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Creative ways Chinese women escape the sun in dog days

By Zhou Bing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-07-11 09:28
A tourist buries herself in sand to protect herself from the sun in Qingdao, Shandong province. [Photo by Wang Haibin/Asianewsphoto]

Corresponding to "dog days" in English, the hottest days of the year in China is called "Fu" (Chinese: 伏), 20-29 days after Summer Solstice. According to the Chinese solar terms, "Fu" appears between Minor Heat and Beginning of Autumn, divided into three phases. In 2018, the first phase of "Fu" will be on the days of July 17 to 26, the second phase will be on July 27 to Aug 15, and the third will continue 10 more days. That is to mean, we are entering "Fu" in one week.

During the scorching days, Chinese women seek many creative ways to escape the sun so that they will not get tanned, as Chinese always regard white skin as beauty. And another reason is that ultraviolet rays of the sun are very harmful to people, burning and aging the skin, or even causing some diseases, like sun related eye and skin complications. 

The most popular ways of sun protection in China are sunscreen, sunshade, sunglasses, sunscreen masks, sunscreen clothes. Sometimes in the beach they even use facekini. Chinese women seldom use only one way to escape the sun. Instead, they use various combinations to intensify the effect.

Here are some tips for sun protection:

1. Choose a suitable sunscreen. Use sunscreen with SPF20 to 35 (PA+ to PA++) in the outdoors while use sunscreen with SPF 50 on the beach. Sunscreen below SPF20 is enough for indoors.

2. Smear sunscreen every two hours to make sure it works.

3. Darker umbrellas have better UV protection.

4. Physical sunblock, like sunscreen clothes and masks, is sometimes more useful than sunscreen.

Besides sun protection, it is a tradition for Chinese people for more than 1,000 years ago to eat cool and refreshing food, such as balsam pear, mung bean soup and cold noodles, to relieve summer heat during the three phases of "Fu".

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