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Elysiann’s Beauty Vault

Skincare through Exercise: 5 Skincare Benefits of Being Active

Posted on: July 18th, 2014 by actifirm-sales

5 Skincare Benefits of Being Active

As summer heats up and fashions bare more skin, many of us step up our exercise routines in an attempt to shed unwanted pounds. But did you know that working up a sweat also offers benefits to your skin? Take a look at the top 5 perks of exercise for your skin:

1.     Eliminate toxins and clear pores: As the body’s largest organ, it’s also the biggest pathway for purging the bad stuff from your body. Sweating can help eliminate toxins and clean pores – leaving behind clear, glowing skin.

 2.     Increase oxygen and blood flow to skin: When you exercise and raise your heart rate, you increase rate of blood flow throughout the body, and that includes to the skin. With blood comes more oxygen and all those nutrients that can benefit your complexion.

 3.     Tone Muscles: Strength training doesn’t directly improve skin health, but it can make skin appear more firm and taut by filling out what’s underneath. Toned muscles can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

 4.     Relieve stress: If you’re a believer in the mind-body connection like we are, you’ll appreciate that reducing overall stress levels through exercise will be revealed in healthier, better looking skin.

 5.     Improve structure of skin: According to studies at McMaster University in Ontario, exercise may actually affect skin’s structure. After age 40, the stratum corneum, which is the outermost layer of the epidermis, tends to thicken and become drier and flakier. At the same time, the underlying dermis begins to thin, losing elasticity and becoming saggy. The research study showed that people who exercise have skin layers typical of someone decades younger – and that aging trends could even be reversed by starting exercise.

Now that you’re inspired to work out, keep in mind a few tips for summer exercise. Above all, stay hydrated. Summer temperatures can quickly dehydrate the body. When exercising outdoors, avoid peak sun and heat hours by going out in the morning or evening. If you do exercise in the sun’s rays, be sure to apply a broad spectrum sunblock, or you’ll risk negating those healthy skin benefits. Be sure to shower after exercise to cleanse away toxins – Actifirm Antioxidant Cleanser is a great choice to throw in your gym bag for facial cleansing. Last, preserve skin’s hydration with a light moisturizer – Actifirm Renovation Serum is wonderful for drawing moisture to the skin without causing breakouts.

Next time, we’ll talk about a subject that’s best avoided – treating overexposure to the sun.

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The Summer Table: Healthy, Hydrating Skincare through Nutrition

Posted on: July 11th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Two Great Summer Recipes

At Actifirm, we love summertime – and part of that is the light, fresh, flavorful foods that come with the season. Last post, we talked about foods that hydrate and nourish summer skin – while your skincare regimen is critical to keeping skin hydrated in the summer months, diet plays a role as well. Here, we share two nutrition-packed summer recipes that are light, delicious, and great for your skin and body. Served together, you have a healthy summer dinner that’s also a boost to your skincare routine.

Salmon with Cilantro Pesto

This healthy entrée is packed with hydrating skin benefits, is easy to prepare, and offers delicious flavors during summer’s wild salmon season.

1½ pound wild salmon filet (Omega 3 fatty acids)

2 medium cloves garlic (Antioxidants)

¼ cup walnuts (Omega 3s, B Vitamins, Vitamin E)

1 cup fresh cilantro, packed (Antioxidant flavonoids and phytonutrients)

2 tablespoons olive oil (Vitamins A and E, phytonutrients, antioxidants)

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For Pesto: drop 2 cloves garlic into feed tube of food processor and mince. Add walnuts, cilantro, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and process into a paste. Alternately, use a blender to combine pesto ingredients.

Spread pesto over top of salmon filet. Grill pesto side up over medium heat on a well-oiled grate for 15 to 20 minutes, or until barely opaque (cook time will vary depending on grill). Do not flip salmon during grilling. Serves four.


Marinated Tomatoes

As in-season superfoods, tomatoes and basil take center stage in this salad, offering skincare and overall health benefits. This delicious salad is ideal for entertaining because it is best prepared in advance.

