If I'm wearing waterproof mascara or foundation, I will use the Shu Uemura pink cleansing oil (review here) - I find this is the most lightweight cleansing oil I've tried on the market, and I've tried Clinique, Tatcha, Neutrogena, etc. The only flaw with a really liquid formula is I tend to get it in my eye if I'm not careful, but this is great for face makeup
La Roche Posay Effacer Medicated gel cleanser (review here)
I tend to try new cleansers out of curiosity but I always have this one on hand - it helps with my blackheads and pores the most, esp when used with a cleansing device. Idk if it does much for acne but it definitely doesn't make it worse. Only flaw is it's a bit drying so I use it only at night. In the morning I tend to use a more hydrating cleanser, but I haven't found one I absolutely LOVE.
Key part to getting rid of my acne:
Epiduo 0.1% adapalene | 2.5% benzoyl peroxide
This is a gel my dermatologist told me to use as a preventative step, and when I first started taking antibiotics I was lazy and didn't use it. When I lowered the dosage of the antibiotics I noticed I would start to get little pimples again, but I knew I couldn't be on antibiotics forever, so I started using the Epiduo. Now that I'm off the antibiotics, Epiduo keeps my skin so clear - I apply it on the areas I tend to break out: my cheeks and the middle part of forehead/in between the eyebrows.
Epiduo IS prescriptioned, but there are a lot of 2.5% benzoyl peroxide treatments on the market like from Neutrogena, or acne.org. I recommend not using more than 2.5% benzoyl peroxide, as it can be very drying on the skin and perhaps too harsh. I used to use a 10% and 5% bp so I have experienced dryness and flakiness.
KEEP IN MIND: this is not an overnight treatment if you have cystic acne, so BE patient. My dermatologist actually told me it takes 3 months to work, but this will dry out and kill most pimples in a week or so. This is a preventative treatment, so even when your skin is clear you still need to use it on places you tend to break out if you want truly clear skin. I don't know how long I'll have to use this until, but it's worth it for clear skin. Acne.org sells large bottles of 2.5% BP if you don't want to go to a dermatologist.
Cerave Moisturizing Cream (review here)
One misconception with acne is you don't have to moisturize.
If you don't moisturize, your skin doesn't repair itself as well at night, and your skin will start to look dull and overproduce oil no matter how much you exfoliate. My best friend recently started moisturizing her skin at night and told me it made a huge difference on her breakouts and her skin is less oily. When it's not moisturizing enough, I add some jojoba oil. Cerave doesn't help with my blackheads or large pores, so I use a lighter gel cream for my nose now. Cerave is also great for your body, it absorbs rather quickly.
If you have sensitive skin I highly recommend Cerave. If you want something fancier, keep in mind that alcohol, fragrance and mineral oil (as ingredients) could irritate your skin.
Cerave absorbs very quickly and leaves a non tacky finish
Cotz Natural Skin Tone SPF40 (review here)
Sunblock is SO important if you're using an acne treatment. A lot of them will say your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun, so please please please use a sunblock with SPF 30 or more. A lot of my friends don't like to apply sunscreen bc a lot of them are thick or heavy feeling. I personally love this Cotz one in particular, it somehow keeps my skin from producing extra oil more than other sunblock. But could also be a bit drying if I didn't moisturize properly the night before.
I recently tried the Cotz Flawless Complexion SPF50 but it makes me super oily, so I'm sticking to the Natural Tint SPF40. I wish this came in a lighter tint but I'll deal with it. It also minimizes the appearance of pores, all in all my holy grail sunblock.
GlamGlow SuperMud cleansing treatment (review here)
When I do have blackheads or my skin feels clogged, I use a clay mask. The GlamGlow is the most visually appealing because you can almost see the oil being sucked out, but it is rather expensive.
I don't think it helps with acne overnight, but using a mud mask should definitely help your pores be less clogged.
Origins Out of Trouble (pictured below)
This is a white clay mask with a strong herbal scent - it does seem to help with my blackheads and pores, esp if you use it straight out of the shower.
When my skin is extra dry, I use these two masks for some overnight moisture:
Origins Drink Up Intensive
This has a strong fruity scent which I don't particularly like, but it hydrates the skin well. There was a period of time I used this as a night cream, but it's a bit heavy for every night use.
GlamGlow ThirstyMud hydrating treatment (review here)
This smells like coconuts, and you can get a sample of both of them at Sephora if you're interested. It has a cooling sensation, which I like and hydrates the skin very well.
Origins (white) | GlamGlow (tan)
As you can tell both have a thicker cream texture.