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Pharmacy finds: 5 classic beauty products from Hong Kong drug stores

Karen Chan – Guest Blogger

Step into any of the beauty emporiums in Hong Kong, and be prepared for a sensory overload. Brimming with products from all over the world for every part of your body imaginable, travellers often don’t know where to even start shopping.

But we are firm believers that classic beauty never goes out of style. Whatever trends you’re trying, shining hair, fresh skin and clean scents remain the basis of any look. So drop the beauty fads, and try five iconic beauty products handed down from our grandparents’ generation:

1.Oronine H Ointment (娥羅納英H軟膏)


With over 60 years of history, the Oronine H Ointment is still the number 1 cream for minor skin irritations in many households, including blemishes, rosacea, sores and scratches. The ointment itself is pleasantly scented and quite thick, making it more suitable for application in targeted areas rather than as an all-over cream. It now comes in a handy tube packaging, perfect for slipping into your purse before you head out!

2.Two Girls Florida Water (雙妹嚜花露水)


Founded in 1898, Two Girls was the first cosmetics brand created to cater for local families. The brand had four best-selling products: Florida Water, hair oil, a face cream and talcum powder. Among these, the Florida Water is still beloved by grannies and hipsters alike today. This deliciously scented floral water can be directly applied to the skin to soothe bug bites, or added to a hot bath for fragrant skin that lasts for hours.

3.Bigen Hair Color Conditioner (美源髮采)


Bigen Hair Color Conditioner is featured in one of the most memorable Hong Kong commercials ever made – just ask any local on the street, and they’ll be able to quote the dialogue back to you, word by word. And while you may mock its unbearably old-school packaging, at least it does what it promises: give you a crop of shining black hair in just 5 minutes. No muss, no fuss, just results. What more can you ask for?

4.Liu Yi San (六一散)


Okay, so Liu Yi San might not be readily available in drug stores, but you can ask for it in any Chinese herbal store. Originally ingested with water as a quick remedy for irritability and dizziness, the powder can also be used as a substitute for talcum powder to calm rosacea. Some grandmothers even apply it on their face to remove shine, but you can simply apply all over your body for silky smooth skin.

5.Brylcreem (百利髮乳)


The granddaddy of hair pomades, Brylcreem was reputedly used by Tony Leung to create his slick hairdo for In The Mood For Love. The texture of the pomade is quite dense, with an oily finish that leaves a sheen in your hair. With slicked-backs and side-parts making a comeback in men’s hairstyles, swap in Brylcreem for a retro look that’s 100% on-point!


Karen Chan is a local English copywriter who churns out social posts and taglines for a living. Inspired by her fellow copywriter, she has discovered the joy of working out, and is currently on a quest to live as healthily as her sweet tooth allows. In her spare time, she also loves trying new cafés and restaurants around the city.