2 pints grape tomatoes (Vitamin C, Lycopene, and more)

½ cup olive oil ((Vitamins A and E, phytonutrients, antioxidants)

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

¾ teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sugar

1 clove garlic, crushed (Antioxidants)

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (flavonoid antioxidants)

2 tablespoons green onions, chopped (phytochemicals)

Greens of choice (we like arugula, but any lettuce will do)

Wash and cut grape tomatoes in half. Combine remaining ingredients for dressing and pour over tomatoes. Marinate 4 hours or longer. Serve over fresh, in-season greens. Serves 4 to 6.

It’s easy to eat for healthy, hydrated skin when nutritionally superior food tastes this good! This summer, stick to simple, seasonal foods and an easy summer skincare routine that includes hydrating Actifirm Renovation Serum. A clear formula with antioxidants and no oil, it draws moisture to the skin with hyaluronic acid. Next post, we’ll look at how exercise can benefit the skin, as well as tips for exercising in the summer months.

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Skincare from the Inside Out: 4 Foods That Hydrate and Nourish Summer Skin

Posted on: July 3rd, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Skincare from the Inside OutJust when you thought the dry skin woes of winter were behind you, here comes summer. Sunny days and warm breezes may feel nice, but they can sap moisture from your body – leaving skin dry and parched.

Never underestimate the ability of a healthy diet to improve your skin. The best skincare regimen in the world can be improved with optimal nutrition. By choosing foods that hydrate and nourish from the inside out, you’ll enjoy healthy, beautiful skin year-round. Take a look at these 4 foods that pack a hydrating, healthy punch for summer skin:

  1. Fruits and Veggies: Not only is fresh produce packed with antioxidants and nutrients that improve skin health, but many have a water content topping 90%. You can’t go wrong when you eat what’s local, organic, and calling your name at the farmer’s market. Our faves for a summer skin boost include any berries and melons, and fresh, crispy salads – spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and celery are especially beneficial to skin. In addition, avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which help preserve skin’s moisture.
  2. Wild Salmon: Alaskan wild salmon is fresh and in season during summer, so enjoy it while it’s available. Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, an essential part of skin’s natural moisture barrier. Other skin-healthy fish choices include trout, herring, mackerel, sardines, and anchovies.
  3. Nuts: These gems are another great source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as skin-friendly vitamins and antioxidants. Best of all, they’re a great portable summer snack – a can of almonds is so easy to take along to the pool or beach. Also try nutrition-packed walnuts or pistachios.
  4. Olive Oil: This condiment is full of healthy fats that hydrate skin as part of a balanced diet – and in a pinch, olive oil can be applied topically to moisturize skin. Drizzle a little over fresh summer veggies for double the skin benefits.

Now, for what not to eat: both alcohol and caffeine act as diuretics, so keep consumption in check if your skin is particularly dry. Pure water is always the best way to hydrate the skin and body – the more the better in hot summer months.

In addition, it goes without saying that choosing your skincare wisely can go a long way in maintaining a dewy glow all season. We especially recommend Actifirm Renovation Serum – full of natural antioxidants, it hydrates without oil and attracts and binds moisture to skin with hyaluronic acid.

By making smart choices when it comes to diet and skincare, you can enjoy healthy, vibrant skin not only this summer, but in seasons to come. Next post, we’ll share some mouthwatering summer recipes that incorporate some of these healthy foods for your skin and body.

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Sunscreen 101: Know Your Sunscreen, Be Skin Smart

Posted on: June 27th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Sunscreen101If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in skincare – which means you’re applying sunscreen daily. But does your sunscreen do all it can to protect your skin from skin cancer? Sunscreen packaging can include a dizzying array of terminology. Here, we decode some of the key vocabulary surrounding sunscreen.

SPF: SPF stands for “sun protection factor” and measures how long a sunscreen may prevent your skin from burning. If your skin typically begins to burn after 10 minutes in the sun but you apply SPF 15, you can theoretically spend 150 minutes in the sun before burning. This is just a rule of thumb, and reapplication of product and protective clothing are recommended. SPF is only part of the equation, as it only measures protection from burning and cancer causing UVB rays, not UVA rays.

