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20 BEST Fungal Acne Safe Products + My Skincare Routine


Here is a complete list of the best Fungal Acne Safe Products in 2023 as well as my daily fungal acne skincare routine. These products are great whether you suffer from fungal acne, also known as Malassezia folliculitis, or just have very sensitive skin prone to breakouts.

This is also a great routine if you are a tretinoin user, as these products are moisturizing and help protect your skin’s barrier. This list includes products for oily, dry, and combination skin. Also my guide on the best fungal acne safe makeup.

What is Fungal Acne (Malassezia)

Malassezia folliculitis is more recently known on the internet as fungal acne due to its similar appearance. However, Malassezia folliculitis is actually a skin condition caused by an overproduction of yeast on the skin. All of our skin naturally contains yeast, but under certain conditions, it is also involved in the pathogenesis of head and neck dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, pityriasis versicolor, and Malassezia folliculitis. It interacts with both the innate and acquired skin immune systems and thereby causes immune reactions under certain conditions.

In Malassezia folliculitis, the yeasts invade the pilo-sebaceous unit leading to a dilatation of the follicles with a large number of Malassezia cells. If the follicular walls rupture this results in a mixed inflammatory infiltrate and clinical inflammation which resembles small bumps and is often mistaken for acne.

There are many skincare products on the market that contain ingredients that can trigger an overproduction of year on the skin. Below are the fungal acne-safe products I personally recommend after trying hundreds of different products.

How to Cure Fungal Acne

I started writing about Fungal Acne when I had my own Malassezia Folliculitis outbreak. With my background in skincare, I knew what I had, what caused it, and how to get rid of it quickly. However, I realized that when many others come down with this condition they are at a loss of what to do. If you are suffering from fungal acne I encourage you to read my article on how I got rid of my fungal acne outbreak in a week: How to Cure Fungal Acne In One Week.

My favorite fungal acne safe products

I have tried hundreds of fungal acne safe products and below are the products I feel work and feel the best on my skin. I have combination skin and it can be more dry in the winter and more oily in the summer. I have tried products for all skin types. Currently, with the routine I share below, my skin is more clear than it has ever been. I have what the internet called “glass skin” which is really just a combination of having well exfoliated and moisturized skin with a healthy skin barrier.



When it comes to fungal acne safe cleansers, there are really two standout products that are great for all skin types. Those are:

Cerave Foaming Face Wash

Vanicream Gentle Cleanser for Sensitive Skin

Both of these fungal acne safe products are gentle, while Vanicream is just slightly more moisturizing. They are also both foaming cleansers, not creams.



There is no need to get overly fancy with your serums. There are essentially two ingredients you want to look for. The first is Hyaluronic Acid, also known as Sodium Hyaluronate.

Sodium Hyaluronate is what you will see written most in the ingredients and has a lower molecular weight meaning it will penetrate deeper in the skin. Two of the simplest and safest Hyaluronic Acid Serums are

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%

Trader Joes Hyaluronic Acid

The second ingredient you want to look for in a fungal acne safe serum is Niacinamide. This ingredient is amazing for protecting the skin barrier, helping to balance oily skin, and brightening the skin. My favorite product is

The Ordinary 10% Niacinamide with Zinc


Fungal Acne Safe Moisturizers for Dry Skin

Finding a good fungal acne safe moisturizer was the biggest challenge. Trying to find a good hydrating cream was not easy and there are not many options. Most fungal acne safe products are geared more toward those with oily skin.

If you use tretinoin or have very dry skin, having a good moisturizer is essential. After much trial and error, my top recommendations for fungal safe moisturizers are:

SkinFix Barrier+ Skin Barrier Niacinamide Restoring Gel Cream: This product is pretty remarkable and one of the only mainstream brands to actually promote that their cream is “free from known fungal blemish triggers”. It is specifically designed to promote and restore the skins moisture barrier. Though this brand is a little pricier, it’s worth it.

Krave Beauty Oat So Simple Water Cream: This is one of my more recent discovers after Avene Extreme Emulsion was discontinued and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide Protective Moisturizer changed their formulation. The Krave Beauty Oat So Simple cream is wonderful and uses squalane (like the others did) which is incredibly moisturizing as well as Oat Extract to calm and soothe the skin. It also has minimal ingredients which is always a plus in my book.

