Step aside sunscreen, the Facekini is taking sun protection to a whole new level

While sunscreen is the most popular way to protect your exposed skin from the sun’s powerful rays, have you heard of the Facekini? It’s popular in East Asia, where having a golden tan (even if that “tan” borders on “burnt”) is not as valued as it is here.

The Facekini, while admittedly bizarre-looking with its resemblance to a ski mask, is one of the most effective ways to keep your skin healthy while enjoying the warmth of the sun. Why? Facekinis feature the highest possible rating of protection (UPF 50+).

“Clothing is our first line of defense against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and protects us by absorbing or blocking much of this radiation,” reads The Skincare Foundation’s website. “The more skin you cover, the better.”

The Facekini prevents 99.8 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays from reaching your skin, while also protecting your face from the effects of too much sun (such as wrinkles, freckles and sun spots). It’s a face mask made with a breathable, stretchy material that easily fits over your head, face and neck. There are openings for the eyes, nose and mouth, so you can still use sunglasses, goggles or anything else you may need to equip yourself for a warm day outdoors.

If you feel a little silly wearing this in public, the brand suggests slipping on some sunglasses over the Facekini or wearing a nice, fashion-forward sunhat. That said, what’s more important: looking good or staying healthy?

The site also cleverly reminds us that “everyone is intrigued by the Facekini. It’s a great conversation starter!”

The hypoallergenic Facekini comes in a variety of fun patterns, ranging from the patriotic stars and stripes to pastel paisley print. So, why not match it to your swimsuit?