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New “Fashion Trend” Might Protect You from the Sun, but It Won’t Win You Any Friends

Photo credit: Telegraph/Imaginechina/REX

Every year,  hundreds of millions of people hit the beach to soak up some rays, play in the ocean and relax with a cold one. But a new trend that’s emerging out of China may send you running to the nearest police officer, instead of the running to the water’s edge.

It’s called the “face-kini,” but we think it should just be called creepy. If I saw someone in public wearing this, I’d think one of three things:

• This person is serial killer
• This person is going to rob a bank
• This person just got a laser face lift

Any of those options are scary.

But, what’s the purpose of this…um…unique cover up? Well, it’s a type of sunscreen. Although, admittedly, it kind of looks like a lucha libre — a type of professional wrestling — mask.

Masking in the sun, photographed by @alexandrautzmann. Fashion by @melaniehuynh1

Even a French magazine, CR Fashion Book, picked up a few of the nylon masks and featured them in one of their high-end photo shoots.

Known as the “lianjini” in Mandarin, the face-kini is the brainchild of a 58-year-old woman from Qingdao City. According to state-owned news agency Xinhua, the woman developed the mask to protect herself from the harsh summer sun and jellyfish that lurk in the shallow beach waters.

While they may seem off-the-wall here in the U.S., unless you’re Lady Gaga of course, they’ve become a massive success in China.

Mostly because fairer complexions are highly coveted in Chinese culture. According to Time Magazine, a colloquialism used for beautiful Chinese women is “bai fu mei.” Which translates to fair, rich, beautiful.

This mask clearly has benefits to your long-term skin health, but it’s unlikely to catch on in most western countries. Especially in the tanning-obsessed United States.

So, save the masks for Halloween and just lather on the 70-spf.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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