Products To Counter Fungal Acne
Fungal acne is caused by an overgrowth of yeast on the skin, resulting in itchy and inflamed red bumps. Though the term “fungal acne” may seem quite intimidating, it is actually more common in Singapore than we think due to the humid weather. Previously, we’ve covered how to identify if you have fungal acne and what causes it. If you’re experiencing similar symptoms and struggling to find the right skincare products, look no further. We asked 5 girls who have experienced fungal acne to share the top products they swear by, as well as additional tips and their skincare routines.
1. Nixoderm and Oxy 5
“Using topical products reduced my acne visibly within 1 to 2 weeks of use. Redness and itch were also reduced, and my skin felt less oily overall. There were also lesser outbreaks and recurrent acne.
I use Oxy 5 in the day after showering, and Nixoderm at night. The amount that I usually use is around the size of a 5-cent coin, which I leave on the acne.
My morning skincare routine consists of a facial cleanser from my dermatologist, followed by a water-based toner, and serums targeted at oil control, reducing redness or lightening acne scars. Next, I use hyaluronic acid, a lightweight or water-based moisturiser, and creams targeted at fungal acne, before finishing off with sunblock.
My night-time skincare routine is similar, except I use micellar water before washing my face.
As for my back, I use a body wash and creams targeted at fungal acne, as well as a lightweight or water-based moisturiser. I also use an exfoliator 2 to 3 times a week.”
Advice for those struggling with fungal acne: “Seek help from a dermatologist if you have recurrent or prolonged acne bumps, pain and constant itchiness. Fungal acne is quite common, considering that Singapore has a hot and humid climate that favours its growth. There is nothing to be embarrassed about when seeking treatment and advice. Fungal acne doesn’t diminish your beauty, beauty comes from within!”
2. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
“Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay helps with reducing redness, itchiness and the size of whiteheads. Mix one tablespoon of the clay powder with one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, then put it on your face like a regular clay mask. You can also use water [as an alternative] but it doesn’t mix as well.
You can use it 1 to 3 times a week for two weeks when you first use it, depending on how sensitive your skin is. Subsequently, just once a week will do.
I don’t really have an elaborate skincare routine. I just use a face wash, followed by toner and moisturiser. My skin is very sensitive, so I have to avoid quite a number of products in the market that are heavily scented or contain ingredients that would cause me to break out even more.”
Advice for those struggling with fungal acne: “If you suspect that you have fungal acne but are not sure, go and see a doctor. A lot of topical treatments can actually worsen the fungal acne since they’re made for anti-acne purposes; or just not work at all, if you’re lucky.
I think the term ‘fungal acne’ also scares a lot of people, as there is an assumption that you don’t wash your face properly or don’t have proper hygiene. But that’s not always the case. It could be caused by internal health issues, or even by medication that patients who suffer from chronic issues have to take on a long-term basis.”
3. KraveBeauty Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser and Kale-Lalu-yAHA
Left to right:
KraveBeauty Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser and Kale-Lalu-yAHA: KraveBeauty
“In the morning, I use a gel cleanser, serum, moisturiser and sunscreen. At night, I use an oil cleanser, gel cleanser, Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) toner, 2 different serums and a moisturiser.
I started to use gel-based cleansers, regardless of whether it’s the morning or night, because foam ones were stripping the natural oils from my face. This in turn, made my face even oiler due to the excess oil production. For days that my face feels particularly tight, I use warm water to cleanse instead.
My skin was noticeably less oily after using KraveBeauty’s Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser, especially after using a cleanser that was completely not suitable for my skin. Additionally, every night on a cotton pad, I use KraveBeauty Kale-Lalu-yAHA as a toner after cleansing, omitting on days where my skin is sensitive. Using an AHA product helped my skin feel less itchy and also helped with my skin texture.”
Advice for those struggling with fungal acne: “Be sure about whether it’s fungal acne or closed comedones—do a lot of research before trying any skincare hacks because these 2 types of acne look very similar. I’ve heard that dermatologists also often diagnose them wrongly. This alludes to a lot of the lack of awareness in skincare for people with darker skin types.
