Feb. 25, 2009 -- Mirror, mirror on the wall: who's the fairest over-50 pop star of them all?
If the photos of her at Vanity Fair's post-Oscar party Sunday are to be believed, it's none other than Madonna. The newly single queen of reinvention looked radiant on the red carpet, with supple skin and nary a wrinkle.
According to her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, Madonna's glow is nothing new.
"Madonna has always had gorgeous skin," Rosenberg said in a statement to ABCNews.com. "It didn't just develop on Oscar night."
But Madonna's Oscar night face was far different from the one she sported two days before, when she shielded her salmon pink, shiny skin from photographers.
It also looked years younger than a photo of Madonna taken years ago. According to cosmetic surgery experts, the before/after images are proof the pop star's fabulous façade is not the work of Mother Nature alone.
"It looks like she had a sapphire abrasion or a vibra facial. These are procedures in which the skin is exfoliated and a serum is applied," said Dr. Suzan Obagi, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center.
With sapphire abrasion, a tool coated with sapphire crystals aggressively rubs the skin, removing remnants of dead cells. The technique can also be done with diamond crystals.
"Usually patients will leave the office looking red and shiny because a layer of skin has been removed," Obagi explained. "It doesn't look like anything more aggressive -- she wouldn't have been healed and able to put on makeup by the next day."
Dr. Bruce Katz, director of Mt. Sinai School of Medicine's Juva Skin and Laser Clinic, argued that lasers had a hand in Madonna's fresh face.
"It's very likely she's had a new laser treatment called fractional resurfacing. It tightens the skin, takes away wrinkles, and tightens pores," he said. "Her skin looks great -- no sunspots, it's supple, not tight, so it doesn't have that pulled look, which is indicative of a facial treatment as opposed to surgery."
Doctors: Madonna Got Botox for Brows
Both Katz and Obagi agreed that whatever procedure gave Madonna her glow, she can thank Botox for her bright eyes and arched eyebrows.
"She's had Botox, which gives her that nice, flared eyebrow," Katz said. "In the older photo, her eyebrows are almost horizontal. In the new one, they're arching up. That's a tell-tale sign."
"You can tell she's had Botox by the arching of the brows and the smoothness between the brows," Obagi added. "She has also had Botox of the 'bunny lines' -- the lines that are created on the side of the nose. You can see in the more recent photos that these lines are not present even in full smile."
How long will the queen of pop's new look last? If she went for microdermabrasion, a few months; if laser, several years. Regardless, she'll need another round of Botox in six months to maintain the look.
An outside factor that could wear on her face: a March 2 court date in which she'll have to iron out child custody agreements following her 2008 divorce from Guy Ritchie. If Madonna follows the path of celebrities-turned-treatment-addicts, stress could force her under the knife.
"Hopefully, she'll maintain at this point and not do more," Obagi said. "That's what happened with Priscilla Presley -- she kept putting more and more volume in her face and now has some severe side effects. Madonna should stop here."