Chemical products are one thing I won't use.
My face isn't so bad. It's like how you mentioned. Used to be worse, until I started cleaning my face in a certain way.
Wash your face everyday, with warm water and a washcloth. No soap. Don't touch your face, of course. Don't scratch and pick at it. Cleanse your skin (witchhazel is great, or get some thing specified for it. This opens the pores to get the dirt out), tone your skin (a specialized ingredient thingy, this closes your pores so more dirt won't get in), and moisterize (heavy or light cream, depends on your skin).
I use all natural, organic products. Lemon witchhazel (cleanser), rosewater witchhazel (toner), wild lettuce (toner), orange exfoliant (can be used as a cleanser), tea tree oil in a cream. Tea tree oil works brilliantly on blemishes and pimples (just don't use too much). It's cheap, and is good for all sorts of problems.
Here are two sites you can go to for some tips/info and recipes on skincare (and many other things). Cleansers, masques, etc. Care2
and Pioneer Thinking