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Elysiann’s Beauty Vault

50 Shades of Smoothies: Mix and Match Veggies and Fruits for Glowing Skin

Posted on: March 23rd, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

50 Shades of Smoothies

You probably know that plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit can give your health – and skin – a boost. But most Americans miss the mark on daily recommendations – click here to visit the USDA website. According to these guidelines, an average 40 year old woman should consume 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 1 ½ cups of fruits daily.

A smoothie can be an easy way to fit more veggies and fruits into your day. With springtime here and thoughts of body-baring clothes on the mind, a smoothie regimen can be a perfect way to not only slim down, but get your skin in tip-top shape – after all, a high quality skincare regimen combined with optimal nutrition is the best way to beautiful skin.

So, what to look for in a skin-boosting smoothie recipe? Dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach are rich in antioxidants Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Avocados are packed with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and an array of antioxidants. Fruits like pineapple and mango up the antioxidant tally, and coconut water adds a hydrating punch. While these star ingredients are often found in skin-specific smoothie recipes, the bottom line is that eating more fruits and vegetables of any variety will benefit your overall health and skin. Here are just a few recipe links to get you started:

There’s just one thing left to do: Grab your blender, start experimenting, and fine-tune a smoothie that’s nutritious, delicious, and perfect for you and your skin!

 

Related Articles:

Simple Foods for Real Beauty

Skincare from the Inside Out

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Go Green: Cleanse and Exfoliate with a Single, Natural Treatment

Posted on: March 16th, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

March3-2015-01It’s March, and between spring blooms and the always-festive St. Patrick’s Day holiday, green is the color of the moment. Here at Actifirm, green brings to mind our own version of spring cleaning – the Actifirm Renovation Mushroom Mask.

This green-hued treatment is beloved by estheticians and home skincare enthusiasts alike. Why? Actifirm Renovation Mushroom Mask delivers multiple skin benefits, with cleansing, exfoliation, and powerful anti-aging in a single treatment. Natural Bentonite Clay, renowned for its cleansing and detoxifying abilities, draws impurities from skin. Bentonite Clay can help minimize blackheads and prevent future breakouts, without drying the skin.

Next, Japanese Mucor Miehei Mushroom extract gently exfoliates by mimicking skin’s natural exfoliation process, lifting only dead skin cells without harming living tissue. Skin is instantly left smoother and more vibrant, with cumulative effects when used over time.

Last, a proprietary blend of gotu kola, Echinacea, and rosemary extract promotes collagen synthesis and increases skin firmness. These anti-aging benefits have not only been shown effective in scientific testing, they have been revered for their health inducing and skin healing properties through the ages. To gain a better understanding of the history of gotu kola, take a look at this Forbes article.

Gaining all of these skincare benefits at home couldn’t be easier. Apply a thin layer of Actifirm Renovation Mushroom Mask to freshly cleansed, moist skin. Allow to dry thoroughly, then rinse. A weekly treatment is recommended for maximum skin benefit over time.

A change of seasons can sometimes cause skin challenges. This is the perfect time to do a little spring cleaning for your skin and recharge your routine as warmer temperatures emerge. Actifirm Renovation Mushroom Mask is a great springtime boost for any skin type.

Related Products:

Renovation Mushroom Mask

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Spring Clean That Makeup Bag

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Green Tea and Your Skin: Offers Antioxidant and Anti Inflammatory Benefits

Posted on: March 9th, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

Green TeaIf you don’t already make a ritual of sitting down to a cup of green tea daily, you might want to start. This healthy drink is rich in antioxidants, specifically catechin, which has been shown to fight and even help prevent cell damage. Green tea consumption has been linked to everything from lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels to reduction in stress and weight. These antioxidants work to protect your body’s cells from damage and offer anti-inflammatory benefits. Green tea may even help prevent collagen breakdown and minimize UV damage to skin. All of this could translate to healthier, more vibrant skin for you.

Swapping your afternoon soda for a cup of green tea is a no-brainer, but adding green tea infused skincare products to your skincare regimen makes sense too. Studies have found that these antioxidants can have powerful effects, whether ingested or applied topically. Actifirm is a skincare company committed to using the most natural means to bring about beautiful, healthy skin. In fact, nine products from the Actifirm skincare lineup include Japanese Green Tea extract for its powerful antioxidant, antiaging benefits, in conjunction with other natural botanicals.

