As you all know from my odd little rants here and there, I have pretty bad acne. It's always been bad, right from when I first came in to my teenage years. I always thought it would clear up as I got older and for a short while it did. It used to be all over my face, mainly my cheeks and forehead, but it looked so bad that people would come up to me at school and make this sympathetic face as they touched it and asked if it hurt!... Yes, that did really happen!

As I got older, I started on the pill and my skin cleared up dramatically. I always had the odd few spots but nothing I couldn't cope with. But then, as my endometriosis got worse, I had to start on hormone treatments and of course, my skin reacted straight away.

Over time it got gradually worse and a few years ago, when it was at it's worst and I was crying every day with the way it looked and the pain it was causing me (I think I mentioned before about how it would wake me up in the night with the pain from brushing on my pillowcase), I went to the doctors. The doctor had suffered with severe acne herself so she sympathised with how I was feeling. She advised me to stay clear of any products with Panthenol in them (which I still do to this day) and gave me some PanOxyl 10 Acnegel to use twice a day after I had washed my face.

I used it as the doctor has directed and my spots did clear up a lot but my skin completely dried out from the gel and it looked awful from that alone. I used it until the tube ran out and then went back to the pharmacy for more. By chance, the assistant gave me the wrong gel and not realising until I got home, I didn't have a chance to change it. Instead of the Acnegel she had given me PanOxyl 10 Aquagel which is the same as the Acnegel but water based instead of alcohol based. This worked much better for my skin as it wasn't as harsh but kept the spots at bay while not drying out my skin completely.

As my acne was all because of my hormones, and not really a factor I had any control over, no treatments have ever really worked. I stopped using the Aquagel every day when I had my coil fitted as my skin, for the first time ever, became almost completely clear. But since I've had my coil removed, my skin has gone back to it's old ways and I'm about at my wits end with it again. I may go back to the doctors again but I don't want to take tablets for it so I'm not sure what else they can do for it.

I have tried almost every lotion and potion on the shelves - apart from anything expensive because I just cannot afford it. I'd give anything for a Clarisonic Mia but I can't see me ever spending over £100 on something for my skin... Or ever being able to! I think my skin just gets used to things and recently I've found myself going back to my old mixed up routines to try and get my skin looking a little better.

Some of my current favourite skin products

PanOxyl 10 Acnegel and PanOxyl 10 Aquagel contain Benzoyl Peroxide 10% w/w which has an antibacterial and a peeling effect and makes your skin less greasy. I do still use the Aquagel if my skin is particularly bad and nothing else less evasive is budging the spots - but only occasionally. You can also buy this in a 5% version which is a little less harsh. I would only recommend the 10% version if you have real acne - not just the occasional spot. At £3.75 it's a bit of a bargain but one tip, keep it away from clothing as it will bleach the fabric, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after use and do not rub your eyes (it will hurt!)! My doctor directed me to use this over my entire face but I tend to just use it in the places where I either have spots or know I usually get spots, applying when my face is thoroughly cleansed at night before going to bed... As you can see, the tube has been very well used!

This is a remedy that I have only discovered over the last few years. Very cheap and very effective! Sudocrem is an antiseptic healing cream that is commonly used for nappy rash, but can also be used for cuts and grazes, sunburn, minor burns, eczema, bed sores and acne. It's very thick and hard to rub in so I would suggest rubbing a little in at a time rather than putting a whole dollop in your hands and rubbing away - you'd be there for a while doing that! I tend to use this in place of my normal moisturiser at bedtime (once my skin is cleansed of any make up), when my face is very sore and I need something soothing, moisturising and calming. My skin always looks so much better the following morning. I've also found that it's an excellent base to use under make up. It can also be applied just to the affected areas on top of another moisturiser.

I originally purchased Bio-Oil to apply to my scars on my tummy after my second operation but one night decided to try it on my face and it worked wonders. I can only use it once a week, else it tends to make me break out, but I try and stick to that once a week routine because my skin always looks better the next morning. Again, I use it in place of my normal moisturiser once my skin is thoroughly cleansed. As for using it on scars, it's fantastic. Even applied just once a day, it significantly improves the appearance of them. I bought the 60ml bottle several years ago and it has lasted really well as you only need to use one or two drops at a time.

I used Tea Tree Water to tone my skin and to get rid of any oily residue left over from the cleanser I used when taking my make up off in the evening - either spritzing directly on to the skin and then wiping off, or applying to a cotton wool pad and then wiping gently over the skin. I only used this for about 2 months and I loved it. It's got a lovely smell to it, and it makes your skin feel beautiful. I didn't really notice any improvement to my skin but it did feel very clean and fresh after using it. I was slightly concerned about the fact it still contained Parabens but, if you're not bothered about this then I would recommend it. I haven't repurchased it for the simple fact that my nearest Lush store is Leicester so I cannot get there myself at the moment.

