What's a 'Facekini'? Swimwear and Wrestling Garb Add Up to Bizarre Fashion Trend

Two Chinese women wear facekinis with their bikinis
(Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

No, these beachgoers are not part of a wrestling competition. In China, swimmers and beach bums alike are protecting themselves against the sun's rays with something that’s equal parts nifty and creepy — the ‘facekini’.

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Collage of facekini wearers
(Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Typically paired with a wetsuit, the facekini completely blocks out the sun’s rays for those who wear it. No need to reapply greasy sunscreen (which, incidentally, can also cause major harm to marine life)!

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Woman swimming with facekini on
(Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

It’s not exactly a new fashion trend for folks in China, especially in the city of Qingdao. NBC reported that citizens there have more than just sunblock properties in mind — the masks and bodysuits can also protect against jellyfish and pesky insects, they say.

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Children wearing facekinis
(Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

You may be thinking, “Sure, it might work, but ‘fashion trend’? Really?” As it happens, yes. The CR Fashion Book’s Aug. 7 feature, “Masking in the Sun,” analyzes this trend and its implications for beauty standards across the world.

“While our summer beauty routines are devoted to bronzing, self-tanning, and tan-extending, in Asia, beauty-seekers are more likely to center theirs around lightening and brightening,” the issue reads. “Our last swimwear story of the season blends all of the glamour of a Helmut Newton-esque pool party with the idea that a deep tan is the enemy.”