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Elysiann’s Beauty Vault

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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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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