In China, women are taking sun protection to a whole new level. A recent trend amongst Chinese women has appeared on beaches around the country with women donning specially created face masks to shield their skin from the sun.
The masks are made of stretchy fabric often used in bathing suits and gaining popularity in Qingdao, China.
Being fair skinned has been a part of Chinese culture for quite some time, with upper echelon Chinese fearing that they will look "lower class" if they have tanned skin.
An archaic belief in China's traditional society is that people who do manual labor outside are seen as lower class, hence the no-tanning craze.One beach goer said to The New York Times, "A woman should always have fair skin. Otherwise people will think you're a peasant."
The booming industry of sun protection in China comes from the traditional belief that a fair complexion equals beauty, the Chinese saying, "fair skin conceals a thousand flaws," further enforces the countries view on tanning.
Sun protection is a major industry for the Chinese market with not just masks being popular items. Summer parasols have always been a mainstay to deter harmful rays and sun protection gloves are also a popular item.
The masks are a fairly new product and not all beach goers are loving the new trend. Sun Li, 43, a gynecologist said to The New York Times, "That is way over the top."
The masks are a specialty of Qingdao and some reported that the demand is so high for them that many stores are even running out of supplies. Apparently however, this is partially due to the fact that photographs of the mask became viral on the internet and local government ordered businesses to stop selling them because of concerns over "quality control."