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Elysiann’s Beauty Vault

The Eyes Have It: Use Targeted Eye Cream for Healthy Skin

Posted on: November 20th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

The Eyes have it!

It’s been said that the eyes are a window into the soul. Unfortunately, the eyes can also harbor signs of aging, in the form of fine lines, wrinkles, dark bags, and crepe like skin. Winter weather conditions only exacerbate these skin challenges, as cold, dry air saps skin’s moisture and leaves it dry, chapped, and flaky. Because the skin of the eye area is very thin and sensitive, it can be more of a challenge to treat than the rest of the face.

Luckily, the right eye cream can make a big difference. Actifirm Renovation Eye Cream is an intensively hydrating, anti-aging eye cream. This is more than a powerful moisturizer – it is clinically proven to improve the appearance of skin around the eye. Enriched with natural botanicals, Renovation Eye Cream offers a proprietary anti-aging blend of gotu kola, echinacea, and rosemary leaf extracts shown to help increase skin firmness. In fact, it has been shown to help decrease puffiness and  increase hydration.

Actifirm Renovation Eye Cream is gentle enough for all skin types and may be used on upper lids as well as below the eyes. To apply, simply pat around the eye area where needed.

You can nurture healthy skin year-round by constantly fine-tuning your skincare regimen. While many skip specialized products and opt for the simplicity of a single moisturizer, a targeted eye cream can really make a difference in the appearance of dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles – especially under dry winter conditions. Adding an eye cream to your daily skincare regimen can go a long way in combatting the appearance of dry winter skin around the eyes.

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Top 4 Tips for Winter Skincare: Moisture Matters for Healthy Skin

Posted on: November 14th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

4 tips for Winter SkincareMany across the country are getting an early taste of winter with bone chilling weather and even snow. While the cold, dry air does pose a threat to healthy skin, you can take measures to assure beautiful, supple skin in the frigid depths of winter. Take a look at our top 4 tips for healthy winter skin — with proper moisture and hydration topping the list.

Moisturize Thoroughly

Cold air means dry air – a fact that is directly reflected in the state of your skin. A bit of moisture maintenance can make all the difference in keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated. Most of us have skin that needs extra hydration in the dry winter months, so consider taking your moisturizer up a notch. Actifirm offers a complete array of moisturizers for varying skin types. Actifirm Renovation Cream and Actifirm Overnight Sensation are two of the line’s richest moisturizers, offering serious hydration without being greasy or clogging pores. Renovation Cream is specifically recommended for use in dry climates, with a blend of natural oils like shea butter and jojoba oil combined with anti-aging botanicals. In addition to intense moisture benefits, Overnight Sensation adds exfoliation power from natural Mucor Miehei mushroom extract.

Wear Sunscreen

Too many of us forego the sunscreen when the mercury drops – big mistake. Winter sun can be every bit as strong as summer rays, and reflected rays from snow can make its effects even more intense. If you do happen to get to much sun, the dry air may exacerbate the problem in the form of excessively flaky, scaly skin. To avoid this situation entirely, always choose a broad-spectrum product of SPF 15 or higher and apply liberally and often on exposed skin.

Humidify Your Home

Adding a humidifier to your home will infuse indoor air with much-needed moisture, improving the look and appearance of your skin. How serious you want to be about it is up to you – you can choose to run an inexpensive drug store variety in your room at night, run several small models throughout the house, or spring for a whole house humidifier. Just be sure to follow cleaning instructions to avoid introducing bacteria, mildew, and mold into your home.

Take Lukewarm Showers

As terrific as a steaming hot shower or bath may feel after braving the freezing elements, it’s the worst thing you can do for parched skin. That intense heat can break down skin’s lipid barrier, making it vulnerable to extreme dryness. Keep bath and shower temperatures moderate, and keep time in the tub short and sweet. Your skin will look better for it!

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Glowing Skin for Expectant Moms: Top 3 Skin Issues During Pregnancy

Posted on: November 7th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Actifirm Pregnancy SkinPregnancy is a wonderful, life changing experience. While many expectant mothers enjoy a beautiful pregnant glow that illuminates the skin, others struggle with skin issues like acne, stretch marks, and melasma (or mask of pregnancy). Because pregnancy calls for gentle, natural products to address skin and health issues, Actifirm is a natural solution. Read on to learn about the top 3 skincare issues that appear with a baby bump, along with our top picks from the Actifirm line to help.