Broad Spectrum:  For premature aging prevention and more comprehensive skin cancer protection, look for broad spectrum blocks. These blocks have been shown to block both UVA and UVB rays. Look for “broad spectrum” on your sunscreen’s label for comprehensive protection

Chemical vs Physical Blocks: Take a look at the active ingredients on your sunscreen bottle. Names like avobenzone, octyl methoxycinnamate, octyl salicylate, and oxybenzone point to a chemical block. These absorb UV radiation to protect the skin, and generally go on skin clear. If your product includes zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, this indicates a physical block. These products physically block and reflect the sun’s rays, and can give skin a white cast.

Water Resistance: No sunscreen is completely waterproof, but many are water resistant for a period of time (usually 40 to 80 minutes). Read your sunscreen’s label carefully and follow reapplication instructions.

Always choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 15, and remember that protective clothing is the best defense. While some feel that physical blocks may be a better choice than chemical blocks, the best sunscreen for you is one that you will use consistently and according to package instructions. Spray or lotion, white or clear, choose what you like using most – your skin will thank you with lifelong good health!

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Glamp it Up on Vacation: Add a Twist to Travel with Glamping

Posted on: June 20th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Add a Twist to Travel with GlampingYou’ve heard of camping, and you’re all about glamour. Why not explore glamping, short for glamorous camping? It’s a growing trend in travel, and there’s good reason for its appeal – glamping is far from roughing it, and definitely not your father’s camping trip. Glamping can offer simple luxury in often pristine natural settings, with direct access to the great outdoors.

From upscale yurts and teepees, to treehouses and safari tents decked out like the Four Seasons, there’s a glamping travel experience for everyone. It’s a great way to bridge the gap in travel preferences between spouses or family members. Websites like and offer portals to explore worldwide vacation options at a variety of price points.

We couldn’t help but notice a common thread between glamping and the Actifirm skin health philosophy. Glamping is all about simple luxury and rejuvenating experiences, and Actifirm skincare products are rooted in a similar philosophy – natural indulgence designed to renew and refresh. What better skincare regimen to take on a glamping vacation than one from Actifirm? The Actifirm Natural Basics Kit offers a 30-day supply of some of our most beloved skincare products – Antioxidant Cleanser, 15% Z-Peel, Renovation Serum, and Actimoist Booster moisturizer. This compact set offers everything you need for gentle, thorough skincare on vacation

Whether your summer travel plans call for a glamping adventure or more traditional indulgence, remember that you should never take a vacation from proper skincare. A few simple steps daily will keep your skin looking and feeling as refreshed as your spirit.

By now, we hope you’re in the routine of using a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect skin from the sun’s rays. But what do all of those acronyms and long words on the packaging mean? We’ll decode sunscreen for you in the next post.

photos courtesy of

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Father’s Day Skin Health: 4 Steps for Men’s Skincare

Posted on: June 13th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Dad's Skincare Regimen




Father’s Day is Sunday, June 15, which makes it a natural time to talk about an often-overlooked area for men, and especially busy dads: men’s skincare. Unfortunately, most men don’t invest time in skin health the way women do, and it can show with premature aging. The good news is that most men can see results with 4 simple steps – exfoliate, cleanse, hydrate, and sunscreen. While the steps are similar to a basic women’s skincare regimen, the reasoning behind each product can differ.


  1. Exfoliate: Many men deal with the ongoing skincare challenge of ingrown hairs. Choosing an electric razor can help reduce this problem. For those faithful to a handle razor, consider avoiding fancy, multi-blade models – they can actually cause more ingrown hairs because they give such a close shave. Aside from razor choice, exfoliation is an effective way to lift away dead skin cells that may obstruct hair follicles. Actifirm Z-Peel is a great exfoliant for men because it’s quick to use and foolproof.
  2. Cleanse: For men, cleansing the face often consists of lathering up with whatever’s on hand in the shower – often a harsh deodorant soap. This can strip skin of natural oils and dry out the skin, giving it an aged appearance. To preserve skin’s natural moisture, men should choose a cleanser that removes dirt and excess oil without parching skin. Actifirm Antioxidant Cleanser is a gentle, well-balanced choice.
  3. Hydrate: A good moisturizer can help even skin tone and smooth fine lines – helping the dad in your life avoid the weathered Marlboro Man look. Actifirm Actimoist Booster is ideal for a dad new to men’s skincare because its “smart” formula works with skin’s chemistry to hydrate as needed.
  4. Sunscreen: Just like women, men should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to their face and other exposed skin daily. Men with thinning hair should also protect the scalp – with sunscreen, a hair product that includes SPF, or a hat.

