Meno 101 -

Ask a Dermatologist: "What's the right order for my morning skincare routine?"

This board-certified derm has the details.

By Womaness Editors   1-Minute Read

Dermatologist Dr. Sapna Westley on skin in menopause

Welcome to ASK AN EXPERT, a series where we pose your real questions to our menopause experts for the answers you need. Have a question? Post it on The After Party, our private Facebook Group.


Your Question:

“Are there certain routines we should be sticking to in the morning? What should be the order for moisturizer, SPF, etc.? I'd love to know your take on what to do in the AM as a dermatologist...”


The Answer:

From Dr. Sapna Westley, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology: 

I’ve talked about bathing before, but, for drier skin, remember to keep your showers quick using warm (not too hot) water. Then be sure to moisturize when you step out of the shower, right after you towel dry.

For your face, in the morning, I like to start with a very gentle, hydrating cleanser.

If a patient is using an anti-aging ingredient like a vitamin serum, I usually recommend that it goes on clean skin to get the maximum absorption.


“For your face, in the morning, I like to start with a very gentle, hydrating cleanser.”


Then I like to moisturize on top of that with a facial moisturizer—sometimes containing hyaluronic acid, sometimes containing ceramides.

Then on top of that is the most critical ingredient: your sun protection, every day, 365 days a year.

If you have the SPF built into your moisturizer, that is fine. But, depending on your level of exposure and the time of the year, it's sometimes important to have an additional SPF on top of your moisturizer.

From there, makeup can be applied.


Try niacinamide now in The Works smoothing body cream. If you're looking for (gentle!) retinol, start with Plump It Up. Prefer bakuchiol? Reach for Overnight Magic nighttime repair cream.


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Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a physician. Womaness strives to share the knowledge and advice from our network of experts and our own research. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.