Fungal acne doesn’t only grow on your face. Some people have it all over their body and don’t even know it’s fungal acne. Don’t fret and don’t expect instant results. Listen to your skin and only do what your skin wants on that day, not some 10-step Korean skincare routine that will allegedly give you glowing skin.”
4. Freeman Manuka Honey + Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask + Cleanser, Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture, Bio essence Bio-Bird’s Nest Collagen Skin Enhancer and Hiruscar Postacne
Left to right:
Freeman Manuka Honey + Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask + Cleanser: Guardian
Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture: Watsons
Bio essence Bio-Bird’s Nest Collagen Skin Enhancer: Guardian, Watsons
Hiruscar Postacne: Guardian, Watsons
“In the morning, I start with a water-based face wash. I often switch between Shokubutsu’s Radiance Facial Foams: Brightening, Vitalising or Moisturising, followed by an oil control toner. Then, I apply Bio essence Bio-Bird’s Nest Collagen Skin Enhancer, Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture and sunblock.
Bio essence Bio-Bird’s Nest Collagen Skin Enhancer helps to repair my skin as I dry-treat the acne, so my skin usually gets scarred. I have combination skin that gets oilier throughout the day. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture is neither sticky nor drying, so [it] helps with calming down the acne.
At night, I use an oil-based cleanser to remove my makeup, then a water-based cleanser, oil control toner, whitening toner and Bio essence Bio-Bird’s Nest Collagen Skin Enhancer. I end my routine with eye cream, Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture and Hiruscar Postacne.
I use Hiruscar Postacne instead of a pimple cream because it’s less drying and moisturises the affected pores.
Lastly, I use Freeman Manuka Honey + Tea Tree Oil Clay Mask + Cleanser at least once a week to keep my face exfoliated and clean.”
Advice for those struggling with fungal acne: “If the itchiness, redness, or sometimes even swelling starts to feel uncomfortable, seek professional treatment immediately. I never had the chance to do so growing up, so I’m still experiencing it today. However, I think [seeing] a dermatologist would have been a much more efficient way to combat this problem.”
5. Simple Refreshing Facial Wash, KraveBeauty Oat So Simple Water Cream, Bioderma Sensibio H20 Soothing Micellar Water, Seldron Cleaning Lotion
Left to right:
Simple Refreshing Facial Wash: iShopChangi, Watsons
KraveBeauty Oat So Simple Water Cream: KraveBeauty
Bioderma Sensibio H20 Soothing Micellar Water: Guardian, Watsons
Seldron Cleaning Lotion: Prescribed by doctor
“I try to go simple and minimalist these days. I use Simple Refreshing Facial Wash and KraveBeauty Oat So Simple Water Cream. I’ve not found the right sunblock so far. For makeup remover, I use Bioderma Sensibio H20 Soothing Micellar Water. I’m still venturing, so these 3 products are safe to me.”
This might sound weird, but I’ve also been using Seldron Cleaning Lotion, which is meant for dandruff, as a quick DIY mask when I break out.
I read on Reddit that dandruff shampoos help with fungal acne, as they might possibly play a role in reducing fungal and yeast levels. I was prescribed this by a doctor after he realised that I have dandruff, and thought to [give it a] try. But it does make the skin dry when you overuse it, so be cautious!”
Advice for other girls struggling with fungal acne: “My route taken is probably not the best as I didn’t seek professional help. But what really helped was to slowly introduce new products and stop [using] them when they cause a breakout. Fermented products, such as SK-II, really caused me to and I really didn’t understand why until I looked it up. If a product causes you to break out, reading up online about others’ experiences could help you with avoiding similar products.
Going back to [a] simple regime also works quite well. Reading about fungal acne-safe products on websites like Simpleskincarescience and r/SkincareAddiction also help if you are trying to slowly change your routine to what works for you.”
Heal Your Fungal Acne With These Products
Battling with fungal acne can be extremely tiresome, both mentally and physically. Most of the time, finding the right products to counter fungal acne requires a lot of trial and error. While everyone’s skin and body reacts differently, we hope that this list of recommended products can help you take a step into finding the one that best suits you.