Glowing Vacation Skin

One thing Seattle certainly doesn’t have is humidity. The warm, humid air of Isla Mujeres helps keep your skin hydrated and dewy (when it’s not sweaty). I’ll be doing a series of posts on my recent trip to Isla, which is a small island off of Cancun, Mexico. My boyfriend Brian and I went for five days with another couple, one of whose dad has a place there. This was my third time to the island, and each time the reality of it always outshines my memories. Over the next few posts, I’ll be giving outfit suggestions and recommendations for the island, so stay tuned!

I started taking Accutane for my acne back in December. If you’re not familiar with it, Accutane is a drug that stops the production of oil glands to fight acne. The main side effect is that it dries out your skin. With such dry weather in Seattle, it was a relief to have extra moisture in the air while on Isla, so I didn’t have to sleep with a humidifier. This humidity definitely helps hydrate your skin, but here are the other things I love using in tropical climates to keep my skin glowing!

Every morning, I start off with sunscreen! For my body, I love the Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, since it’s not oily and adds a beautiful but subdued shimmer to your skin. Just like at home, for my face, I use Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer. It’s a light enough layer so it soaks quickly into your skin.

If I’ve been in the sun for a while and feel like I need more coverage, that’s when I’ll use the Neutrogena Sensitive Skin lotion. It does unfortunately show up white under some circumstances and it's more heavy duty than the Hawaiian Tropic.


Being on a tropical island means that makeup should be used sparingly! You’re on vacation - it’s time to let your skin be free! We did go into town for dinners on most nights so I would put on makeup in the afternoons/evenings. In a hot climate, there’s a fine line between glowy and sweaty. I liked putting my makeup on later in the day, so it wouldn’t be as hot and my makeup would be more likely to stay looking fresh. That is one of the perks of Accutane though – since my skin is drier, makeup lasts a lot longer than it did before!

The most important product for keeping your skin glowy instead of sweaty when your makeup will run off, is primer! This Too Faced Hangover primer adds moisture but also helps lock other layers in place. I especially like this one as it’s so hydrating, it’s like adding an extra layer of moisturizer.

For foundation, I chose the L’Oreal Lumi Cushion. The main reason was because I recently got it and am still trying it out, but it builds nicely and was easy to do a single layer of foundation to keep it light coverage. I’ve found a damp beauty blender has been the best applicator for the cushion.

Concealer and bronzer were both my normal go-tos: Clinique Advanced Concealer for acne spots and under my eyes and Sephora’s Los Cabos bronzer for that healthy-glow.

A recent find for me, which is the best final touch for a tropical, glowing look is Morphe’s DD highlighting palette. The sparkle from these shades are amazing! I’ve been loving the bottom left corner color, which pairs well with the Los Cabos bronzer, to finish off the face makeup!


After the amazing days we spent in the water and sun, I had two additions to my night routine that were key to staying hydrated. I love the Burt’s Bees After Sun Soother for anywhere I got sun that day. If I got a bit too much sun, it helps calm down any redness and within a day or two, it’s turned into tan! Even if you didn’t get burnt, putting this on generously really helps alleviate dry, sun-loved skin in a way that also smells refreshing!

I’ll typically use the Kiehl’s moisturizer again at night, but every couple of nights, I like to use the Origin’s Drink Up mask for an extra kick. It feels like a thick moisturizer, more than a mask, and you leave it on all night, so it’s low maintenance as far as masks go.

At Night

Hopefully these recommendations for morning, makeup and at night will help keep your skin dewy and beautiful during your next trip! Comment below with where you’re headed next, I’d love to hear!

Stay tuned for more posts from Isla Mujeres, and follow me on Instagram to stay up to date with new blog posts!

Travel, BeautyKelsey JonesComment