Tips to edit your Skincare + Makeup Products from Modern Dermatology

With extra time at home, many of us are taking the opportunity to clean out closets and junk drawers to “spark joy” during a time of anxiety and worry. We tapped the expertise of Dr. Rhonda Klein and Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson who are the founders of Modern Dermatology in Westport, CT for their advice on how to edit your skincare + makeup products and establish a new routine to care for your skin.

📸 @brookeallisonphoto 


 Step 1: When in Doubt Throw it Out

 Just like most things, skincare and makeup products expire and chances are you’re holding on to some items that should be tossed. Start by taking everything out and spreading across your countertop. Some will have obvious expiration dates on them, but for those that are less obvious you can check out this app called BeautyKeeper that might help. We’ve summarized some common guidelines here:

  1. Mascara: 3 months
  2. Lipstick/balm: 1 year
  3. Liquid foundation: 1 year
  4. Powders (eyeshadow, blush, face powder): 2 years
  5. Cleansers: 1 years
  6. Serums: 6 months
  7. Moisturizers: 6 months – 1 year


Step 2: Refresh Your Routine

With some extra time and need for pampering, it’s a good time to establish a skincare routine, or switch up the one you’ve been doing. We have an amazing selection of medical-grade skincare brands at our office (we are currently offering curbside pickup!), and many are also available for eComm purchase. If you have a question about a product email us at When thinking about your routine it’s important to remember that order of application matters. If you’re putting a potent (and likely pricey!) serum or Rx treatment on after you’ve moisturized, then you’re not getting adequate product penetration. Below are general guidelines, and you can view Dr. Robinson and Dr. Klein’s individual AM/PM skincare routines on our blog.


  1. Cleanse. Always start the day with a clean slate. Use something gentle in the morning.
  2. Toner (if you use one, in general, we don’t recommend toners as they aren’t necessary and may be drying).
  3. Prescription or topical spot treater. This is when you would apply your prescription for rosacea, acne, or dermatitis. We always remind patients that in order for your prescription to work to its fullest ability, you want to apply to clean skin before other products.
  4. Antioxidant serum. When layering from here on out, remember to start light and build to heavier products. Makes sense, right? If you apply something heavier first, the thinner topicals won't be able to penetrate. Antioxidants are a perfect pairing for the morning as they help protect and repair against UV radiation, environmental stresses, excessive blue light, free oxygen radicals, etc. (ie., all the stuff that injures and ages your skin). 
  5. Moisturizer. Go with a gel and/or oil free moisturizer if you're acne or rosacea prone. For drier skin, select one with ceramides to help rebuild the skin barrier and effectively hydrate. 
  6. SPF. Remember, you need to reapply sunscreen every two hours to truly protect yourself. We both use a combination tinted, physical sunscreen, which doubles as makeup, and then I reapply with a brush on mineral sunscreen. 


During the day, our skin is busy protecting us from the sun and environmental stresses and at night it is repairing and preparing for the next day and our skin care should echo that.

  1. Cleanse. 
  2. Exfoliate - nighttime is a good time to exfoliate, once or twice weekly is sufficient. If you over exfoliate, your skin can get irritated and overly dry, which can paradoxically increase oil production.
  3. Prescription or topical spot treatment. This is the time to apply your retinoid/retinol, or acid-based products. Remember that topical retinoids work by increasing our cell turnover and can make us more sun sensitive. Also, retinoids are destabilized by the sun; thus another big reason to apply at nighttime.
  4. Antioxidants and Serums. If it wasn't clear by now, we are huge antioxidant fans. Many antioxidants such as vitamin C don't only protect but can also help repair damage incurred during the day. We suggest thicker serums at night that contain hyaluronic acid and B5 as these are more hydrating and can help support skin barrier function. 
  5. Moisturizer.
  6. Eye cream. Apply gently to this area, use the tip of your ring finger to apply.

 Two products we recommend most often are a broad spectrum SPF 30 and an antioxidant serum. We created our own clean beauty line PURE BioDerm and have an amazing Vitamin C serum available. You can shop this on our website and on Amazon Prime


Dr. Robinson is a Ridgefield mom to 4 and Dr. Klein a Westport mom to 4 (yes that’s 8 kids combined!). Like many of you they’re juggling a lot of roles during COVID-19, including home-school teachers to their tribes. Check out this, RECESS PLAYWORKS ART BOXvirtual art class as a way to fill some time in your kids’ day!


Stay home. Stay safe. 


Dr. Robinson + Dr. Klein


Dr. Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD

Dr. Rhonda Klein, MD, MPH, FAAD

Dr. Mraz Robinson and Dr. Klein are the co-founders of Modern Dermatology in Westport, CT. Modern Dermatology offers comprehensive care across medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology. During COVID-19 the office is open for limited appointments to maintain social distancing practices, while servicing patients’ time-sensitive needs. Visit the website for more information and be sure to follow them on Facebook + Instagram @moderndermct, @deannemrazrobinsonmd and @rhondakleinmd.