Skin to Skin (Pt. 1)


For 2021, I’m really going to try to force myself to push for 1 post a month. I went as far as asking on my instagram (@realhousewifeofkirkland) for ideas on posts so I’m not just staring at the screen and wondering what to type… I was graced with lots of topics and naturally, I’m going to start with the easiest! I was asked to doing a comparison of my skin care routine in Barbados vs Washington.

When I first started to write this, I thought it was going to be easy… mention all the skin care products I used while in Barbados and what I use in Washington (state). But after a trip to the dermatologist, I realized that would be a disservice to you and you should get the full picture on managing your skin in two very different climates. Also, because I’m packing so much into this post, I’m going to break it into two parts. This post will focus on Barbados, and when I return to WA I will post part two, so you can see how I manage the transition.

At the end of last year, we packed up the family and came to Barbados for a “break”. In packing, my skin care gave me just as much stress as thinking of what to pack for clothes and shoes. But I went to basics and considered the climate and my basic needs and what was most important for me to have. So let’s start!


Barbados is WARM. Warmth = lighter and fewer products.


  • Cleanser (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser) – perfect for any skin type, skin feels refreshed by not dry after washing.
  • Toner (Indie Lee CoQ-10 Toner) – Light and a really good second cleanser.
  • Toner #2 (Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultra Facial Toner) – This is my go-to in WA, so it’ll be in pt. 2. I forgot I threw a travel sized bottle in my bag and I’m glad I did. This is a little too thick for Barbados but I haven’t been able to find a good substitute for my skin, so I’ve been using this after my Indie Lee ran out.
  • Serum (Summer Fridays CC Me Serum) – I used this product first, til the LAST drop and I ADORE it. My skin is up in arms now that I’ve run out.
  • Serum #2 (Sunday Riley C.E.O Rapid Flash Brightening Serum) – I still miss my CC Me but my skin is getting it’s Vitamin C. I brought this because I received it in a FabFitFun box (or some box) and figured now would be a good time to try it. Not sure I’d purchase, but I should probably try it in WA to see if I get a different response. It’s a bit greasy for here.
  • Sunscreen (Supergoop! City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30) – the lightest, multifunction sunscreen that doesn’t leave my black skin with a white film over it. I’d also brought Supergoop’s Glow Screen which is tinted, but it caused a white tint on my skin. I loved the dewy effect, so I started to mix a little with the City Serum to get the best of both worlds and that worked. This La Roche-Posay sunscreen has also been in my rotation on lazy days.

Nothing more for me. During the day when you sweat and just feel hot, the last thing I want is for my skin to feel like it’s just got this extra layer caked on top. I do not wear makeup. I fill in my eyebrows and lip balm and that’s it! I believe in dumping my money into good skin care products so I do not have to wear makeup daily. I also HATE removing it!

Who wants to wear makeup in this heat?!? A fresh face can’t be beat!


  • Cleanser (same as above) – I managed to get the huge bottle from Nordstrom’s anniversary sale and you use very little, so there’s still quite a bit after 3 months. And if/when I run out, I packed a travel size just in case I need more.
  • Toner (Ren Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic) – I bought this here to supplement my toner at night. I had to use it every other night at first to get my skin used to the acids. Now I use it every night just fine. But I do not use it during the day, nighttime only for my sensitive skin!
  • Eye cream (Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask) – This is another product I received in a box and I figured I’d give it a try here. I love it, and when it’s gone, I’ll purchase it.
  • Serum (The Ordinary “Buffet” + Copper Peptides 1%) – Another box item! I like this multifunction product at night. I also think The Ordinary has amazing products for an excellent price.
  • Night Moisturizer (Summer Fridays Jeg Lag Mask / Farmacy Honey Drop Lightweight Moisturizer) OK! So I sleep in AC. Depending on how my skin felt for the day, I decide on which product to use. If I think I need more TLC, I grab my Jet Lag mask, otherwise, Honey Drop.
  • Night Cream (REN Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream) This came in a little set with the toner and I quite like it. Enough that I would purchase a full size bottle. I use it at night as my 1 stop shop after toner if I’m being lazy.

I don’t want to call myself lazy, but I can be… So I opt for products that are multifunctional to help me get ready faster and pack in as much on my skin without actually putting a lot of product on my skin. It definitely works for my mom routine as well!

Edit: PACK EVERYTHING. My trip to the dermatologist taught me that I should’ve gotten prescription meds for my eczema that rarely acts up. Normally I’d use my son’s prescription cream, it would clear up and we’d be ok. But for this extended trip (read: extended time in the sun/hot climate) I needed something stronger. This was for my arms. The dermatologist explained that sometimes you need to use steroids for a week to two weeks to help clear any flare ups. Something else happened. My chest started to flare up. Flare up how? I started to get little bumps like it was breaking out. I started using the REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic at night and during the day I added a little sunscreen to protect this area that I never really considered to be part of my facial routine. It started to clear up and become a little happier and that made me feel better.

Basically, your body is exposed to more trying to wear less in the heat. Use your [facial] skin care routine on other parts of your body if you have to calm it a little, or simply do more for your skin besides wash it and lather it with cream/sunscreen. Also, exfoliate more, I’ve been using these gloves daily (available in iMart in Barbados). I never considered all of this stuff because they were never an issue before. But we’ve been here for 3+ months now and the longest I’ve been here since I left in 2009 is for 5 weeks after my daughter was born, so my body isn’t used to this.

I learned about some spots on my face at the trip to the dermatologist. I used to have very clear skin, and over the last 5-7 years, I noticed “dark spots” that weren’t moving even when other spots were going away with brighteners, etc. One dermatologist in WA noted they were something like “freckles” nothing for me to worry about, but I couldn’t settle for that. I thought, and she said, wearing sunscreen will help to minimize future growth. She was so sure they were nothing to worry about, that not much was said on them and they were basically brushed off. Well, one of my reasons for seeing a dermatologist here, was because she was of the same race and I hoped she’d offer more insight. The little brown spots are called pigmented papillomas (not as bad as what you see when you google it) and it’s my hormones that caused them, not the sun. This made sense. It was around the time I was pregnant with my son that I noticed it more. They’re small and tiny right now, but as I get on in my years, and they happen to grow bigger, I can have them lasered off and all will be well. I’m saying this to say, it’s important to go to doctors who listen to your concerns and also know about your skin. Our skin and body compositions do not fall under the “norm” so always get that follow up to help set your mind at ease if you have any concerns.

Until next time,

(I promise to have more pics next time! It just wasn’t going to happen for this post 😦 )

Stay safe!


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