It’s not just summer that’s heating up. Across the Northern Hemisphere, the planet is experiencing record-high temperatures thanks to a combination of El Niño and heat-trapping air pollution that’s raising the Earth’s average temperature.
According to The Byte, that has led to an absurd-yet-understandable new fashion trend in Beijing: the “facekini.”
A “facekini” is a head covering similar to a lightweight ski mask, The Byte explains. But instead of keeping in warmth, this UV-resistant garment keeps sunlight out. The only openings are for the eyes, mouth, and nostrils.
The facekini has become more popular in the past few years as China’s temperature has increased, The Byte reports. The air temperature has reportedly reached as high as 95 degrees Fahrenheit this summer — and the ground was a scorching 176 degrees.
The Byte also reports residents and visitors of Beijing wearing protective arm sleeves made of similar materials to the facekini, as well as broad-brimmed hats with built-in fans.
Why are Beijing inhabitants going so far?
As The Byte explains, the facekini arose where practical concerns met cultural ones. Wearers worry about skin cancer due to too much UV exposure on hot, sunny days. “The main concern I have is potential skin diseases,” Li Xuyan, a 17-year-old student, told the Guardian.
“Are facekinis dystopian? Undoubtably,” The Byte said. “But with temperatures rising all around the scorching — as in, literally-on-fire — planet we call home, we might expect to see any number of similarly Mad Max–ish heat wear fly off shelves in the coming years.”
What can I do to protect my skin?
If you’d rather not put on a scarecrow mask to go outside, the CDC recommends wearing sunscreen. A wide-brimmed hat also shades your face from UV rays, or you can just stay in the shade.
The CDC also reminds readers that clouds don’t block UV radiation, so sun protection is just as important on cloudy days.
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