17/08/2014 08:09 BST | Updated 17/08/2014 12:59 BST

The Face-Kini Trend On China's Beaches Protects From UV Rays And Jellyfish

Swimmers in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao have already made waves on the Internet for their bizarre swimming gear: colourful, full-face masks.

Dubbed "facekini," the fabric masks cover a swimmer's entire head and neck down to the collar bones.

Holes are cut for eyes, nostrils and mouth. One woman told Rex that the mask not only helps her from getting tanned, it also prevents jellyfish.

The face-kinis, which have been a trend for a number of years, are often sold to match long-sleeved bathing suits, and made from the same stretchy material, in different colours and patterns.

Photo gallery Face-kini in China See Gallery

Pales skin has long been fashionable in China, with department stores and well-known Western fashion brands adding 'skin whitener' to many of their beauty products.

But fashion magazines in China have noticed a changing of attitudes in recent years, according to a BBC investigation, with young Chinese men and women no longer associated a dark skin with poverty and labouring in the fields, but as a status symbol showing one can afford a foreign holiday.

Helena Hu, senior beauty editor of Elle magazine, told the BBC that the magazine had been using models with tanned skins for a number of years. More and more models will tan their skin to make their looks more international; darker skin means healthier body, it's sexier," she said.