Farmacy Daily Greens Oil-Free Gem Moisturizer: Even though this is a gel formula, it is incredibly moisturizing and made for dry, red, or irritated skin. It contains polyglutamic acid which is even more hydrating than hyaluronic acid.

Cerave Moisturizing Cream: Some people love this cream and others hate it, but I personally love it and have zero reactions when using it. It is incredibly moisturizing and great at moisturizing the skin. It has controversial fatty alcohols, but this ingredient has not personally had any effect and has actually made my skin better so you will have to experiment and see how your skin reacts.


Fungal Acne Safe Moisturizers for Oily Skin

E.L.F. Super Hydrate Gel Moisturizer: I like this gel moisturizer because it is super budget-friendly and only $12. While not quite as moisturizing as Oat So Simple, it is definitely more moisturizing than a serum. This hydrating gel is especially great for those who have extremely oily skin or live in very humid climates.

Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel – Hydration Face Moisturizer: Though pricey, this moisturizing gel is revered by it’s users and great for combination skin. Those with oily skin claim it does not make their skin more oily, and those with dry skin claim it still provides wonderful hydration. If you prefer more high-end skincare lines for anti-aging, then this is likely the one you want to use as it is full of vitamins and peptides. This is my go-to moisturizer during the summer.

Best Exfoliator for Fungal Acne

The Ordinary 100% Squalane: I discovered that pure squalane works amazingly as a gentle exfoliator and cleanser. If you massage this into your skin first thing in the morning, you’ll start to notice all your dry skin will gently rub off. Then once you are finished exfoliating, just wash your face with vanicream. This leaves my skin so soft and moisturized.

If your skin needs extra moisture, I always keep The Ordinary 100% Squalane on hand. I use a drop for my under eyes and around any areas that are peeling or extra dry like around my nose. You can also add a few drops to your moisturizer if your skin is extra dry and needs a little more love.

Be sure to NOT use hemi-squalane as this has a different chemical make up is not the same.


The Best Fungal Acne Safe Sunscreens

Using sunscreen is an absolute must, especially if you are using tretinoin or care about anti-aging. Finding a fungal safe sunscreen that did not sting, leave a white cast, worked well with makeup, and provided ample sun protection was not easy. Below are the best sunscreens which I use regularly.

Nivea Japan SPF 50: This is the holy grail of sunscreen. It goes on like a moisturizing gel, does not pile, works great with makeup, absorbs easily, and does not have any burning or irritation. It is an awesome fungal acne-safe sunscreen I swear by. I love this sunscreen so much I buy it as gifts for friends and family.

Tizo 3 Tinted SPF 40: If I want more of a matte finish, this sunscreen works with any skin tone and goes on like a smooth blurring primer. This sunscreen is great for those with oily skin and also works well with oil-based moisturizers.

Paula’s Choice Youth Extended Sunscreen SPF 50: this is the only other sunscreen I find acceptable. While it absorbs well and does not leave a white cast, it still has that sunscreen feel while the other two do not.

However, if you need moisture and are on the fence about trying Japanese skincare products, you can give this one a try.

Makeup Removers & Micellular Water

To remove my makeup I use Cerave Micellular Water on a soft cotton pad. Then I use a Magic Erase Cloth with my facewash to make sure all my makeup is removed.


In actually believe face masks are the biggest ripoff in the skincare industry. I only use pure powders. You simply add some powder with a little water and mix. All masks are made out of clays such as bentonite or kaolin.

There is no need to purchase overpriced masks. The below mask is a $12 powder with sulfur, kaolin clay, and zinc.

The Mario Badescu Special Healing Powder

Sulfer is an incredibly beneficial ingredient for those with fungal acne as it has anti-bacterial properties, is anti-fungal, reduces inflammation, and has been used to treat a wide variety of skin conditions.



If you have sensitive skin, fungal acne, or severe breakouts I highly recommend using a tretinoin gel and not the cream. Also, do not be in a rush to move up in strength.

I use 0.025% Tretinoin gel every other day and if I see it is making my skin too dry, I use it every 3 days. When I was on 0.05% my skin was a nightmare that took weeks to recover. Don’t force something that is not working.

What ingredients are NOT safe for fungal acne?