While most pregnant women hope for an ethereal glow when expecting, skin can sometimes take a turn for the worse. Raging hormones can cause all kinds of skin problems, and acne is top on the list. The best approach is gentle care. Cleanse twice daily with a cleanser that will remove oil and impurities without stripping the skin, like Actifirm Antioxidant Cleanser, or the more targeted Morning Cleanser and Evening Cleanser. If your skin’s oil production is on overdrive, you may find that a nourishing serum is all the moisture you need. Oil-free Actifirm Renovation Serum is an excellent choice that will not exacerbate breakouts.

Stretch Marks

Whether or not a woman develops stretch marks during pregnancy may be largely due to genetics, but there are measures that can help minimize their appearance. Keeping weight gain within your physician’s recommendations can make a big difference to your overall health as well as to stretch marks. In addition, certain topical treatments may ease the appearance of stretch marks. Like many Actifirm products, our Renovation Cream contains the therapeutic herb Gotu Kola. This herb has been used for centuries in eastern medicine, and modern science backs this up. Recent scientific studies have shown that Gotu Kola can strengthen the skin, boost antioxidants in wounds, and increase blood supply to the applied area. Rich yet not greasy, Renovation Cream can not only ease itching and dryness that comes with a baby bump, but may also fade the appearance of stretch marks. Apply daily to soothe and improve the appearance of pregnant skin.

Melasma (Mask of Pregnancy)

Halloween is over, but if you suffer from melasma during pregnancy, you may still be wearing a mask. These dark, pigmented patches that appear on the face are a result of both pregnancy hormones and sun exposure. The good news is that melasma fades away once baby has arrived, but in the meantime, stay out of the sun and always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Regular exfoliation may also improve the appearance of melasma. Actifirm Z-Peel is an ideal, natural solution for the expectant mother. Mucor Miehei mushroom extract naturally exfoliates dead cells without damaging living skin, and Z-Peel can be used daily on most skin types.

Pregnancy is a time to shine and be comfortable in your own skin. With just a little extra TLC, you can enjoy healthy and beautiful skin while expecting and beyond.

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The Best Halloween Mask Ever!

Posted on: October 31st, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Mask RightHappy Halloween! Whether you’re marking the occasion with trick-or-treating or a masquerade ball, costumes and masks are a big part of the festivities. As skincare experts, we thought it fitting to talk about a different kind of mask – Actifirm Renovation Mushroom Mask – and proper application for maximum efficacy.

Rich in Bentonite clay, Actifirm Renovation Mushroom Mask cleanses and helps remove pore-clogging impurities from the skin. Botanical gotu kola, Echinacea, and rosemary leaf extracts have been proven to increase skin firmness, while Mucor Miehei mushroom extract mimics skin’s natural exfoliation process. Skin is left soft, smooth, even, brightened, and refreshed. Used weekly, you’ll enjoy cumulative benefits.

Effective masking can be achieved at home by following just a few simple tips from the pros:

  1. Cleanse skin with Actifirm cleanser of choice. Actifirm Antioxidant Cleanser effectively removes makeup and debris while delivering rejuvenating antioxidants, and is a great choice for all skin types.
  2. Optional: Apply and remove Actifirm Z-Peel according to packaging instructions. This extra step will exfoliate dead skin cells, preparing skin to accept maximum benefits from the mask. In addition, the mask will offer a soothing effect following Z-Peel treatment.
  3. Apply Actifirm Renovation Mushroom Mask. First, Smile. Then, apply a thin, even layer of the mask to face with upward motions working out from smile, avoiding the eye area.
  4. Allow mask to dry thoroughly, remove with warm water, and pat dry.
  5. Finish with moisturizer to seal in hydration – try Actifirm Actimoist Booster.

Make masking a part of your regular skincare regimen and enjoy a lifetime of beautiful skin. Here’s to a spooky and safe All Hallows’ Eve!

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Avoid scary skin on Halloween!

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

HalloweenHalloween is a great time to experiment with fun makeup that complements your costume – but face paints can be pore-clogging, drying, and full of skin irritants. Follow these steps from Actifirm to assure a best outcome for All Hallows’ Eve:

  1. Before applying your ghoulish grin, use a moisturizer to prepare your skin – Actifirm Actimoist Booster is an ideal choice.
  2. Apply your makeup fearlessly and enjoy your new look!
  3. After an enchanted evening, do NOT overlook makeup removal – try Actifirm Antioxidant Cleanser. Not only will your pillowcase thank you, you’ll prevent clogged pores, dryness, and skin irritation.
  4. Apply Actifirm Z-Peel after makeup removal to exfoliate your skin – and awaken with a fresh face!
  5. Last, don’t forget hydration – Actifirm Renovation Serum is a gel-based formula that nourishes and hydrates without oil.
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Fall’s Favorite Recipe: Pumpkin & Dark Chocolate are a GREAT Pair!

