012, it has only just attracted the attention of the World Wide Web after New York-based style magazine CR Fashion Book, headed by former Vogue Paris editor Carine Roitfeld, recently published a photo shoot of gorgeous models wearing face-kinis paired with fancy jewelry.

According to BBC, almost 12 million posts on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Weibo, appeared last week, discussing how the unusual beachwear originated in the city of Qingdao,

"Chinese old women are at the center of the global fashion world," said one comment. "It looks like bank robbers are raiding the beach," others joked.

One user explained the Chinese obsession with “white” or “light-colored” skin on Weibo:

"Since ancient times, a classic beauty in the eyes of the Chinese has white skin," he said. "Girls raised in wealthy families could afford to stay indoors and away from hard labor, and their rosy white skin was a sign of their good fortune."

However, the face-kini is not the only representation of Chinese obsession to protect their skin from sun-exposure.

Apart from the face-kini, the Chinese use special UV-blocking sun umbrellas that can be attached to bike handles. There are also sun-blocking removable sleeves and Batman-style capes. The list goes on.

The idea of face-kinis might sound bizarre to many in the West. However, keeping in mind the fact that up to 90 percent of skin cancers are associated with UV exposure or that one in five Americans will be diagnosed with skin cancer—which includes deadly melanoma—in their lifetime, the odd swimwear does look like a step in the right direction.

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