Better than sunscreen: China’s “facekini” offers a new level of skin protection

Fun in the sun just got a whole lot easier for skin-conscious beachgoers in China.

While Americans may be roasting in tanning beds or slathering on oil for a bronzed body look, the beauty ideals in China are quite different.

All across East Asia, people are looking for ways to maintain a pale, milky complexion. Freckles and spots are like unsightly pimples in these cultures, and near-translucent skin is the ideal.

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This can be a difficult goal to accomplish as certain East Asian skin types absorb sunlight and deepen melanin levels more easily than others. It isn’t easy enjoying the beach fully dressed and covered up.

Now, vendors along the beach are offering “facekinis” to those shielding their delicate skin with UV-protected umbrellas. These masks pair well with full-body wetsuits, which won’t let a single ray of sunshine touch the skin.

The masks sell for about two or three dollars on the beach, covering the entire head and leaving holes just for the eyes, lips and nose.

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You may look like some terrifying, beach bum version of a bank robber in these masks, but at least your skin won’t suffer a darker shade! [Vogue]