Sure, there have been some crazy styles of swimwear out there throughout the ages. (Like Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot; we know there's nothing that's off limits when it comes to bathing suits, even if it was for comedic purposes.) But when does swimwear fashion go too far?
And who could ever forget the monokini? Yes, Kim Kardashian is a fan of the style, Instragramming "Selfish in Mexico" along with her snap of the outrageous swimwear. We hope she used lots of sunscreen, because her choice in suit doesn't exactly offer a lot of coverage.
And now for possibly the most outrageous swim accessory of them all. Introducing the Facekini, which as it sounds, is basically a bikini for your face. And the good people over in China have highly popularized this new piece of swimwear.
The makers of Facekini are perfectly honest about their product. In their description they're perfectly aware that maybe the average person wouldn't be quite used to seeing someone emerge from the water wearing a ski mask. "Facekinis may look unusual, but sun protection clothing like the Facekini, is the #1 most effective form of sun protection for your face, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation."
Now you can get protection from the sun all while looking like you're about to rob a store. But hey, there's no mess, the makers say. "Unlike liquid sun creams and lotions, our Facekinis provide the highest possible rating of protection (UPF 50+) without requiring multiple messy applications to maintain constant protection against the sun."
You best believe that if you wear one of these sun protection masks, you're going to get a lot of questions, if people are brave enough to get near you. One can be yours for the low price of $18, plus the cost of shipping. And they come in endless color combinations like "Pastel Paisley," "Aqua Hearts," and "Blue Rock & Roll."
The FAQ section of the Facekini website addresses some very real concerns regarding the protective garment. "I want to protect my skin, but I'm not sure I feel comfortable wearing a facekini. What can I do to feel more confident?" they ask in their section.
"When wearing a Facekini, take comfort in knowing that you are making the best decision to protect your skin against the sun's harmful UV rays. For decades, outdoor-lovers have developed many different ways to enjoy activities while remaining protected from the sun, so try mixing up your routine by wearing a facekini with your current favorites." So perhaps you want to look like a criminal for Halloween? Facekini's got you covered.
Some of their recommended ways to accessorize your Facekini? Adding a wide brimmed hat, wearing sunglasses over it, or bringing a buddy so that you can both wear a Facekini and double the terror. We mean, double the skin protection.
Sip your smoothie poolside or wade in the water: there's no activity under the sun that you should be afraid to do now that you've discovered the Facekini. It's just other people who will be afraid of you. But at least you've got the sun beat.
Facekini wearers don't don the masks just for protection from the sun's rays. Widely popular in Qingdao, wearers faced extra scares from the ocean. They also use the Facekini as insurance against jellyfish stings, which appear along the coastal shores.
Facekinis were actually invented in 2004, but are recently receiving their moment in the sun. Zhang Shifan created them in the Shandong Province. Fair skin is prized in China, and the masks serve to prevent people's faces from tanning.
The Facekini, although terrifying, does truly offer a potential solution to helping prevent skin cancer. It's predicted to pick up speed in Australia, and already sells more than 30,000 pieces per year. Are you ready to wear the Facekini next time you hit the beach?
All in all, sun protective clothing is no joke, and many brands offer clothes that contain up to 100 SPF coverage built right into the fabric. But those companies had yet to build face masks — before then we just had hats.