I purchased a tub of Re-Gen Cream after Zoe did a post about it on her blog, Zoella. It basically does the same job as Bio-Oil but in a cream formulation. It's so soothing and I've almost come to the end of my first pot now. It doesn't tend to keep the spots away, but it helps with any redness and scarring from spots and blemishes and moisturises your skin thoroughly. It's also an excellent moisturiser if you've been out in the sun too long or have a sore face from the wind. Danny uses this all the time and it sinks in to his skin beautifully without leaving any greasy residue. I also love the smell of this product - it smells clean and fresh. I will definitely be re-purchasing this again when I have finished this pot.

My daily routine

I've been using Avene Cleanance K as my daytime moisturiser for over a year now and I absolutely love it. After trying lots of budget moisturisers, I decided to splash out a little and try something a little more expensive. It took me a while to find this cream and I tried quite a few others from the Avene range (and other 'premium' ranges) before getting to this one. I only use it once a day (as directed) and it sits beautifully on the skin, moisturising where it should and mattifying any oily patches. One tube lasts me quite a while as you don't need very much but I don't think I'll be straying from this for a good while yet. It's definitely worth that little bit extra.

I take my make up of each night with Johnson's Baby wipes because, basically, they are cheap! I really do not see the point of using expensive make up removal wipes that cost a fortune (well, almost £5.00!) and get dry halfway through the packet when you can pay so little and get fully moist wipes that do the job just as well for £1.00. These are really gentle on my skin also and remove all my make up really well. This has been a staple of mine for years now.

I've been using the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser for about 6 months now and after having slightly mixed reviews to it over the last few months, I do now quite like it. Enough to at least continue with it until it's gone. A lot of beauty bloggers were raving about this product when it was released over here in the UK, but to be honest, I've not noticed any difference in my skin since using it. The one thing I do like, is that it's a massive bottle and a little goes a long way! I put a little in my hands, rub together, massage in to my skin and then remove with a cotton pad. You can also use this as a face wash - but I haven't tried that yet. It's very gentle and soothing and leaves your skin feeling very soft and clean.

I've been using this Vichy NormaDerm for about 3 weeks now after reading a post on the lovely Hayley's blog, Wifelifebeautyxo. After deciding to have a change from the Lush Tea Tree Water, I started looking at Bioderma but it seemed a bit of a faff to buy in the UK. So, based on Hayley's review, I purchased this instead, which is (apparently) almost the same. I have to say, I love it. It leaves my skin feeling beautifully clean and fresh and I did notice an improvement in my skin after just the first night. After cleansing, I pop a little of this on to a cotton pad and gently wipe over my skin to remove any impurities that are still lingering. The only thing I have against it, and this is a little odd, is that the smell of it reminds me of something from when I was in hospital in May (I did say it was odd!). But apart from that, it's great!

I bought this Clearasil Ultra Overnight Lotion from Poundland just over a week ago for (surprisingly) £1.00 and I absolutely love it! I don't usually buy Clearasil products because I tried a lot of their products when I was younger and they didn't do anything for my skin. I only tried this because it was £1.00 and my skin improved in just one night! It leaves your skin feeling really moisturised but not at all greasy as it sinks in quickly and you can then feel a slight tingle to it - so I can tell it's doing something! I use this as a night time moisturiser (only) and I massage it in after my face is full cleansed and toned. The only thing is, I've just had a look on line for this product and there are only a few places that sell it so I think I might nip back to Poundland and stock up on these. I'm not sure why this is... The Clearasil website doesn't even show it as a product and Boots and Superdrug don't stock it either. Very odd.

Again, I bought this Clearasil Ultra Overnight Serum for £1.00 from Poundland and again I love it! I have been applying this after moisturising my face on the bad spots and where my scarring is at it's worst and I noticed a slight improvement after just the first night. You only need a tiny bit as it spreads really well and it feels very soothing on sore skin. It hasn't stopped me getting any spots but it feels lovely and has improved the appearance of my skin so I will definitely continue using it. Unfortunately, (again!), I can't find many stockists on line so I don't know whether these are end of the line products or if they have been recalled for some reason, but I think I'll stock up on this too if it's still available for £1.00.

So, there you have it... Have you tried any of these products? Do you have any favourite products that you could recommend for acne prone skin? Please feel free to leave some comments - I'm always on the lookout for new acne treatments!