The Surgery-Free Makeover by Brandith Irwin ($24.00) seemed like it was going to be a very interesting and helpful book. When I read the introduction, I thought I was going to learn all about which ingredients are good, which ones are bad, what treatment options I had to combat different skin problems, etc. I couldn’t wait to read it! For a book this length, I shouldn’t be able to summarize it in less than a page. It should be so filled to the brim with knowledge that I couldn’t possibly reiterate it all for you in a review, thus inducing you to purchase your own copy.
It is just not the case. The book is well-written, and there is definitely plenty of knowledge in it, but I feel like it is not quite the book I was expecting. The author pretty much recommends Botox, Restylane (fillers), and laser treatments for nearly every skin concern. I don’t know about you, but when I think surgery-free, I mostly think about creams, peels, etc.–not so much Botox, Botox, Botox. This is the message I get from the book. So, on the otherhand, if you’re interested in these types of treatments, this book is worth checking out. She gives a lot of information about how each treatment works, how it works as applied to a particular skin concern, the risks, etc. In that aspect, it is informative. I understand I went into the book with a different idea as to what constitutes surgery-free, so perhaps it makes it harder for me to be objective, but it won’t stop me from trying!
Find out what else I learned (like what over-the-counter cream is best), and why you might be interested in this book!
I wanted to learn more about what I could do with products in my budget. Botox is listed as $400 to $800 (and that’s typically for one area, like frown lines), the price ranging depending where you live (e.g., California and New York will be more costly than say, Idaho). There are also many women who don’t feel comfortable with something like Botox or Restylane; they still feel it’s too much, too extreme. What can those women do? She gives three breakdowns of what you can do for yourself depending on your budget, the lowest budget being $1,000. Those can be really helpful to put things into perspective, so you can see whether there are any options you can realistically consider.
I feel like the book tells me that most creams and beauty products are worthless when it comes to reversing the signs of aging. It is a very depressing thought that none of them work to any noticeable degree. In particular, she cited a study by Consumer Reports, where they tested dozens of creams with dozens of testers, and there was no noticeable difference — though there was a minute difference detectable by microscope. And you know what the best performing product was? Olay Regenerist.
It seems the most important things you can do for your regular beauty routine is to make sure the skin around your eyes and neck are well-moisturized, because they lack enough oil glands; and wear sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. She recommends using products with vitamin A ingredients (e.g. Retin-A) as the cream of the crop, and then looking for products with antioxidants is a good thing, but don’t get sucked into the antioxidant craze.
I think this book is best suited for women over forty (I believe the introduction suggests this, anyway), because these options are for those who have signs of aging. It’s not about prevention, it’s about significant reduction. If you’ve thought about fillers or injections, The Surgery-Free Makeover might do you some good. You’ll definitely know which treatment is best for what area, and you can get an idea about what to expect both before, during, and afterwards.