Women in China have crafted an odd garment to save them from sun's powerful UV rays - and it's starting to catch on.

Beachgoers in China's eastern city of Qingdao, have been seen sporting Mexican wrestler-style headgear dubbed the 'face-kini' for years, but now the interesting trend is catching on worldwide as fashion-enthusiasts begin to embrace it, BBC online reports.

The face-kini features in a recent photoshoot by New York-based magazine CR Fashion Book, with models lounging poolside wearing the mask.

In a post on CR Fashion Book's blog, they explain, "Our latest summer story represents an opposing ideal of beauty altogether with masked poolside models set out to soak up as little sun as possible".


The blog goes on to say that the swimwear shoot "blends all of the glamour of a Helmut Newton-esque pool party with the idea that a deep tan is the enemy".

Users on social media around the world have been quick to criticise the piece, with many finding the mask's transformation into a fashion trend amusing as it is usually worn by middle-aged beachgoers.

Chinese swimmers wearing body suits and protective head masks swim in the sea on a public beach in Qingdao, China. Photo / Getty Images

Twitter user @andreakadalie said "Really? A Facekini? I prefer sunblock!" and another said "Want to rob a bank after a day at the beach avoiding a tan? With the versatile facekini there's no need for a balaclava."

Really? A Facekini? I prefer sunblock! pic.twitter.com/MnOhm1mH

While the look may be ideal for some, with benefits of protecting sensitive skin from the sun's harsh rays, the face-kini begs the question this summer: will you be heading to the beach wearing a full-covered face mask or will you wear the tired old trend of a sunhat and sunscreen?

- nzherald.co.nz