Beat Hong Kong’s heat and humidity with our tried-and-tested beauty tips and products that will keep you cool all summer long.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Hong Kong’s high humidity levels are no joke. This sweltering city is met with unbearable humidity nine months a year and soaring temperatures (climate change is very real!) that have us desperate to be wearing as little as possible, making as little movement as possible, all while parked by an AC. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to beating the heat with tried-and-tested beauty tips, as well as our favourite products to deal with Hong Kong’s humidity and keep cool all summer long.
5 Tips & Tricks Plus Our Favourite Products
Switch To A Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser
As we move from colder, drier weather into that sticky-hot, sweaty heat — it might be time to swap some of your basics! This includes your gentle lightweight cleanser, that you use morning and night. In summer, you might want to switch to something a little stronger, to remove the dust particles, pollutants and dirt that accumulate on your face both overnight and throughout the day.
In particular, a face wash with a chemical exfoliant (we’d stay away from physical scrubs on the face!) like a beta-hydroxy acid, alpha hydroxy acid or polyhydroxy acid (BHA, AHA or PHA) will help your skin shed dead cells, stop build-up, reduce your sebum production and keep your pores clear. If your skin is more sensitive or new to chemical exfoliants, we’d suggest starting with a cleanser that incorporates a weaker acid.
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Reach For Products With Oil-Controlling Ingredients Like Kaolin Clay or Charcoal
To stop the feel of greasy skin and the look of excess shine, reach for sebum-controlling products. Try charcoal or kaolin clay-infused wash-0ff masks that absorb excess oil on your skin and draw out impurities (like dirt or grease) from your pores. Routine masking will help you keep your skin balanced and help regulate your oil-moisture levels.
In terms of makeup, this is the time to look to mattifying primers, powders and setting sprays!
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Don’t Forget To Moisturise!
No matter what the weather is like in Hong Kong, make sure to moisturise your skin to lock in hydration and create a protective layer against harmful external factors. To avoid feeling uncomfortable in the heat and humidity, put aside denser “heavy-feel” creams and reach for lightweight water-based and gel-type moisturisers. If you don’t moisturise, your skin will secrete more oil than normal as a defence mechanism!
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Never Skip Sun Protection
No matter how gloomy the day seems, where humidity levels stand or what skin type you have — always use sun protection. We’re often told that products with SPF are heavy, greasy and come with a dreaded white cast finish on the skin. To avoid all of this, reach for sunscreens in essence and gel forms which seamlessly glide onto the skin and offer a refreshing layer of UV protection; leaving you wondering if you’ve applied any sunscreen at all.
Refresh And Reset With A Face Mist
Keeping a facial mist and oil blotting sheets within reach can quickly soothe and refresh your skin in the thick of humidity. These two products come in handy when your skin needs a quick hydration boost and an immediate solution to remove excess sebum. Best of all, they’re both compact enough to carry around in your pouch or leave on your work desk!
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What Is Humidity And What Does It Do To Our Skin?
Humidity refers to the amount of water vapour around you, so high humidity means significant moisture levels in the air. This does a number of things including not allowing sweat to evaporate, which leaves your body feeling hot and sticky. To cool off, you have to work harder — which means even more sweat and respiration.
High humidity also forces your pores to expand, opening up and collecting dirt and other fine particles that fly in. Think of this as nature’s sauna but, unfortunately, a more polluted version.
Your skin might even increase its sebum production in high humidity. The term sebum is used for that oily, waxy substance produced by your body’s sebaceous glands. It coats your skin and actually helps to moisturise and protect, but too much of it is what leads to that feeling of “oily skin” and the look of excess shine. And, excess sebum can lead to congestion and blocking of your pores.
Basically, Hong Kong’s humid conditions lead to skin congestion, as a mixture of sweat, dust and pollutants builds up, leading to potential heat rashes, clogged pores, and inevitable acne and breakouts.
Editor’s Note: “Beat-The-Heat Beauty Tips & Products To Keep Cool In Hong Kong Humidity” was originally published by Agnes Wong and most recently updated in June 2023 by Sakina Abidi. All listed prices were correct at the time of publication.
Please note that this article contains some affiliate links to products and we may receive a commission for select purchases.
Main image courtesy of Armin Rimoldi via Pexels, image 1 courtesy of CAUDALIE, image 2 courtesy of Polina Kovaleva via Pexels, image 3 courtesy of Sora Shimazaki via Pexels, image 4 courtesy of Supergoop! via Instagram, image 5 courtesy of Darina Belonogova via Pexels, image 6 courtesy of Faruk Tokluoğlu via Unsplash.