For antioxidant cleansing with Japanese Green Tea, try Antioxidant Cleanser, Morning Cleanser, or Evening Cleanser. Renovation Serum and  Actimoist Booster deliver antioxidant benefits with moisture to facial skin, while Renovation Eye Cream concentrates these properties in a gentle formula for the eye area. Décolleté Firm and Neck Firm Cream, infused with Green Tea, are specialty skincare products that effectively target the aging of an often overlooked area. For cleansing and anti-aging benefits in a single treatment, try Renovation Mushroom Mask – rich in cleansing bentonite clay, exfoliating mushroom enzymes, and age-fighting botanicals that include Japanese Green Tea.

Whether savored in a cup or applied to the skin, Green Tea offers myriad health benefits. Start the habit today, and enjoy the skin and health benefits for years to come.

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Dry Skin and Breakouts: Combo Requires Gentle Approach to Skincare

Posted on: March 2nd, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

Dry Skin and BreakoutsIf you’ve left your teenage years behind, you probably expected acne, pimples, and breakouts to fade into the past, along with big hair and acid wash jeans. So it’s frustrating when faced with conflicting skin care challenges – and dry skin accompanied by breakouts certainly falls into this category.

Unfortunately, as hormone levels fluctuate with age, dry skin and blemishes can coexist. Because so many treatments for pimples can dry skin further, a gentle skincare approach is recommended.

Begin with a cleanser that thoroughly removes dirt, oil, and debris without drying. Actifirm Evening Cleanser is a perfect example. This gentle, foaming formula removes makeup and sunscreen without stripping the skin. Aloe and cucumber offer anti-inflammatory benefits to soothe flare-ups, while Mucor Miehei extract aids cell turnover, which can help prevent clogged pores.

Exfoliation is key to skincare for any skin type, and dry, breakout prone skin is no exception. Dry skin becomes smoother and more glowing, while cell turnover aids in keeping pores clear and preventing future breakouts. Actifirm Z-Peel is ideal for dry, blemished skin. Mucor Miehei mushroom extract lifts dead skin cells without harming living tissue, while the Z-Peel formula also hydrates.

Hydration is vitally important to dry skin, but a non-comedogenic formula is key to addressing dryness without exacerbating acne. Actifirm Renovation Cream is an intensive, botanical moisturizer that offers powerful anti-aging benefits, yet will not clog pores.

Of course, some of the same old rules for blemishes apply. Don’t touch the face, and definitely don’t pick at pimples – picking will only cause more redness, prolong healing time, and potentially leave scars. With a simple skincare regimen that addresses multiple needs, it is possible to treat dry skin and breakouts simultaneously.

Related Products:

Actifirm Z-Peel

Actifirm Evening Cleanser

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Beauty Sleep for Glowing Skin: Lack of Rest to Blame for Skin and Health Issues

Posted on: February 23rd, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

It turns out that there truly is merit to the idea of beauty sleep. In fact, sleep deprivation not only contributes to cosmetic issues, but has become a major health hazard in our society as well. Lack of sleep is linked to heart disease, diabetes, and even obesity. Increased stress is a serious mental health issue with ties to sleep deprivation – and we all know how stress can manifest itself in the skin. In addition, sleep time is a key time for skin to repair and regenerate, as well as a time for hormonal and metabolic changes in the body that impact the skin.

How have we all become so chronically exhausted? Modern life offers many more distractions than the pre-electricity, or even pre-high-tech, era. From 24-hour cable television to the Internet to longer work days, there are many reasons we’re sleeping less. Caffeine and alcohol can also have an adverse effect on sleep quality.

What can you do to assure you’re well rested? Because screen time tends to be one of the biggest contributors to sleep deprivation, commit to a nightly cutoff for phones, tablets, televisions, and computers. It’s also a good idea to limit fluids after dinner – especially caffeine and alcohol. A minimum of seven hours and up to nine hours of nightly sleep is optimum, so work backward from your wakeup time to figure out the ideal mark for lights out. Then, stick to it!