As with their female counterparts, all men can benefit from taking charge of skin health with a simple skincare regimen. Next up, we’ll explore the world of glamping – the ultimate luxury camping experience.

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The Vacation Peel: Choose Enzymes for Summer Exfoliation

Posted on: June 11th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

the vacation peel

Planning a vacation? With any luck, a relaxing summer getaway is in your future. Here at Actifirm, we’ve been daydreaming about the possibilities, ranging from tropical beach retreats to posh European tours. Need inspiration? We found plenty at U.S. News Best Summer Vacations.

Whatever your summer holds, it’s our mission here at Actifirm to help you keep your skin healthy all season. If your vacation plans include specialized skincare treatments, such as an exfoliating skin peel, there are some important things to keep in mind. A traditional chemical peel may or may not be a good choice for your summer skin health. While effective in exfoliating, a chemical peel removes not only dead skin cells, but also living tissue. The resulting photosensitivity, redness, peeling, and even scabbing over of skin may interfere with your plans to shine in the summer sun.

Actifirm offers a gentle, yet highly effective alternative – the Actifirm Z-Peel. In fact, many estheticians and physicians call it a “vacation peel” or “lunch hour peel” because the Z-Peel needs no downtime for skin recovery. The efficacy of Z-Peel comes from powerful Japanese Mucor Miehei Mushroom extract. This natural enzyme mimics skin’s built-in exfoliation mechanism, lifting dull, dry, dead skin cells to reveal healthy new skin beneath. The result is a treatment that helps even skin texture and ease fine lines with no downtime and minimal (5%) photosensitivity.

Actifirm Z-Peel is easy to take along with you for a do-it-yourself vacation enzyme peel, or seek out one of the many medical spas worldwide who administer the professional line of Actifirm skincare treatments.

In the spirit of summer skincare, we want to see your vacation peel in action. Post a summer selfie of yourself with Actifirm to Actifirm’s Facebook or Actifirm’s Instagram for a chance to win Cole Haan Sunglasses (Official contest rules). Next time, we’ll talk about skincare for men and Father’s Day – it’s just around the corner on Sunday, June 15.

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Summer Makeup 2014: Bold vs. Natural Palettes for Big Contrast

Posted on: June 6th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Summer Makeup Trends 2014What better way to show off healthy skin than with makeup that draws attention to your best features? This season, the big buzz in summer makeup is bold looks – think 1960s meets 1990s. At the same time, there’s a trend toward more natural, bare beauty. Read on and pick what works best for you:


Bold Eyes – For summer makeup, eyes are all about color. Purple and blue or teal eye shadows take center stage, while white eyeliner and black graphic eyeliner designs have been spotted on the runways. Overly arched brows are making way for fuller, boyish looks, while false lashes on both the top and bottom make eyes pop.

Bright Lips – Brilliant orange and hot pink are the lip colors of the season. Nervous about pulling it off? Tone it down a notch by adding a pretty coral or more subdued pink lipstick to your summer makeup bag.

Brilliant Nails – Extend that colorful palette to your fingertips and toes with polishes that span the rainbow. 2014 summer makeup trends call for nails in shades of bright orange, bold pink, lavender, purple, electric blue, teal, and even yellow. These wonderful colors simply radiate summer fun.

All Over Natural – In contrast to the above colorful summer makeup, little or no makeup has also been spotted on summer runways. What better way to show off your diligent skincare and resulting skin health than with an au natural palette? For an easy, everyday look, try a tinted moisturizer with SPF, a sweep of bronzer, and a sheer gloss on the lips.

