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Elysiann’s Beauty Vault

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.


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.


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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Planning a Winter Staycation: Ideas to Boost Your Body and Soul

Posted on: January 12th, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

Winter StaycationHere in the depths of winter, you may be dreaming of a tropical vacation or alpine getaway. But life can get in the way – maybe you can’t get away from work or family commitments, or for one reason or another you can’t allocate the finances. If that’s your predicament, a winter staycation may be the perfect solution.

In fact, a staycation can offer a more relaxing experience than a traditional vacation that involves travel. You won’t have to pack, spend money on transportation and lodging, or suffer the stress and jetlag of covering long distances. In short, a staycation at home can be great for rejuvenating the body and soul – if you approach it the right way. Here are a few tips for setting the stage for a true vacation at home:

  1. Take a few vacation days from work. If you are self-employed from home, create an auto reply message for email and change your voicemail message to indicate your vacation status. Then, put the laptop away until your staycation is over.
  2. Turn off your ringer. Whether it’s your home line or mobile, there’s no need to answer your phone unless you’re concerned about a true emergency.
  3. Take a technology break. Put the smart phone, tablet, and television on the backburner. Avoid checking the news or other favorite online haunts – vacation is all about a break in routine, and the Internet will be there when you return.
  4. Put chores on hold. Your staycation is not the time to catch up on laundry or clean the oven. Either catch up before your break, pay someone to clean, or postpone until after vacation.
  5. Set the mood. Let music set the tone for your staycation. Have books and movies on hand for curling up. Have your favorite bottle of wine on standby. Candles are a nice touch, too.

What to do on your winter staycation? While the options are endless, here are a few of our top picks for winter:

  1. Visit a local museum or historical site and discover the cultural treasures your local area has to offer.
  2. Tour a national park or recreation area if one exists in your area. In cold climates, you could try snowshoeing or cross country skiing, while warmer areas may be ideal for hiking this time of year.
  3. Check out a new restaurant (or two or three) you’ve been meaning to try.
  4. Visit a local spa, or have an at-home spa day. Stay hydrated with a big pitcher of water infused with lemon or cucumber slices. Try the Actifirm Z-Peel or Renovation Mushroom Mask for a skin treatment at home that gives professional results.
  5. Exercise – You’re on vacation, so not having time is not an excuse. Take in a free trial class at a local gym, try a yoga DVD from the library, or bundle up and take a walk around the block. It’s good for your health!
  6. Splurge on luxury hotel amenities. If it’s in the budget, treat yourself to a fluffy new robe or high thread count sheets. These are indulgences you’ll enjoy for years to come.

The bottom line: Don’t give up the idea of a vacation just because traveling long distances isn’t in the cards. With a little planning, a winter staycation can be every bit as relaxing – and maybe more so – than a trip away.

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New Year’s Resolutions: Success Starts With Small Steps

Posted on: January 5th, 2015 by Elysiann Bishop

2015-01 Blog

Happy 2015! With the changing of the calendar comes a sense of new beginnings – and, of course, New Year’s resolutions. While many of us make them, Time magazine reports that less than 10% of us follow through and keep these traditional promises to lose weight, eat better, get fit, or spend less, to name just a few.

How can you keep your resolutions this year? Being realistic, stating specific changes, and breaking the process into small steps can make a big difference over the long haul. Self-improvement gurus such as Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project and Leo Babauta of the Zen Habits blog advocate this sort of process for lasting change. Let’s test this theory using skincare and skin health as an example.

Our dear friend, to be addressed as Jane Doe, has the terrible habit of not washing her face before going to bed. But that’s only the beginning. She also never uses moisturizer, and applies expired cosmetics using dirty brushes. Jane dislikes drinking water and her parched skin reflects this. Oh, and she’s more likely to win the lottery than exfoliate.

Typically, Jane Doe would start the New Year with a bang, purchasing a multi-step skincare regimen including complex specialized treatments, along with new makeup and brushes. She’d also throw in a fancy new water bottle to inspire hydration. Jane would begin January by spending 30 minutes every evening executing her new skincare regimen, drinking plenty of water, and washing her makeup brushes weekly. But then one day, she’d lose her water bottle on the subway, then come home too exhausted to bother with complex skincare. Within days, Jane would give up the whole plan on the grounds that it’s just too complicated for her lifestyle.

