Tips for getting clearer skin

Everyone’s been there when their skin is making them frustrated.

You will have to look into the mirror and saw imperfections and started to pick at the pimples and leading to more problems.

About two years ago I became fed up and wanted to take action to improve my skin.

I went to The Body Shop and bought their tea tree skin clearing foaming cleanser and their tea tree toner; in conjunction with the aqua peeling, and daily application of Biore UV aqua sunscreen.

 


biore

The aqua peeling I felt was quite important in my routine as my skin has poor cell turn over and the dead layers of the skin often clogs up pores, I didn’t like using the beaded exfoliators and found them too rough. I don’t know if you can still buy this particular product anymore but there are plenty of alternatives like the famous Cure natural aqua gel or the UGB peeling gel. Many asian brands have something along these lines, Cure and UGB can be found at http://www.yesstyle.com and they deliver to New Zealand.

Sun protection is very important also, the UV rays can age your skin, but I also sometimes wondered if it contributes to the breakouts I was experiencing. New Zealand’s UV rays are known to be more harsh than other places in the world, and it’s important to look after yourself. However sunscreen products tend to feel thick and sticky, which I didn’t like and therefore would not put it on. I found Biore UV aqua sunscreen through online reviews talking about their lightweight-ness of the product and upon trying it I was hooked.

Consistency of use and being more mindful of what else I was doing has changed my skin for the better. I learnt not to touch my face, no picking, no leaning on it (you don’t know what you pick up during the day on your fingers and then touch your face), cleaning my phone, changing out my pillowcases and washing brushes I was using etc. Just general cleaniness of anything that touched my face. After a while I notice my combination/oily skin became normal, my breakouts weren’t as unpredictable and my skin now requires less maintenance.

I can finally understand when some people say, have a look carefully and see what your skin needs. Now when I’ve had a break out there’s usually a reason, my diet or from contact with my face. When my skin is feeling dry to moisturise it by applying moisturising masks. I’m not as consistent with my routine now than when I was when I was trying to get rid of my acne, but my skin is a whole lot better. I also know now that when my skin plays up, I just go back to a good routine, look after my skin and cater to it’s needs.

acnebeforeafter

This is my story of how I got my skin clearer, it will never be flawless and that’s ok. Everyone’s skin is different and you will have to figure it out through trial and error, though I hope this may be helpful for you on your journey in finding out what works for you.

-Mikki

The Sugar Club – Skytower, Auckland

This post has been 11 months in the making, I cannot procrastinate anymore.

Here’s a look at The Sugar Club by Peter Gordon located on the higher levels of the sky tower in the middle of Auckland city, where you can enjoy the views and eat a delicious meal. As with many high class restaurants the menu changes periodically and if you wondering if it’s going to suit you its best to check out the menu beforehand. Ordering is a little different than other restaurants, as it is dependent on the number of courses you order regardless of the dishes you pick. Portion sizes are smaller, but at the pace that they serve you it gives your body time to realise it is full. Or alternatively you can choose the degustation course. Dinner prices from $90-128.

Menu can be found here: https://www.skycityauckland.co.nz/restaurants/the-sugar-club/menu/

Bookings can be done online at the Skycity website. Ask to be placed next to the window to enjoy the view, and take time to visit the observation deck below either before or after eating your meal.

Pictures of the food and view, note they often include bite sized starter and finisher which is quite nice.

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My new fish tank – a working progress

I started off a few years ago with a 20L tank raising guppies, and since then have keep a range of different fish and have learnt a lot through this journey. Currently I’m raising Discus “The King of Freshwater Fish” due to its high requirements for survival in an aquarium.

I have had Discus for about 2 years now; having raised 5 of them since juvenile into young adults in a 60L tank, this tank was getting cramped and therefore I sought out to move onto a bigger tank, along with this came the challenges of improving and maintaining this new tank. This is my continual journey and process of learning in improving and maintaining my tank.

In this tank I had a blue diamond; a blue colbalt; a rose red; a blue turquoise; and a red map Discus; all 5 of different strains. Along with them I also had my long standing golden bristlenose pleco nicknamed “Goldie” who has been with me through many cycles of fish tanks since my initial guppy raising tanks.

Day One: Moved from the 60L tank to the 100L tank. Bare bottom tank, with a white polystyrene backboard.

Within a week my water started to turn green, probably due to an algae boom. Though the set up was the same as when I had a smaller tank, this was insufficient to maintain an optimal biological system in the new tank; this resulted in an excess of nutrients and wastes (high ammonia, nitrite and phosphate) in the tank.

Tank water became cloudy and green, with signs of illness from the fish. (Note: background colour/picture was changed and additional light coloured stone added to a side of the tank)

This lead to me seeking for improvements to optimise the quality of the water and ecosystem in my tank. Through thorough research I first decided to add in a sponge filter (the most inexpensive option) to help mechanical filtration and provide more surface area for the beneficial bacteria to grow on. This filter was simple to set up and operated by an air pump; aerating the water at the same time, hitting two birds with one stone. After a few days, this made the water seem clearer, ammonia levels dropped to zero but the nitrite levels were still high and the water remained green with algae.

A week after the addition of the sponge filters, slight improvement with clarity of water.

Upon further research I came across a product from Seachem called “Purigen”; a chemical filtration media that absorbs organic waste (things that are harmful to the fish, which also provides nutrients for the algae) in the tank water. I initially debated over whether to get Fluval’s Clearmax or Purigen a similar product by a different company; I decided upon Purigen due to it’s regenerable properties and therefore long-lasting use. As per the product information of the Purigen it will darken as it exhausts; I used 100g in my filter and I did notice the white beads had turned red.

A few days later, the nitrite levels did decrease and I had healthier looking fish. Due to interactions of the Discus within my tank, I sold the rose red Discus to minimise persistent conflict. I also decided at this point I wanted to introduce Tetra species into the tank to create more of a community. I chose the black phantom tetras and rosy tetras for their peaceful qualities and their living requirements were similar to those of the Discus (both soft and acidic). Now a school of Tetra swim amongst my Discus, and has made the Discus swim more freely.

4 Discus with the newly introduced Tetras (note: a change of background to a royal blue – to promote better colour development of the Discus)

However despite all this the algae problem whilst reduced still remained. I sought out to buy a second hand 9W UV filter from blue planet, that will kill free swimming algae/bacteria and polish the water clean. UV filters do not need to be kept on long term, initially it should be on until the algae problem improve, thereafter periodically turning it on for 24 hours will be sufficient (the UV filter I purchased seemed to have been overused prior, thereby reducing its lifetime). Please note whilst the UV filter is operation introduction of beneficial bacteria during usual filter maintenance will be redundant as these bacteria will also be killed by the UV filter.

24 hours after having the UV filter on, I noticed a significant difference, and an even more improved water clarity at 48 hours. After 7 days of use, I now have crystal clear water; which I believe aided in the successful pairing my two of my Discus. Yes! (this lead to more problems — but that’s for another day).

Crystal clear water, with separated pair on the left.

Direct comparisons of the before and after.

Wow that was a lot in one post! Hope this helped you in raising your own fish.

Please leave comments on anything you would like more details about or anything you want to suggest I try~~~