The Surgery-Free Makeover

All You Need to Know for Great Skin and a Younger Face
Cosmetic companies, spending millions of dollars, bombard us with ads promoting the latest skin-care products, lasers, peels, injectibles, and new technologies. Dr. Irwin cuts through the hype to explain what really works and what is worth the cost, and she is a consumer advocate who has no affiliation or financial tie to any of the companies.

The average woman has dozens of products cluttering her bathroom drawers. Surgery-Free Makeover demystifies the product confusion and details a daily skin care routine that goes beyond cleansers and moisturizers, starting with sunscreen, the most important product you can use on your skin every day, and what ingredients it must contain. Dr. Irwin explains antioxidants and repair creams – the only products that have been proven to reduce wrinkles (including the vitamin-A cousins, Retin-A, Renova, and Tazorac) – and how to use them on a daily basis.

Beyond the creams, there is a thorough description of Botox, fillers (like Juvederm and Restylane), lasers and other cosmetic treatments, and what results you can reasonably expect. Dr. Irwin draws on her many years of experience with patients by taking readers through a personal skin consultation to:

1. Determine the areas "you'd most like to change about your face" (for example, frown lines, sagging at the jaw line, or age spots).

2. Develop a working list of what can be done about each individual problem (for instance, for wrinkles around the eyes, options range from eye creams to Botox to CosmoDerm).

3. Keep track of what it will cost to correct each area; solutions vary depending on budget (so you can be cost effective in line with your goals).

4. Create a timeline for addressing each area (with special emphasis on a short time frame to prepare for a big event, like a wedding or class reunion).

Developed for women with any timeline and every budget, The Surgery-Free Makeover gives the reader the professional advice necessary to improve their facial flaws and rediscover the youthful glow within.

Dr. Brandith Irwin is Director of the Madison Skin & Laser Center in Seattle, Washington ( She holds board certification in both internal medicine and dermatology and is a member of the International Society of Laser Surgeons, the American Academy of Dermatology and other professional associations. She has been a clinical faculty member at the University of Washington, and Seattle Magazine has three times named her one of Seattle's best dermatologists based on a poll of 2,500-area doctors.


1. Colorescience Sunforgettable SPF 30 powder sunscreen. Very cool new design with a sleek tube that can fit in a golf bag, cycling jersey, glove box, etc with a built in brush that's self contained. The powder wears like iron. There's no grease and children and men love it, in addition to women. It comes in different tints for darker skins too. All mineral based.

2. Thermage tip (I'll bring both the face and eyelid tips). Thermage has improved remarkably over the past 2 years. It is the sound wave based skin tightening technology. The procedure is now completely comfortable without sedation thanks to the new cooling tip. And it is now double the size with many more pulses preprogrammed into the tip. There is also a tiny eyelid tip that is FDA approved. Much nicer results for almost everyone and completely comfortable.

3. Fraxel tip - fractional laser technology is exploding. Fraxel was the first (now in it's second incarnation) and there are now approximately 10 other systems. Fractional lasers are especially good for women who have a combination of brown blotches, wrinkles and texture problems including acne scarring. It enables us to treat these problems with little or no downtown. It works much like aerating your lawn works by replacing old, damaged collagen with fresh, new collagen - about 15-20% per treatment.

4. Juvederm (hyaluronic (sugar) gel line filler) I'll bring the syringe with no needle and we can play with the gel on air so people can see it. Similar to Restylane with a great safety profile and similiar longevity. It's smoother (fewer bumps) and less puffiness and swelling especially in the lips.

5. IPL laser filters: These lasers have been used for a long time for redness, broken blood vessels and brown spots on the face. But the newer machines are much more powerful (very different than the ones aestheticians use at spas) and can really be customized for different skin types and individual problems

6. Sculptra vial. Sculptra is used to fill the volume in cheeks that have thinned from aging or illness - it softens and creates more rounded, youthful facial contours. It comes as a powder and is then mixed.

7. Botox vial. Well, pretty much everyone knows about Botox. Best for frown lines, crow's feet, other areas on the face. Might be nice for people to see what the real thing looks like

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