Perhaps the best description of the book was made by Dr. David Bank, technical advisor to The Skin Regime, and the founder and head of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic and Laser Surgery in New York. In the foreword, he writes that The Skin Regime "uses humor and in-your-face bluntness to tell the truth about skincare — and sometimes that means telling you what can NOT be attained (at least, not yet) either by products or medical intervention". And so it does. The tone of The Skin Regime is sometimes laugh-out-loud entertaining, sometimes wham-bam-in-your-face, and sometimes just a little aggressive in its enthusiasm. But everything she says and recommends in this book (glycolic acid, tretinoin, etc) are backed up by the best science available, and are methods actually proven to work.
For once, a book that has skincare advice I actually buy into. (Image source)
Dana Ramos starts off the book by recounting her own skincare story (by the way, if you look at her untouched photos on TheSkinRegime.com, she looks fabulous!), her years of money and time wasted on expensive products that didn't work, before realizing that "this is the bottom-line truth: It is all about the key ingredients in the products, not the name on the product."(p5) Which, if you regularly read my blog, is something I've been saying again and again, too, both in standalone posts and as part of product reviews. So, what can I say - amen, fellow skincare sister, preach it!
Ramos also makes quick work disbunking most of the beauty claims that we've all been susceptible to at some point in time: collagen, (on p6 of the book, she notes, "You can’t implant collagen in skin with a cream any more than you can remove cellulite in a cream." Which is exactly what I've been telling you guys!), "natural" products ("If you think 'all natural' or 'holistic' automatically translates to meaning 'better', you are gravely mistaken", on p11), and my favourite, cellulite removal creams ("if you believe that a cream will give you results like a surgical face-lift, or remove cellulite, then it is time for a reality check", on p10).
This is a photo of Dana with NO face makeup, just eye makeup and sunscreen. Wow. (Image source)
The good thing about Dana Ramos, is that she's also refreshingly honest about her own methods. She states upfront, "The Skin Regime is not a facelift (no duh), and won’t lift sagging skin (no cream on earth can do that, only surgery). The Skin Regime cannot fill out deep lines like injectable fillers can. But The Skin Regime can improve the tone and look of your skin significantly, and many fine lines should disappear"(p16). Indeed, she does recommend pretty good methods which have been universally proven, so I'd say that's a fair enough assessment of her own methods.
So what are her methods? The second half of the book goes into the details. Basically, Dana recommends glycolic acid peels, with retinoids for maintanence. Wisely, she doesn't advise you use them together. The book has very helpful advice for proceeding safely, if you are DIY-ing your own face peel at home. After all, if you are overenthusiastic about the treatment process, it can be easy to forget to treat your skin kindly and gently. The book also has product recommendations too, for those eager to begin her routine but don't know where to start in the drugstore (refreshingly, she doesn't have her own line of products to hawk). Lastly, Ms Ramos stresses the importance of sunscreen, every single day - and a broad-spectrum one, at that (something that I also nag you guys over). For this I really wish to high five-her. She's doing a favour to all mankind.
Dana showing off her lovely skin. (Image source)
The last two sections, about makeup tips for your new skin (e.g. blending, and so on), other skin treatments (such as procedures), as well as treatments for the rest of your body. These were less interesting to me, but I guess for the casual reader who isn't necessarily into skincare or makeup, this is helpful. I can see why she included this, to make the book a bit more well-rounded and holistic, while still keeping the focus on your facial skin.
The bottom line? I do like this book. It does a good job of debunking all the major beauty myths I've come across, sets out a skincare routine that is both effective and safe (if you follow the directions - don't go burning yourself with the glycolic acid!), and also shows you how to continue to maintain that skin. And she does this by referring to generic ingredients that work, that anyone can buy and use (well, except maybe prescription retinoids - you do need a derm for that). And everything she says is pretty much universally agreed on by cosmetic chemists and dermatologists to work for most skin types. So unless you happen to be one of the rare types who can't tolerate glycolic acid or retinoids, I do think everyone could give this book a shot. I am definitely inspired to try out her suggested regime too!
(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)