Common ingredients in many skincare products that are NOT safe for fungal acne include polysorbates, coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, dimethicone, synthetic fragrances, Isopropyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate, Isopropyl palmitate, dimethicone, ethanol and isopropyl alcohol,PEG compounds, lanolin, propylene glycol, and mineral oil.

These are just the most common ingredients, there are many more which is why it can be so difficult to find good fungal acne safe skincare products.

Skincare products to avoid if you have fungal acne

If you have fungal acne, please immediately stop using these products listed below on your face!!

  • Mineral & Coconut Oil Cleansers
  • Toners that strip your skins barrier
  • Cleansing creams
  • Tretinoin cream (only use gel)
  • Occlusive Sunscreens and Ointments
  • Irritating Acids

skin inc

My Fungal Acne Skincare Routine

I began using this fungal acne skincare routine after I had a major Malassezia folliculitis reaction which is caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the skin. This was triggered by a very long day in the garden on a hot summer day with poor clogging sunscreen slathered all over my face.

I immediately followed this article’s fungal acne treatment guide and cleared it up in only a few days. However, my skin has remained clear and is the best I’ve ever seen it from using fungal acne safe products in my skincare routine. Below is my skincare routine.

Morning Fungal Acne Skincare Routine

  1. Wash face with Vanicream Gentle Facewash (don’t dry face completely, keep a little water on your skin)
  2. In the Palm of your hand add 1-2 drops of Trader Joes or The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid Serum with 1-2 drops of The Ordinary Niacinimide. Massage into face and neck.
  3. Use Krave Beauty Oat So Simple in the winter or when my skin is peeling, and Murad Water Charged Moisturizing Gel in the summer.
  4. Add 1-2 drops of The Ordinary Squalane for under eyes, around nose, and any other dry areas when needed.

Evening Fungal Acne Skincare Routine

  1. Use Cerave Micellular Water to remove makeup
  2. Wash face with Vanicream Gentle Facewash using a magic erase cloth (if I wore makeup)
  3. Hyaluronic Acid & Niacinamide Serum
  4. Krave Beauty Oat So Simple

Evening Tretinoin Skincare Routine

  1. Wash Face with Vanicream Facewash (follow makeup removal routine if you have makeup on)
  2. Use Niacinamide Serum Only
  3. In Palm of Hand mix a pea size amount of Tretinoin with a few drops of hyaluronic acid, combine, and spread onto the face and neck
  4. follow up with Krave Beauty Oat So Simple

I truly hope you’ve found this article helpful and it has helped you achieve clear beautiful skin. If you have other fungal acne safe skincare suggestions you think I should try, please feel free to list them in the comments.


My Fungal acne before and after photos

What Causes Fungal Acne?

Below are a few of the most common causes of fungal acne. There are habits you may be doing that are you completely unaware of causing this condition. For example, I was emailing back and forth with a reader about her daily habits and she disclosed that she wears a sweatband when she plays sports. I immediately knew this was the cause of her outbreaks. Sweatbands trap moisture, germs, and yeast which can irritate the skin and hair follicles leading to Malassezia Folliculitus. Here are some other common causes.

  • Living in humid tropical climates such as Florida, the Caribbean, or the Mediterranean
  • Using heavy sunscreens
  • Using occlusive products and practicing slugging
  • The combination of being in the hot sun and sweating such as playing sports outside or gardening
  • wearing sweatbands, hats, or facemasks that cover the skin for a prolonged period of time
  • using products that contain ingredients that trigger an overproduction of yeast on the skin

My Aesthetic Background

If you are curious about my background in skincare, I worked as a consultant for one of the top medical spas in Beverly Hills with a well-known celebrity doctor. I then went on to spend several years managing and running a medical spa in Manhattan Beach before moving to Orange County and working as a Director of Operations for several medical spas in Orange County and San Diego.

I am extremely passionate about skincare as well as innovative anti-aging treatments with an emphasis on retaining one’s natural beauty. I have tried every product under the skin and when it comes to skincare, less is definitely more.

Discover More Skincare Tips


DSC_1770 cropSondra Barker
I created this site for purveyor of exceptional eats and escapes; our team is always on a journey to find the perfect bites in the most wonderful places.

Amazon Affiliates Disclosure

Sondra Barker of Cuisine and Travel is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to recommendations on All Products recommended are from my own opinions and experiences.

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