@ADawnPhelps. Allow yourself peace.
(Yes, this is easier said than done, but just like it makes you upset to see it, you're the only person that can give yourself peace).
I have hormonal, cystic acne that comes and goes. Which, I prefer to my childhood acne, because honestly, it was terrible. Papules all day, everyday. I look at my parents skin, and wondered how I ended up with this being a permanent condition, but that's how genetics goes. As an adult, I was on antibiotics for a while, which really helped, but then the dermatologist unkindly (but wisely) stopped giving me them and the acne returned. That's when I got into skincare and started wearing foundation again, and yes, I would load up on it and make the hidden thing more apparent, like you've noticed. Once I learned a little more about technique and lucked out by finding products that worked a little bit better for me, I was able to go lighter on foundation. Also, like @Titian06 , we're are usually far harsher judges than anyone else, and since the face is such a personal thing, it's like we can be hyper focused on something that is so small and no one notices, which is why I am saying to also be kind. If you aren't responding to yourself kindly, it will likely make you want to keep putting more foundation on, it's like the acne is a stimulus and you're conditioned to do this as a way to address the stimulus (I am too, btw). Technique comes in with cover-up, because concealers do technically bright light/attention to the thing you're trying to conceal. I remember in a sephora class (or video) I was told to use eye primer on a small pimple, vs concealer and just go into my normal complexion routine. I don't do this for every pimple (it's a specific spot on my face where it'll works). Most of the time, I try to apply a concealer and tap it in, then blend the rest of it to my foundation. I might apply powder separately to the spot, but that's only if there's discoloration. Because it is texture, it's likely going to show on the face, but if I take a photo, I just angle my head differently so the light doesn't pick it up.
It's trial and error to see what works for you, but I am confident you'll find something that works for you. /This ends my TEDtalk, thank you for coming
If you're curious, product wise, what currently works for me:
Hyper Skin Gentle Brightening Gel Cleanser with Mandelic Acid 5 oz / 150 mL
First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads 60 Pads
Hyper Skin Brightening Dark Spot Vitamin C Serum 1 oz/ 30 mL
belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb 3.37 oz/ 100 mL/ belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb
Not sold at Sephora: Tula "Go Away" Acne spot treatment (this works well for me on hormonal cysts)
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion(doesn't stop acne, but helps dry up some of the ones i get if the Tula doesn't work)
Dr. Jart+ Mini Tinted Moisturizer Oil Free Natural Skin Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 20 15 mL/ .50 fl oz(This is great for redness, like @Titian06 & @JoSometimes noted, color correcting can sometimes help, but this doesn't work well if you have a slightly different undertone. E.L.F. has other color correctors, notably a blue one, so if you've tried color correcting and didn't see improvement, make sure you're matching your undertone).
Peace Out Salicylic Acid Acne Day Dots 1 pack / 40 dots(This can be a blessing in that, what you can't touch, you won't bother. I still have a mask for work, so sometimes I will use an acne dot and just put my makeup over it. You can tell it is there if you are looking really deeply at me, but usually when I take my mask off, people are just noticing that I have a bottom half of a face moreso than an odd mark. I also wear them to the gym so sweat doesn't get on my acne, and again, no one is looking at me there either, they are usually looking at themselves)
Dr. Zenovia Skincare 5% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Spot Treatment(This didn't work for me, but can be effective on acne)
SEPHORA COLLECTION Vegan Makeup Remover and Cleansing Brush
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite™ FaceWare Pro