Don’t forget to use that sleep time to your best advantage by letting professional skin care products work their magic overnight. With Actifirm 40 Winks Rest-N-Firm Cream, the name says it all. Apply this rich moisturizer before bed, and enjoy hydrated, firmer skin with less visible fine lines and wrinkles.

Even getting a single good night’s rest can make a difference in your appearance, but sleep has cumulative benefits for the skin and body, too. Giving your body ample time for cell renewal nightly can give your face and skin a brighter, smoother, more youthful appearance for the long haul.

 

Related Articles:

Healthier Lifestyle, Better Skin: 5 Ways to Improve Skin
Beauty Myths: Fact or Fiction?

 

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4 Reasons to Drop the Chocolate Guilt: Sweet Indulgence Offers Skin and Health Benefits

Posted on: February 16th, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

FebruaryIs that box of Valentine chocolates bringing you more guilt than pleasure? Relax and enjoy – a high-quality chocolate bar can have five times the flavonoids of an apple. It turns out that cacao beans are rich in flavonoids, potent antioxidants that can help everything from your skin to your heart.

The challenge comes in selecting chocolate with a minimum of 70% cacao, or cocoa, content. Otherwise, fillers like sugar and butter negate the antioxidant benefits. Most experts recommend high quality chocolate in moderation – a small square daily, or a reasonable portion a couple of times a week. Here are just a few of the benefits chocolate can offer:

1.     Heart Health: Various studies have shown that a few squares of dark chocolate daily may reduce risk of death from heart attack by up to 50%. Those flavonoids in chocolate can prevent blood platelets from clotting, preventing blockages.

2.     Diabetes Prevention: Once again, the flavonoids have it. A small Italian study showed that eating dark chocolate may help control insulin sensitivity.

3.     Reduced Stress: Chocolate’s soul soothing benefits aren’t just in your head. A Swiss study showed that eating 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily can greatly reduce cortisol levels – the hormone that accompanies anxiety and stress. Reducing cortisol levels positively impact your entire body, including the appearance of your skin.

4.     Sun Protection: An English study found that enjoying chocolate varieties high in flavonoids doubled the amount of time for subjects’ skin to become red in the sun. Don’t forget to pair your dark chocolate fix with a broad-spectrum sunscreen when spending time outdoors.

Savor that box of Valentine chocolate over the course of several weeks, and reap the health benefits that fine chocolate can provide!

Related Articles:
Dark Chocolate and Skincare: Skin’s New Best Friend?
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4 Red Foods to Boost Skin Health: How the Color of Passion Can Be Great for Your Skin

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

February2-2015-01Red is the color of passion, and a hue we associate with love and Valentine’s Day. As it turns out, eating certain red foods are like sending a Valentine to your skin. Read on, and learn about the skin health benefits of some delicious red foods:

Tomatoes: The antioxidant lycopene can actually raise the natural SPF of your skin. A study showed that subjects who ate five tablespoons of lycopene-rich tomato paste daily had 33% more protection of sunburn. Of course, use this information in conjunction with a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Grass-Fed Beef: If you can’t resist a juicy, rare steak, you’ll love this one. Grass-fed beef is not only rich in inflammation-reducing omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, but also contains nearly 30 grams of protein in a 3.5 ounce serving. That protein is the basis of the collagen and elastin that keep your skin youthful.

Red Wine: The antioxidant reservatrol, abundant in red wine, may combat skin tumors. An Australian study analyzed 1,000 adults and found that those who drank just a half glass of red wine daily had a 28% lower rate of actinic keratosis – skin lesions caused by long-term sun damage.

Strawberries: Vitamin C boosts collagen production to keep skin smooth and firm, and a healthy Vitamin C intake may mean less fine lines and wrinkles. Luckily, a cup of strawberries boasts 130% of the US RDA of Vitamin C.

For Valentine’s Day, how about a delicious tomato salad, grass-fed steak, glass of red wine, and luscious strawberries for dessert? That’s a meal to feed the body and soul!

 

Check out our Valentine’s Day Deal!

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The Case for Winter Sunscreen: Why SPF is Important Every Day

Posted on: February 2nd, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

February1-2015-01

If you’re like me, you wouldn’t dare step out on the beach mid-summer without a hat, sunglasses, and a heavy coating of broad spectrum SPF from head to toe. But it’s easy to overlook sun protection in the winter. Although most of your body may be covered by clothing, it’s no excuse to overlook exposed skin. In fact, the sun can be more intense in the winter than in the summer months.

