Heatwave-struggling beachgoers turn to wacky ‘facekinis’ for protection

The heatwave sizzling swathes of Europe at around 40C has forced people to take drastic measures to protect themselves.

Meteorologists say people should prepare for the worst as temperatures may go past the current European record of 48.8C, set in Sicily, Italy, in August 2021.

Ele Hands, Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, warned the weather woes would "persist and slowly intensify" across the next week.

READ MORE: Britain to be battered by 10 days of torrential downpours and fierce winds

Brits may be forced to follow suit of beachgoers in Bejing, who have taken to wearing “facekinis” in an effort to protect their skin from harsh sun exposure.

Ground surface temperatures in the country have reached 80C, forcing people to carry portable fans or cover-ups.

Some facekinis, a mask with holes for your eyes and nose, even have built-in fans.

Others come with separate sleeves to cover arms, as well as wide-brimmed hats and lightweight jackets made out of UV-resistant fabric, have become especially popular.

Speaking to The Guardian, Wang, a worker who sells hates said: “Compared to before the pandemic, two or three years ago, this year is much, much better than previous years. Sales volume is definitely up a lot this year”.

In some East Asian cultures prefer fair skin, and take serious steps to protect their skin from tanning and sun damage-induced ageing.

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“The main concern I have is potential skin diseases, or developing sunspots,” said Li Xuyan, a 17-year-old student who was visiting a tourist area in Beijing with her mother, both wearing masks that covered most of their faces.

Expert Hands says the overnight heat is "when you really get the health risks" and Met Office reports indicate overnight temperatures could rise to an uncomfortable 30C in some parts of Europe.

Robert Vautard, a climate scientist, said: "My worry is really health – the health of vulnerable people who live just below the rooftops of houses that are not prepared for such high temperatures. That could create a lot of deaths."

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His worries were echoed by World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who says the climate crisis "is not a warning. It's happening."

Scientists have continually warned fossil fuel emissions would make heatwaves more frequent, and it would appear the current Charon storm is set to stick around a while longer.

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