As a teen I had pretty bad skin, but I guess that's pretty normal. As I grew, my skin definitely improved, but was always what I would call problem skin.
I would usually have a few spots here and there, and I never felt particualrly relaxed about the state of my skin, a little like I was in constant battle with it.
I used to use whatever would promise me the best results, and often wanted the harshest products I could find. I wanted to win the war!
However, what really worked for me, and has continued to work over the years, was switching to water. I used to use wipes, or cotton wool with a cleanser. Water seemed like a bit too much of an effort - I couldn't do it from my bed before going to sleep! I wanted stringent chemicals to do their 'magic'.
Initially I switched to Liz Earle's cleanse and polish, which you wipe away with warm water and a cloth. I stuck with this for years, as it made my skin so much happier. The spots went, and my skin relaxed.
Recently I ran out and replaced the cleanse and polish with Boots cold cream. It clearly doesn't share all of the yummy ingredients of Liz Earle, but I'm using the same technique. Applying it, and then wiping off with warm water and a cloth. My skin is still just as happy.
My conclusion is that my skin didn't want those harsh chemicals to strip it, it just needed a regular scrub with a cloth! I no longer need to buy an exfoliator, as the cloth is doing that each and every wash.
I'll continue to switch between Liz Earle and the cold cream, and my skin is the best its ever been.
What has made your skin the happiest?