Art critique

Local clinician responds to actor’s criticism of skin treatment

Actress Courteney Cox’s recent media appearances promoting her current movie, “Scream 5,” have included criticism of her own use of so-called facial fillers, injections intended to improve appearance.

“I looked really weird,” Cox said.

The performer’s negative comments caught the ear of Lewes resident Mary Beth Brubeck, a longtime plastic surgery registered nurse who offers fillers.

Brubeck, who had no role in Cox’s medical care, has administered various non-surgical skin treatments over the past 22 years. She treats patients in Lewes and Rockville, Md.

“I don’t presume to be judging Courteney Cox, or her doctor, from behind the scenes. But when Cox said she “chased the youngsters” in her 50s, it got me thinking. I am not suggesting that patients look back through the
decades. Instead, I help people look to the future, with renewed confidence and renewed self-esteem,” Brubeck said.

Cox first spoke publicly about her facials in 2017 and expressed her disappointment again during a recent series of cinematic commercials. Brubeck noted that Cox’s career requires submitting to the relentless scrutiny of digital film and television cameras that capture every nuance. The most typical patient asks for wrinkles to be softened, lips plumped and an overall fresher appearance.

Even as Cox reconsiders the charges, the field is booming in both popularity and innovation. For example, Allergan just received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to use Juvederm Volbella XC, a hyaluronic acid-based treatment, in the under-eye area. It has been approved for use in lip rejuvenation since 2016.

There are many such products from multiple vendors, each targeting specific issues. The aging process, damage from sun exposure or smoking, and looking tired or crazy are among the most common patient complaints, Brubeck said.

Dermal fillers are considered minimally invasive procedures by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Outpatient treatments were popular during the COVID years, as many people worked remotely, socialized on devices, and were widely seen as talking heads on computer screens.

The various solutions only work in the hands of a trained clinician. “I am known for my light touch, passion for symmetry and individualized treatment plans. Some patients have been coming for years as we work through various challenges together,” Brubeck said.

“Injected fillers are tools that, in expert hands, provide patients with a fresher, more youthful outlook without surgery. Combined with good skin care and reduced sun exposure, fillers are a bridge to an improved appearance,” Brubeck said.

Patients take an active role in planning procedures.

“Direct, two-way communication clarifies expectations about possible outcomes, risks, and (rare) side effects,” she said. “Subtle change is powerful. This is the best result, and the easiest to live with.

And sometimes the answer to a patient’s request may be no, with an alternative offered instead. Unrealistic expectations can hinder the progress of typical patients, as well as Hollywood stars.

Brubeck was affiliated with Dr. Scott Spear’s plastic surgery practice at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital for 18 years, and she has 20 years of training beyond her nursing degree from Georgetown University.

For more information, call 302-396-5363 or visit