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While I was at the Total Beauty Blog Summit 2008 in LA last weekend, I got to try out Visia, a machine that uses “multi-spectral imaging to reveal damage on and beneath the surface of our skin that is not detectable by visual examination alone”. It was the first time I ever got a real skin analysis done and it was amazing and terrifying at the same time to see how my skin really was.

After reading a ton of raves about SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5% Refining Night Cream, my best guy friend and I decided to both get it to see what the hype was all about. We made a deal to start using it on the same day and to keep a journal so we could compare our results after a few weeks. Read on for a brief intro about the product from SkinCeuticals’ website followed by our feedback.

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A little DIY beauty can be fun so here are a list of widely available ingredients that I use regularly for my very own homemade mask and treatment.

Eggs
When egg whites dry, they have a temporary tightening effect which can help tone and and shrink pores. Simply beat up an egg white and apply onto the face for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. As for the yolk, it can also be used on its own as a mask for healing blemishes. Egg yolks also very high in vitamin A and you can mix it with a little honey for a moisturizing mask.

Baking soda
Baking soda is great as an exfoliator. Simply mix with a few drops of water to form a paste or into your cream or gel facial cleanser. Massage onto the face gently in a circular motion to smooth rough skin and rinse with warm water. Baking soda can also be used as a teeth whitener. Sprinkle a little on your toothbrush before the toothpaste goes on and brush away.

Honey
Known for its moisturizing and healing properties, honey has always been used by models and pros for all kinds of treatments. Mix with oat meal to form a moisturizing facial mask. To treat chapped lips, apply a thin layer of honey onto lips before you go to bed. Reapply during the day if necessary.

Potato
Potatoes contain an enzyme called catecholase, which is a skin lightener and is great for fading undereye circles. Simply place a slice of raw potato or a cheesecloth filled with grated potatoes over the whole eye area for 10 to 15 minutes. Be careful not to let the potato juice come into contact with your eyes.

Lemon juice
The acids in lemon juice is great for lightening skin and fading scars. To lighten discolored elbows, soak your elbows in a bowl of lemon juice for 5 to 10 minutes. Lemon juice can also be used to lighten hair under the sun. Simply spray onto your hair before you hit the door.

Aspirin
The drug itself is a beta hydroxy acid which can help reduce oil, dry up blemishes and exfoliate the skin. All you have to do is crush up a few uncoated aspirin, mix with water to form a paste, spread it your face, leave on for 15 minutes or so then wash it off. You can also use aspirin to create a treatment for ingrowns. Click here for more details.

Beer
Believe it or not but beer can be used to help add body and shine to your hair. All you have to do is pour it in your hair after you shampoo, let it soak for a while then rinse out with cold water.

After Gillette’s vibrating razor comes Dove’s vibrating facial massager, the SkinVitalizer ($10)! This AA battery-operated massager uses disposable pillows to scrub away makeup, oil and dirt, stimulate surface skin renewal and improve clarity for smooth, radiant skin. The product was originally released in 2006 but was recalled after several reports of the pillow falling off and causing minor scratches to the skin.