Is This Sun Protection Gone Too Far?


When it comes to solar defense, Egyptians applied black kohl, Victorians swung their parasols, Americans slathered on the Coppertone, and now, the Chinese are wearing face masks? In the latest bit of weird, tacky, and true news, a new phenomenon in China has women covering up on the beach—face first. The coastal area of Qingdao, northeast of China's Shandong province, recently began mass-producing “Face-Kinis,” a protective head mask that reminds us more of a Zentai hood, a ski mask, or even burglars' pantyhose disguise, than a beach-bound accessory. It makes sense that the assortment of colored and patterned masks are popular among older Asian women who, let’s face it, traditionally value paler, sun-free skin. Whitening, brightening treatments and advanced SPF technology were first developed and popularized in the Asian beauty market, so while we were a bit frightened at first sight, we weren’t completely shocked. The masks are priced at two to four dollars each, and have become a bit of an obsession among women in the area. When you’re exposed to the elements, sometimes sunscreen and shades aren’t enough. If anything, it’s physical SPF elevated, and we don’t blame these women for getting ultra-proactive about their skin’s health.

We’re curious to hear your thoughts. Is this sun safety gone too far, or would you ever wear one of these seaside cover-ups full-frontal? Voice your opinion below!