Let’s rewind and try this again. What if Jane acknowledged up front that she might not be the type to spend hours each week on her skin? What if she simply added one small skin habit per month? It might look something like this:

January: Cleanse face each night

February: Add moisturizer

March: Exfoliate once a week

April: Start carrying water bottle

May: Purchase new makeup and brushes

June: Wash makeup brushes weekly

Granted, it might seem silly to put off some of these habits when Jane knows the changes could immediately have a positive impact on her skin and overall health. But isn’t it better to have a healthy, lifelong routine in place by summer than to flounder and fail in January?

Whatever your resolutions may be, remember that even small changes can make a big difference in your health and quality of life. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2015!

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5 Bad Skincare Habits to Lose Before the New Year

Posted on: December 26th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Start 2015 Right With These Holiday Changes

Bad Habits to break New Years You know that taking care of your skin is important. I’m here to tell you that proper skincare is far too important to put off until the New Year. After all, the holidays can take a toll on the most flawless of complexions — poor diet, too many cocktails, not enough sleep, and cold dry air all contribute to the problem. Without further ado, here are five bad skincare habits to ditch before the New Year.

Using Dirty Makeup Brushes: Using dirty makeup brushes can completely sabotage your best skincare efforts by introducing dirt, oil, and bacteria to the skin. To clean your makeup brushes, simply work a little facial cleanser, such as Actifirm Evening Cleanser, through bristles. Rinse well, gently squeeze out excess water, and allow to air dry.

Not Removing Makeup: Leaving makeup on overnight is just asking for a breakout. Luckily, Actifirm cleansers remove not only debris and excess oils, but also cosmetics. For dry winter skin, try Actifirm Serenity Cleanser. You’ll have clean, soft, makeup-free skin in one simple step, with anti-aging benefits as well.

 Over Exfoliating: You can have too much of a good thing. Too much exfoliation can irritate the skin and even cause damage. Actifirm Z-Peel offers the benefit of exfoliating only dead skin cells – leaving healthy living tissue intact. With Z-Peel, all natural Mucor Miehei mushroom extract exfoliates and has an “automatic turn off”, so it’s impossible to over exfoliate.

 Skipping Sunscreen: This one always bears repeating. Find a broad spectrum, SPF 15 or higher sunscreen that you like and wear it. Every day. On all exposed skin. End of story.

 Ignoring Décolleté: The chest area has delicate, thin skin and all too often sees more than its fair share of the sun. When exposed, be sure to apply sunscreen. Beyond that, a targeted product can help. Actifirm Décolleté Firm lives up to its name and more – in clinical trials, it was shown to firm, hydrate, and protect skin with a blend of natural botanicals and antioxidants.

Banish these bad skincare habits now, and enjoy the results before 2015 arrives!

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Happy Holidays!

Posted on: December 19th, 2014 by actifirm-sales

Happy Holidays!

Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday from Your Friends at Actifirm

From our family to yours, we wish you a safe and joyful season!

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Holiday Skincare: Overnight Renovation Makes it Easy

Posted on: December 12th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Overnight Renovation KitLast week, I talked about three simple yet important steps you can take to maintain healthy skin during this busy and stressful time of year – remove makeup each evening, hydrate with a richer moisturizer, and use an eye cream to combat tell-tale signs of holiday exhaustion. Today, I want to share with you the easiest way to achieve these skincare goals – the Overnight Renovation kit from Actifirm.

This handy set is just what you need to get through the holidays with a fresh face. It includes three must-have nighttime (or anytime) skincare products for parched, stressed winter skin:

 Actifirm Serenity Cleanser:

This nourishing cleanser is highly hydrating, with botanical anti-aging benefits. The gel-based formula is non foaming and extremely gentle, and dissolves makeup without stripping the skin. Shea butter beads moisturize, while pomegranate, grapefruit, and Japanese green tea extracts provide antioxidant protection. Mucor Miehei mushroom extract aids in natural exfoliation, for smooth results. It’s a soothing approach to cleansing dry winter skin.

 40 Winks Rest-N-Firm Cream:

A perennial Actifirm favorite, this moisturizer provides deep hydration with jojoba seed oil and shea butter, without being heavy or clogging pores. Our proprietary, anti-aging complex of gotu kola, rosemary leaf, and Echinacea promotes collagen synthesis and helps increase skin firmness while easing fine lines and wrinkles. While initially formulated as a nighttime product, this formula’s light feeling yet powerful moisture has made it popular for daytime use as well. Beyond the holidays, 40 Winks just might become your favorite year-round nighttime moisturizer.

