Clean air isn’t exactly one of our city’s virtues, unfortunately, and we’re susceptible daily to pollution particles in the air, along with UVA and UVB rays — just a few of the major stressors that tire out our skin from living in a busy, cosmopolitan city such as Hong Kong. Make sure your skin gets the protection it needs by stashing up on these skincare products. 

SK-II Atmosphere Airy Light UV Cream

SK-II is known for their skin-refining, brightening products touting the brand’s signature ingredient, Pitera. But even the most crystal clear skin isn’t immune to the harmful rays from the sun, as well as everyday city pollution. SK-II’s new SPF30 PA+++ UV Emulsion (HK$530) solves this with a groundbreaking formula using natural extracts from cactus (a super hydrating antioxidant) and Japanese almond. This creates a physical barrier from UVA, UVB and pesky infrared rays — the latter of which contributes most to signs of ageing. The cream is lightweight and soothing, and leaves a subtle shimmer on the skin.

SK-II, Shop G22, G/F, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Road, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, +852 3104 0263

Chanel UV Essentiel Gel-Crème

If you want your skin to be protected from the inside out, Chanel’s new UV Essentiel Gel-Crème (HK$475) might just be the thing. Boasting SPF 50 PA+++, the product features Small Proline-Rich Proteins (SPPRs) — protective proteins that are naturally present in our skin cells, which get less responsive over time and with stress. The Gel-Crème stimulates these proteins using a tiare flower extract to give you long-lasting protection, as well as making for a smooth, silky finish that can be used as a makeup base or as-is.

Chanel, Shop 1060, 1/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2805 0880

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner

We all know the power of rosewater as a highly nourishing and calming ingredient for the skin. Fresh’s new toner (HK$370) packs in rose fruit extract, rose water, rose flower oil, real rose petals as well as angelica leaf extract and hyaluronic acid for an almighty liquid that helps increase skin hydration up to 46% for six hours after application, even at its deepest levels. But apart from softened skin, it also fully cleanses skin of pollution particles and surface debris, while rose fruit extract helps to refine and minimise pores — perfect for a daily pick-me-up in the mornings or evenings.

Fresh, Shop 1086, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 3572 0126

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Pearl Infusion

Recently unveiled at a high-profile event with Jennifer Tse and a host of Hong Kong glitterati, Swiss luxury skincare brand La Prairie’s latest addition to its White Caviar line promises to impart “liquid light” to the skin. Bottled in pearl-like drops in a clear bottle, the Illuminating Pearl Infusion (HK$4,390) is a powerful product that tackles common problems plagueing city-dwelling women, such as skin dullness and uneven skintone. It helps to brighten and firm up the skin, as well as imparts three chromatic light-barriers to reduce redness and greyness for a sculpted, glowing complexion.

La Prairie, Shop 1077, 1/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2524 6136

Diorsnow Brightening UV Protection Fluid Luminous Finish

For those who prefer an organic and mineral-based product, Dior’s Brightening UV Protection Fluid (HK$500) provides the toughest shields yet against the sun’s harmful rays, providing SPF50+ and PA++++ (the more pluses for the PA protection grade mean the higher protection you get against UVA rays). The formula is airy, lightweight and not sticky, quickly vanishing into the skin after blending.

Dior, Shop 1076, 1/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2870 0543

YSL Blanc Pur Couture UV Protection

Building on its 2015 Blanc Pur Couture skincare line, Yves Saint Laurent has a brand-new, high-powered product that doubles as sunscreen and a tinted base. With SPF50 and PA++++, the Blanc Pur Couture UV Protection (HK$520) effectively protects against UVA rays which penetrate the deepest layers of the skin, and are the biggest contributors to signs of ageing. It’s at the same time a broad spectrum sunscreen, so UVB rays are also taken care of, while an advanced glyco bright complex helps to reflect light and provide a barrier to environmental stressors. It comes in a clear and universal BB shade for those who want sheer, corrective coverage.

YSL Beauty, Shop 2117, 2/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, Hong Kong, +852 3192 4338

Evelyn Lok
Managing Editor
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.