Posted on: October 24th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Pumpkin and Dark Chocolate ChipPumpkin bread. Pumpkin ravioli. Even pumpkin beer. This time of year, it’s easier to list the things that don’t include this healthy fall vegetable. While many of us enjoy pumpkin for its traditional autumn flavor, it’s packed with amazing nutrition benefits, too. A serving of cooked pumpkin offers more than 200 percent of your RDA for anti-aging Vitamin A, and pumpkin is also a good source of Beta Carotene, which may have cancer prevention benefits. That’s good news for your skin!

With a fall chill in the air, why not bake something to commemorate the season? Cookies may not be the epitome of health food, but when you add in dark chocolate and pumpkin, you up the antioxidant factor – so you can happily indulge in moderation.

Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies


1 c. canned pumpkin

1 c. sugar

½ c. olive oil

1 egg

2 c. flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. milk

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 c. dark chocolate chips

  1. Combine pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Dissolve baking soda in milk and stir into flour mixture.
  4. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and combine.
  5. Stir in vanilla and chocolate chips.
  6. Drop by spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Enjoy this fall treat and savor the flavors of the season!

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Pumpkin Seeds for a Healthy Fall: 3 Rejuvenating Nutrients for Your Skin

Posted on: October 17th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Pumpkin SeedIt’s October, which means the official kickoff of pumpkin season. From a myriad of pumpkin-spiked baked goods to the always anticipated Pumpkin Spice Latte, pumpkin is everywhere this time of year.

Today, I’d like to put the spotlight on pumpkin seeds. Nutty, delicious pumpkin seeds are a skin super-food, packed with health benefits. Take a look at some of the skin boosting nutrition packed into these little fall gems:

 Zinc –  Pumpkin seeds are a great source of zinc. This essential mineral protects cell membranes, helps maintain collagen, and promotes skin rejuvenation. Just four ounces of pumpkin seeds pack more than 8 mg of zinc – which also happens to be the US RDA for adult women.

 Omega 3 Fatty Acids –  Pumpkin seeds, like many nuts and seeds, are a great source of Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA), one of the plant-derived Omega 3s. Omega 3s can help fight inflammation and dryness in the skin, making pumpkin seeds a great skincare ally.

Vitamin E  -  Pumpkin seeds provide Vitamin E in a variety of its forms – including alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol, and gamma-tocomonoenol. All offer powerful antioxidant and anti-aging benefits to the skin.

Pumpkin seeds are so versatile, there are countless ways to incorporate them into your diet. Sprinkle them on salads, stir them into your favorite muffins, or eat them by the handful as a snack – use them however you would your favorite nuts.

Next to maintaining a healthy skincare regimen (such as one from Actifirm), a nutritious diet is one of the best things you can do to take care of your skin. Enjoy fall, and all things pumpkin, in good health!

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Fall Fitness: 3 Great Reasons Start the Exercise Habit Now

Posted on: October 10th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

FallFitness-10/2014Instead of waiting until the New Year, what if you established some simple fitness habits now that helped you get through the more sedentary winter months and prevent holiday weight gain? A change in seasons is the perfect time to make small changes that will make a big difference in your health. Here are three reasons fall is a great time to take up exercise and fitness. Some may surprise you!

Great Weather

Cooling temperatures, crisp air, and falling leaves – what’s not to love about fall weather? Get out and enjoy it with a walk or run around your neighborhood. Or, find an outdoor fitness group or class in your area – boot camps, stroller strength classes, tai chi, and yoga are all common offerings.

New Fall Television

In the fall we tend to tune in for a new season of our favorite shows, and television may seem like your waistline’s worst enemy. But with the right attitude, watching television can become an opportunity for fitness. Use some small hand weights to tone your arms in front of the tube, or do some push-ups, crunches, or jumping jacks. Instead of heading to the kitchen for a snack during commercials, run up and down the stairs a few times. Or, head to the gym and watch your favorite show on the stair machine.

