We all love the blue sky, beach days of summer – that is until our complexions show signs of the daily battle between high humidity and harsh air-conditioning. Getting beach- and pool-ready is definitely a job for the experts so the Expat Living team chats with the skin savers at Flawless and The Strand to get their choices of the best skin facial treatments to prep for summer lovin’ in part two of our How to Look Hot in the Heat series.
When it comes to the changing seasons, living in Hong Kong can have both pros and cons for our skin. The higher moisture levels are generally good for the skin but can sometimes result in oily t-zones, breakouts and less than perfect pores. On top of that, we also have the harsh drying effects of air-con.
The key, it seems, is to change our beauty routines for the summer months. Swapping heavy day creams for lighter lotions and serums with built-in antioxidants to combat and reverse the ageing effects of the environment. At night, it’s time to up the moisture with highly nourishing night creams. Thorough cleansing is also essential; exfoliate regularly to remove dead cells, and add masks to your regime to deep cleanse and brighten.
It goes without saying that sun protection is a daily essential. All day moisturisers should contain a high SPF – look for eye creams with similar protection. If you want further peace of mind then take daily pomegranate supplements, like Murad Pomphenol, which boosts the skin’s natural sun protection.
Vitamin C Illuminator Facial, The Strand
Dr Murad, author of best-selling book Wrinkle-Free Forever, is something of a lifesaver when it comes to creating products for those of us living in hot, humid climates. Hailing from Los Angeles, his beauty range, which sits neatly between cosmetics and medical treatments, is a favourite of stars including Jerry Hall who thanks regular Murad facials for her ability to maintain her line-free skin.
We visited the delightful Tamara at The Strand to sample Dr Murad’s Vitamin C facial, said to be the perfect summer choice. Not only do the Intensive–C products result in a brighter, more luminous complexion, they also up the antioxidants levels to reverse the effects of pollution, plus they’re proven to lessen sun pigmentation including freckles.
The treatment follows Murad’s usual three-step plan of cleanse, treat then moisturise. First the grime of the city is swept away using a light cleanser before a deeper exfoliation using AHA/BHA cleanser (a combination of salicylic, lactic and glycolic acids and jojoba beads, said to dissolve dead skin cell build-up). Murad is a big believer in the benefits of exfoliation, especially for those of us not in the prime of youth, as cell regeneration happens at a slightly slower pace as we age.
The treatment part of the facial is where the magic really happens. The Vitamin C infusion Mask is packed full of antioxidants and is massaged into the face and décolleté with the aim of reversing the signs of environmental damage and reducing sunspots. The product contains 40-percent ascorbic acid, which does cause some tingling, but Tamara combats this with an all over face-and-head massage. For those with some problem patches, a further mask of deep clay is applied to help further draw out any impurities followed by some pretty painless extractions.
After all the hard work is done, it’s time for a soothing mask to increase hydration levels and restore balance. The result of this antioxidant-heavy treatment was skin with more clarity, texture and firmness. This is the one to make sure your skin stays healthy, plumped and protected over the summer.
18 Cochrane Street, Central
2850 7686 | thestrandhk.com
Pollution Lift Facial, Flawless
Often it may feel like we are fighting a losing battle with the pollution but when it comes to its effects on our skin, thankfully there is a helping hand from day spa Flawless in the form of their Aromatherapy Associates Pollution Lift Facial.
The first tick in the box for this facial is the quality of the products used. The Rose Infinity Range is based on Nobel prize-winning research and the cleanser, moisturiser and eye cream really pack a punch when it comes to cleansing and refining the complexion. The research found that telomeres in our chromosomes play a central role in the ageing process; degeneration here occurs through genetic, environmental and stress factors. The new products contain soy and yeast proteins and plant stem cells that actually protect and rebuild the telomeres and support skin regeneration and boost collagen.
Along with these results-driven products, the facial has another trick up its sleeve with its Lift System, a machine that delivers high frequency, anti-bacterial currents direct to the deeper layers of the skin. The system not only offers a relaxing facial massage (admittedly with a very slight tingling sensation) but also ensures a deeper cleanse. The result of all this technology? Bright and clear skin, reduced lines around the eyes, plumper lips and a more vibrant illuminated complexion.
4/F, Sea Bird House, 22-24 Wyndham Street, Central
2869 5869 | flawless.hk.com
4-step face action plan
- Hydrated skin is healthy skin: keep drinking water and choose a rich night cream while sleeping in air-con.
- Exfoliate regularly to clear the skin of dead skin cells.
- Change to a lighter moisturiser for day to help combat the high humidity.
- Make sure you wear a moisturiser with high SPF.