Renovation Eye Cream:

Stress and fatigue show up around the eye area all too often in the form of dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines. Renovation Eye Cream has been shown in clinical trials to minimize puffiness and dark circles, while increasing skin’s moisture. Eyebright from the Swiss Alps reduces the appearance of dark circles, redness, and puffiness, while our botanical anti-aging triad has been scientifically shown to promote collagen synthesis and increase firmness. It’s the perfect skincare antidote to holiday exhaustion!

 The Overnight Renovation kit includes a 30-plus day supply of each of the three products, and makes a wonderful gift for yourself or someone on your list. It’s a great size for travel, or to simply to try the products at home. Take a little extra time for skincare right now, and your skin will glow through the holiday season and right into the New Year!

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Holiday Skin Stress: Regain Your Glow with 3 Skincare Tips

Posted on: December 5th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Holiday Skin StressThe stretch between Thanksgiving and the New Year is a flurry of activity. It’s a time to eat, drink, and be merry – but all that fat and sugar, excess alcohol, sleep deprivation, and stress from family gatherings does nothing to impart a beautiful holiday glow. The good news is that by using a few simple skincare tips, you can keep your skin looking great during this busy season.

Remove Makeup Every Night: After a late evening, you may be tempted to fall into bed without cleansing. But taking an extra minute to remove cosmetics can make all the difference in your skin’s appearance. Actifirm cleansers do a great job of removing makeup without the added step of a specialized remover. Rich in natural jojoba, Actifirm Serenity Cleanser is an antioxidant rich, hydrating cleanser that removes makeup without stripping skin. Botanicals also offer an anti-inflammatory effect – perfect for stressed skin.

Bump up Your Moisturizer: Dry winter air, overheated indoor spaces, and too much booze can lead to dull, dry winter skin. If you haven’t already, trade in your lighter summer moisturizer for something with a little more oomph. Actifirm 40 Winks Rest-N-Firm Cream is an ideal choice that’s highly hydrating without being too heavy or greasy. While conceived as a nighttime moisturizer, it’s also a popular daytime choice for very dry skin. In addition to emollient properties, it also offers powerful, natural anti-aging benefits.

Pamper Your Eyes: Puffy eyes with dark circles should not be your most prominent holiday accessory. While a good night’s sleep is a powerful antidote, Actifirm Renovation Eye Cream has also been shown to decrease puffiness and increase brightness around the eye area. Used daily, it can help keep you looking bright eyed even when you’ve had a late night.

While these tips are tailored to the holiday season, it all comes down to basic skincare. Cleanse and hydrate appropriately every day, and your skin will thank you with a healthy glow – during the holiday season and beyond.

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Thanksgiving Dishes Offer Holiday Boost for Skin

Posted on: November 26th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Happy Thanksgiving DayHappy Thanksgiving! America’s favorite day of feasting, family, and friends is upon us. While turkey day may be a detriment to waistlines, many Thanksgiving dishes are packed with antioxidants and offer a myriad of health benefits to the skin. Let’s look at some of the holiday’s most popular indulgences, and how they can give skin a much-needed health boost.

Cranberries: Cranberries contain a high level of antioxidants, including Vitamin C, making them a powerful anti-aging food. Cranberry consumption can not only aid in cell turnover, but can also combat free radical damage to skin – easing fine lines and wrinkles.

Apples: Rich in Vitamins A, B, and C, apples are another free-radical fighting powerhouse. It turns out that grandma’s apple pie is good for the soul and skin!

Pecans: Rich in zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, folate, phosphorous, and ellagic acid, pecans offer a healthy dose of antioxidants, in addition to monounsaturated fats.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are rich in Vitamin C, which aids in collagen production – helping preserve skin’s elasticity. Add to that, you guessed it, more antioxidants in the form of Vitamin A (beta carotene), which can not only repair cell damage but may help prevent certain cancers. Add to that Vitamin E, and sweet potatoes have definitely earned superfood status.

Winter Squash: From pumpkins and acorn squash to the butternut variety, winter squash comes in many shapes and colors. All share a common thread – they’re loaded with beta carotene and Vitamin C.

 Green Beans: This popular side dish is not only low in calories, but also packs Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and manganese. Who knew that Thanksgiving dinner is actually an anti-aging treatment in disguise?

Enjoy a warm and safe Thanksgiving holiday, and savor the feast all the more knowing that you’re not only delighting your taste buds, but giving skin a healthy treat as well.


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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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