Reflection off snow and ice can intensify the effect of winter rays, giving you a double dose of cancer and wrinkle causing sun exposure. What’s more, UV radiation increases by around 5% for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain. That means that time on alpine slopes can damage your skin far more than equal time at sea level.

In addition, the ozone layer – our atmosphere’s natural sunscreen barrier – tends to thin out in the winter months, allowing more radiation to penetrate and impact our skin. That makes it all the more important for you to take control of your skin health.

The good news is that there is generally less skin to protect in the winter months – often just the face, neck, and hands are exposed. Because 90% of all skin cancer cases are directly related to sun exposure, your skin health is largely in your hands. By applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen generously on a daily basis, you can protect skin from premature aging and skin cancer.

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4 Beauty Tips for Cold and Flu Season: Look Better When You’re Under the Weather

Posted on: January 26th, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

Beauty Tips for Cold And Flu SeasonWe’re in the middle of cold and flu season, and while catching a bug may be inevitable, it doesn’t mean you have to look as bad as you feel. Here are four beauty and skincare tips that will not only help improve your appearance, but may leave you feeling better as well.

Moisturize the Nasal Area: If you’re blowing your nose all day, it’s only a matter of time before your nose and surrounding skin is red, chapped, and irritated. Keep a rich yet non-irritating facial moisturizer, such as Actifirm Renovation Cream, next to the tissues, and apply regularly to keep your nose looking and feeling its best.

Stay Hydrated, Inside and Out: If you’re staying home to recuperate, consider it an opportunity to slather on a deeply hydrating moisturizer morning and night (try Actifirm Overnight Sensation) and combat the dehydration that comes with winter and being sick. Apply a natural lip balm regularly to prevent chapped lips. Keep a water bottle at the ready and drink often, and don’t forget that a warm cup of green tea is not only comforting, but rich in skin-boosting antioxidants.

Fight Puffy Eyes: Propping up on pillows to keep your head upright will help puffy skin around the eyes and nasal congestion. For extra relief, put your favorite eye cream (my go-to is Actifirm Renovation Eye Cream) in the refrigerator and gently pat around the eye area to soothe, cool, and reduce swelling.

If All Else Fails, Fake It: If you must leave the house and look presentable, try these cosmetic tricks. Try a tinted moisturizer and spot-apply concealer as needed – a whole face of heavy foundation can look cakey if skin is dehydrated due to illness. Use blush to create a healthy glow. For eyes, a light eye shadow with a hint of shimmer will brighten tired eyes, and a waterproof mascara will stand up to watery eyes. A hydrating lip gloss in a natural shade finishes the look.

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Citrus for Your Skin: 3 Healthy Reasons to Enjoy this Winter Treat

Posted on: January 19th, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

Citrus for your skin

The silver lining of winter’s gray, dreary days is that citrus season is in full swing. Ripe now in the northern hemisphere, citrus fruits offer more than just a sweet and tangy taste of sunshine – citrus is packed with health benefits. Take a look at my top three reasons to make this winter treasure a part of your diet:

Vitamin C

You probably already know that citrus is high in Vitamin C – one small orange contains 53 mg of the recommended 75 mg US RDA. But did you know that Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which offers structure and elasticity to your skin? As an antioxidant, Vitamin C also helps destroy free radicals before they damage healthy cells.

Flavonoids

These powerful antioxidants reduce inflammation in the skin and body and may even help prevent cancer. The theory is that flavonoids help the body eliminate carcinogens and destroy cancer cells. Because the membranes and pith of citrus fruit contain the bulk of flavonoids, eating the whole fruit can give you five times the flavonoids compared to a juice.

Fiber

A small orange offers 2.4 grams of fiber – two-thirds of that is the soluble type that lowers cholesterol and regulates blood sugar, while the rest is insoluble for efficient removal of digestive waste.

The easiest way to enjoy citrus is freshly peeled and out of hand as a healthy snack, but citrus segments also complement a variety of savory dishes, from salad to fish and poultry. Add winter citrus to your everyday routine and your skin and body will thank you.

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