Beauty

My Morning Routine

How a Top Dermatologist and Psychiatrist Gets Her Mind (and Skin) Ready for the Day

Written by: Jean Godfrey-June

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Published on: November 28, 2023

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AMY WECHSLER, MD

New York dermatologist, psychiatrist, author, and podcast host

“Walking billboard” might seem antithetical to everything Amy Wechsler, MD, stands for, but the fresh-faced New York dermatologist and psychiatrist looks decades younger than her biological age—and shows no signs of dermatological interventions, either. So she is something of a walking billboard for her skill as a dermatologist. “I’m old-school,” says the mom of two, author of The Mind-Beauty Connection, and longtime Chanel ambassador. “I want my patients to look—and feel—like themselves, just the way I want to look and feel like myself, so I’m pretty conservative. If someone comes in wanting ‘preventative’ Botox they don’t need, I’m not doing it. I don’t try new technologies the second they’re approved; I wait to see studies so I understand how they’re actually working for people.”

What’s old is new to a large degree in dermatology, Wechsler says. “The tried-and-true therapies—prescription retinoids, fillers, neuromodulators, targeted cold and heat frequencies—they really work,” she says.

“It sounds dorky, but my take on medicine is that it involves sitting down with patients, talking to them, and taking the time,” she says, her psychodermatologic side starting to emerge. “People really want to be heard. When you listen to someone, you watch their whole body language relax, and they let you know what’s really bothering them. I’ve noticed that ever since COVID-19, people are more anxious in general—they worry about everything, including things on their skin. I’ve definitely been doing more skin cancer checks, which is a great side effect.”

On top of seeing patients every day at her practice, Wechsler records Am I Embarrassing You?, a popular podcast she hosts with her adult daughter, Zoe—and she’s finishing up an MBA at Columbia. “I’ve learned plenty of things along the way running my dermatology business, but I want more,” she says. “I definitely have the entrepreneurial urge.”

But her day-to-day work and routine never get old, Wechsler says: “It’s a privilege to be able to take care of people.” Below, from walking to work to moisturizing all over, every day, how she sets herself up every morning to do just that.

6:45 a.m. to 7 a.m.


Once or twice a year, I wake up from my alarm—the rest of the time, I just wake up. I check my phone and play a few games on The New York Times—I do the mini crossword and Wordle and I start Spelling Bee, which I finish by the end of the day. Then I look at Ruzzle—my dad and I play against each other—if I have time.

7:15 a.m.


I put water in the kettle, feed one of my cats (my other cat is allergic to the first cat’s food), and jump in the shower. I take fast showers because I tend to have eczema. I wash with a sensitive skin bar, then shampoo and condition my hair.

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I use separate towels to dry my face and hair. I had acne as a teen, and my dermatologist told me never to get my hair oils on my face; I stick to that rule, and I tell my clients, too.

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7:30 a.m.


I put on my face products: sunscreen on whatever’s going to be exposed (face, neck, and hands this time of year), then serum, then Chanel La Solution 10 moisturizer. I think it’s the best luxurious sensitive-skin moisturizer on the market—made with only 10 ingredients in it, no fragrance, and high concentrations of silver-needle white tea, which is both antioxidant and calming. They’ve tested it around the eyes, so I smear it everywhere.

I never wore that much makeup, and then the pandemic happened. I curl my lashes, then put on a little concealer and mascara. If I’m really going for it, I add liner, shadow, highlighter powder, and lip color or lip balm.

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I smooth on fragrance-free body lotion, one of the thicker ones that come in a pump. People think I’m nutty, doing my whole body, but your skin is really soft all day afterward.

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8 a.m.


I get dressed to walk to work. If I don’t have something after work, I wear sweatpants for my walk, because we all wear scrubs in the office. It’s kind of liberating—we started it during the pandemic, and it stuck.

 

8:10 a.m.


I have English breakfast tea with Andrew’s Honey—it’s this company that sells honey from all five boroughs of New York. I have pretty bad allergies, and they say that consuming local honey can help, so I have Central Park honey or Upper East Side honey. I mix matcha powder into a nonfat Greek yogurt with bananas and blueberries (and any other good berries).

8:20 a.m.


I put some fruit for the office in my backpack for the walk to work. I used to call it a walking meditation, until I learned that was an actual thing, but I’m never talking on the phone or listening to podcasts or music. I look at the trees, the architecture, the people—certain streets are so beautiful; on another street the bakery smells so good; I look at the sky. It’s a mile and a half uphill on the way there and down on the way back. I love it. My route varies with the time of year: If it’s cherry blossom season, I head straight to Park Avenue.

8:35 a.m.


Like Mr. Rogers, I change when I get to the office (I do the same thing when I get home at night—I can’t do anything until I’m out of my street clothes). It’s a real ritual.

9 a.m.


I see my first patient of the day.