IT WASN'T SO long ago that tanning was taboo in Hong Kong. But with confusing new data that correlate a dearth in vitamin D with a decrease in sun exposure, many Hongkongers are eschewing sunscreen in the hope of derailing a deficiency. In fact, according to the Hong Kong Cancer Registry, there has been a 53 percent increase in the incidence of new skin cancer cases over the past decade.
Like cigarettes, UV radiation is a class-one carcinogen and its effects are cumulative. In Hong Kong, 70 percent of UV rays are accrued between 10am and 3pm and ultraviolet radiation increases by four percent for every 300-metre rise in altitude. Keep that in mind the next time you trek to The Peak.
Unfortunately it's not enough simply to be a shade-seeker, since tree cover only mitigates about 50 percent of the sun's rays. So instead of burying yourself in the sand all summer – because, let's be honest, even the sand reflects radiation – your best bet is to arm yourself with a high-performance sunscreen.
FOR WATER BABIES
At just half a metre underwater, UV rays are 40 percent as intense as at the surface, so splash safely with Shiseido's Perfect UV Protector SPF50+, which features WetForce technology that is boosted 124 percent when it comes in contact with water.
FOR SUN WORSHIPPERS
You can still get your glow on thanks to Guerlain's Terracotta Sun Moisturiser Tan Booster SPF30, which offers broad-spectrum protection along with a carob-tree derivative that stimulates the production of melanin. To treat sun-stressed tresses, spritz strands with La Biosthetique's Vitalite Express Cheveux, which touts waterproof UV filters and antioxidants to preserve elasticity and shine.
FOR REPENTANT TANNERS
To counteract a youth misspent burning to a crisp, apply Amorepacific's Time Modifying Sun Treatment SPF30, which guards against primary and secondary damage while replenishing the skin's lipid barrier. To conceal sunspots, La Mer's The Reparative Skintint SPF30 is enriched with feather-light pigment technology to camouflage existing imperfections and powerful antioxidant protection to defend against future flaws.
FOR CITY SLICKERS
UV damage is amplified by pollution, so simply strolling around town means you're exposing skin to excess radiation. Dior One Essential City Defense Toxin Shield SPF50 flushes out environmental pollutants, while Chanel's Sublimage La Protection UV SPF50 neutralises damage by targeting the stem cell microenvironment to improve barrier function.