 A New School Year

This one may not apply to everyone, but for parents of school age kids, fall is a new beginning. If your kids walk to school, strolling with them to and from school each day can add up to a lot of extra steps. If you don’t have kids, enjoy the great weather by walking on some of your errands. Those with kids may also have a bit more free time when the kids are away. Take advantage by starting a new exercise routine.

When exercising outdoors, don’t forget to dress in layers so you’re prepared for fluctuating fall temperatures. Because we receive less and less daylight as fall progresses and daylight savings time ends, practice safety – if you’re out in the dark, wear reflective clothing and consider a flashing light. Make fall a time to focus on health and fitness, and start the New Year in great shape without those extra holiday pounds.

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Massage & Your Skin: 4 Anti-Aging Benefits

Posted on: October 3rd, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Massage and You-10/2014Who doesn’t love a rejuvenating, stress releasing massage? Now, you have the perfect reason to book an appointment this fall! It turns out that the benefits of massage extend to my favorite topic – beautiful, more youthful skin. While facial massage is a specialized field of practice, even general body massage can offer powerful anti-aging skincare benefits. Here are 4 benefits of massage that can have a positive effect on your skin:

Reduces Cortisol Production
Cortisol is the hormone that your body produces when under stress, and studies have shown a direct correlation between elevated cortisol levels and collagen loss in the skin. Collagen is what gives youthful skin its smooth, taut appearance. Because massage has been clinically shown to reduce the body’s production of cortisol, it has the potential to delay the signs of skin aging from collagen breakdown.

Increases Blood Flow
The circulatory system uses blood to deliver oxygen and nutrients all over the body – and that includes the body’s largest organ, the skin. Massage helps improve blood flow all over the body, and in so doing helps nourish the skin.

Boosts Lymphatic System and Toxin Removal
Among other things, the lymphatic system is responsible for toxin removal in the body and also offers anti-inflammatory benefits. It is considered part of the circulatory system, but unlike blood, lymph fluid does not use the heart as a pump. The lymphatic system relies on physical movement to circulate. Exercise and massage can both be beneficial in helping this system work optimally to remove toxins and reduce swelling – benefits that translate to the skin.

Eases Muscle Tension
Some of our fine lines and wrinkles are largely caused repetitive use of muscles – smile lines at the sides of the mouth, frown lines between the eyebrows, and crow’s feet from squinting. Dissipating muscle tension with regular massage may help minimize some of these effects. In addition to general body massage, facial massage is a specialty practice in which facial muscles are targeted.

It’s good to know that an hour on the massage table can not only leave you feeling great, but looking great too. Always remember that what’s good for your overall health usually reaps skincare benefits, too.

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Sleep and Skincare: The Connection Between Rest and Skin Health

Posted on: September 26th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Sleep and SkincareGetting an optimal amount of sleep each night does more than make you feel refreshed – it turns out that it makes you look more refreshed, too. While you sleep, your body is hard at work repairing the skin, which means a healthier, more youthful complexion. It’s no wonder we call it “beauty rest”!

Sleep deprivation can cause myriad skin challenges. Lack of sleep increases production of the stress hormone cortisol, creating an inflammatory response in the body. This stresses the skin and worsens skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Inflammation also contributes to the breakdown of collagen and hyaluronic acid, which give skin its radiance, firmness, and translucency.

Not all hormones are bad, however. During sleep, the body also produces high levels of human growth hormone and melatonin, which aid in repairing and protecting the skin, respectively.

Sleep is also a time for the body to rebalance hydration. Not enough rest can mean dull, dry skin; more visible wrinkles; and puffy eyes. Seven to nine hours of sleep each night is ideal for healthy skin maintenance. Here’s a breakdown of what happens to your skin while you sleep:

Early Sleep: The first one to three hours of sleep are the deepest rest you’ll get all night. During this phase, your body produces the most human growth hormone, critical to skin repair.

Middle Sleep: During the middle two hours of sleep, deep sleep diminishes and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep begins. Production of melatonin, a hormone that serves as a skin-protecting antioxidant, is at its maximum.

End Sleep: The last three hours of rest are when you get the most REM sleep. Your skin’s temperature reaches its lowest point, muscles relax, and skin is able to optimally recover.

Always cleanse skin before hitting the sheets – choose an Actifirm cleanser that works for your skin type – and always apply a moisturizer. Actifirm 40 Winks Rest-N-Firm is ideal for overnight repair and rejuvenation.

As with most lifestyle choices, what’s good for your overall health is also good for your skin. Proper rest is a habit that will not only help you feel your best, but look your best as well.

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