Whatever summer makeup you choose, don’t forget that properly exfoliated skin (think Z-Peel) makes for a perfectly smooth canvas for cosmetics application. In addition, cleanse skin thoroughly each evening as part of your skincare regimen. Next time, we’ll talk about the perfect vacation peel, along with the season’s hottest travel spots.

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Summer Skincare: 5 Tips for Summer Skin Health

Posted on: May 30th, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

5 tips for healthy summer skinJust when you thought the harsh, skin-parching effects of winter were behind us, here comes summer. Like winter skincare, summer skincare offers its own set of challenges. Summer skincare is not only about keeping skin looking its best, it’s also about maintaining skin health. From hydration to exfoliation and beyond, here are five tips to keep your skin in tip-top shape this summer:

  1. Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen – Sure, my last post focused on the importance of protecting summer skin from the sun. It’s a top skin health tip that bears repeating. As part of daily skincare, protect exposed skin with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. For more details about sunscreen, visit the Skin Cancer Foundation. For information about sunscreen safety testing, check out the Environmental Working Group Best Sunscreens.
  2. Cleanse – Summer skin requires a cleanser thorough enough to remove sunscreen and excess oils without stripping skin. Check out the Actifirm skincare line of cleansers. All offer thorough yet gentle cleansing for your skincare regimen.
  3. Exfoliate – Summer heat, chlorine, and dry air-conditioned spaces can take a toll on summer skin. Exfoliation is key to fresh, glowing face with optimal skin health. Actifirm Z-Peel is an ideal choice for summer skin. The Z-Peel exfoliates only dead skin cells, so no living skin is damaged. Compared to other peels, the Z-Peel causes minimal photosensitivity (5% or less), so you can enjoy time outdoors immediately after treatment. (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)
  4. Hydrate – Skin may seem oilier in the summer, but for the same reasons you need to exfoliate, you need to moisturize summer skin. Consider using a less heavy moisturizer for summer skin that hydrates without causing breakouts. Actimoist Booster is an ideal choice for summer skincare because it hydrates dry spots without over-hydrating areas like the t-zone.
  5. Drink Water – A skin moisturizer isn’t the only way to hydrate. When you hydrate from the inside with plenty of water, your skin health will show it. A good rule of thumb for hydration is to get a minimum of 8 8-ounce glasses of water each day, or more if exercising or spending time outdoors in summer heat.

Summer is no time to skimp on skincare, and a few simple measures will assure skin health all season long. Next up, we’ll look at summer makeup trends for 2014.

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It’s Skin Cancer Awareness Month: 5 Skin Health Tips to Prevent and Detect Skin Cancer

Posted on: May 23rd, 2014 by Elysiann Bishop

Prevent and Detect Skin CancerDid you know that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month? As temperatures heat up and we expose more skin to the sun’s rays, it makes sense to draw attention to how skincare can prevent or detect potentially deadly melanoma and other forms of this dangerous condition. With a few simple skincare measures, including monthly self-checks and sun protection, skin cancer can be largely controlled. Best of all, most of these steps not only reduce skin cancer odds, but also lead to less wrinkles.

Our tips for preserving skin health and reducing risk of skin cancer:

  1. EVERY DAY, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB blocking) of SPF 15 or higher on exposed skin. This should be part of your daily skincare routine.
  2. For more intense sun exposure – such as a day at the pool or beach – up your SPF to 30 or higher and choose a water-resistant formula. Apply two tablespoons of sunscreen to your entire body, wait 30 minutes before sun exposure. Reapply every two hours or immediately after swimming or perspiration.
  3. SEEK SHADE between 10 and 4, when rays are most intense.
  4. When outdoors and in the sun, wear protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat, UV-blocking sunglasses, and UV-blocking fabrics.
  5. NEVER visit tanning booths.

To detect skin cancer:

  • Perform a head-to-toe skin check every month as part of your skincare regimen. Click here to access tips from the Skin Cancer Foundation about self-checking your skin. To learn more about different kinds of skin cancers and how they may present, including melanoma, click here.
  • See your general physician annually and have skin evaluated – and ask for a dermatologist referral if concerns arise.

Here at Actifirm, we want you to take your skin health seriously. Next time, we’ll look at summer skincare – and talk about why you should exfoliate.

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