Hello! I just wanted to share what helped me pretty much get clear skin after suffering breakouts all through my teens and into my early twenties. I'm now 22 and I rarely get pimples anymore! Before I had moderate acne...cysts, whiteheads, blah. I tried antibiotics, creams, and finally tried Proactiv. The Proactiv was a big mistake! It irritated and inflamed my face even more. My face looked reeeeally bad and greasy. So here are the changes I made that have helped me get to the clear skin I have now...
(note: some of the products I bought initially were fairly expensive, but now I don't need them)
First, I stopped using all creams and most "acne" face wash products. They were just making my face angry.
Then, I bought a soap a friend recommended from Lush called "coalface." It is a black soap that, yes, has coal in it. I would wash my face once in the morning and once at night. I would also use a good quality moisturizer like Clinique after I washed.
I started drinking a LOT more water. I started eating more vegetables, which I didn't really enjoy at first, but now I think they are yummy when prepared well. I also ate more fruit and tried to limit the amount of crappy food (junk food, food with preservatives, sugar, sweeteners, etc) I ingested. I've heard some people say that diet doesn't influence acne, dermatologists included...well, they are WRONG. Stop eating like crap and make sure you're getting all of your vitamins.
I also stopped picking at my face. I would always want to pop whiteheads because they were hideous, but I stopped doing that and started using Benefit's "Galactic Shield" concealer instead. I also bought "Boo Boo Zap" from Benefit and put that on any pimples I had. That stuff initially worked pretty well for me.
After a couple of weeks of this, my skin started to calm down. Then I started using a glycolic acid peel on my face 2-3 times a week. This helped sooooo much I can't even tell you!
After continuing this regime for a while, my skin got better and better and now I am at the point where I just wash my face with water, use some witch hazel, jojoba oil at night as a moisturizer, and I do an "aspirin mask" a couple times a week. It took a while before my skin got completely clear, probably about 6-8 months, but it was definitely worth the wait.
Hope some of this can help you out! Good luck.