Is Bisabolol Safe to Use on Fungal Acne (Malassezia Folliculitis) Prone Skin?

Is bisabolol fungal acne safe?

Based on the available information, we conclude that Bisabolol is safe to use on skin affected by fungal acne, and does not promote the growth of Malassezia.

What is fungal acne?

Malassezia: Maa · luhz·z · eye · a
Folliculitis: Fo · luh · kyoo· lai · tuhs

Fungal acne is a skin condition that happens when the hair follicles in the skin get invaded by yeast. This invasion can lead to an infection known as malassezia folliculitis.

As a result, small "acne-like" pimples develop, along with burning and skin irritation.

Because both common and fungal acne can occur at the same time, these small bumps are frequently mistaken for true acne. Except for the fact that fungal acne itches a lot, which isn't a common symptom of regular acne (acne vulgaris).

Due to this confusion in appearance, fungal acne can go misdiagnosed and unresolved for years.

We cover fungal acne in greater details here

What’s the difference between fungal acne and regular acne?

The major difference between fungal acne and regular acne is that fungal acne is caused by Malassezia a yeast/fungus, while regular acne (acne vulgaris) is caused by bacteria.

Fungal acne is often misdiagnosed as regular acne because they look somewhat alike. Bacterial acne breakouts often vary in size and feature blackheads or whiteheads. Conversely, fungal acne usually appear as uniform red papules and pustules on the chest, back, upper arms or face.

9 Benefits of Bisabolol (monocyclic sesquiterpene alcohol) in Cosmetics

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Fragrance Ingredient
  • Skin-Conditioning Agent
  • Masking
  • Soothing
  • Improves Healing
  • Brightens the Skin
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Anti-Irritant

Bisabolol may be particularly beneficial for sensitive skin. This is due to its soothing and calming properties, which can help prevent irritation and skin imbalance. If you aren't allergic to Bisabolol, you shouldn't have any problems using products that contain it. However, when in doubt, a skin patch test is advised.

Additional notes on bisabolol in our database:

FS Tips

This chemical is a powerful anti-inflammatory skin "soother" that soothes and calms irritated skin. It also aids in the fading of dark spots on the skin.

Ingredient Rating, Findings & Safety

After review, The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel concluded that Bisabolol is generally safe for cosmetics in the present practices of use and concentration.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) score for Bisabolol is: 1, a range that is considered Low Hazard.

Does bisabolol cause or feed fungal acne?

Malassezia is a fungus that depends on lipids—think oils—to grow. Bisabolol is a chemical compound that is not lipid-based. Therefore, it is not likely for the yeast (Malassezia) to thrive and grow on Bisabolol.

Can Bisabolol Treat Fungal Acne?

Is Bisabolol an antifungal?

No, Bisabolol is not an antifungal agent. This suggests that it may be unable to combat and eliminate the fungus responsible for fungal acne from the skin.

Can Bisabolol Treat Acne (Acne Vulgaris)?

Bisabolol does not contain any properties that can eliminate acne-causing bacteria. This means that bisabolol might not be able to get rid of regular acne pimples on its own.

Adapalene, Tretinoin, Lactobacillus Ferment Lysate, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Niacinamide, on the other hand, have been shown to reduce or destroy C. acnes, the bacteria that causes common acne.

The following products can effectively get rid of acne-causing bacteria (acne vulgaris) while also being free of fungal acne triggers. As a result, they are ideal for treating regular acne without causing any fungal overgrowth:

Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1% Acne Treatment
COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid
Humane Body And Face Wash 10% Benzoyl Peroxide
SOME BY MI AHA. BHA. PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner
Geek & Gorgeous 101 aPAD 20% Azelaic Acid
BIODERMA Sebium Sensitive Soothing Anti-Blemish Care

What Kills Fungal Acne?

Antifungal agents are the most effective treatment for fungal acne anywhere on the body, including the scalp, arms, chest, back, forehead, cheeks, chin, and t-zone.

The most commonly used topical antifungals to treat stubborn fungal folliculitis include ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, zinc pyrithione, and climbazole.

Regular anti-dandruff shampoos and body washes contain these ingredients. So, depending on where you live, starting with these agents can be as simple as going to your local drug store and buying them without a prescription.

Ingredients to Look For If You Have Fungal Acne

If you struggle with fungal acne, you need to use products with ingredients that can combat and alleviate the symptoms of this skin condition.

Below is a short list of the most popular skincare ingredients to look for if you are prone to developing fungal acne bumps/pustules.

These ingredients include: Ketoconazole, Zinc Pyrithione, Boric Acid, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Salicylic Acid, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Mandelic Acid, Sulfur, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Piroctone Olamine.

To know which other ingredients can inhibit the growth of fungal acne, you can always check more ingredients in our fungal acne ingredient checker.

Ingredients to Avoid If You Have Fungal Acne

There are many popular skincare ingredients that you should avoid if your skin is prone to yeast based acne breakouts.

These potentially harmful ingredients include, but are not limited to Polysorbate 20, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Seed Oil, Stearic Acid.

There are still more fungal acne-triggering ingredients in skincare products. To know which potential harmful ingredients you should avoid, you can always check more ingredients with our fungal acne skincare ingredient checker.

What are effective fungal acne treatments at home?

To effectively treat fungal acne at home, you need to use potent, fast-acting antifungal agents that disrupt the cell membranes of the fungus and cause the fungal spore to dry up and die.

These fungal acne at-home treatments should also facilitate gentle exfoliation and rapid cell turnover to remove the dried-up fungus cells from the surface of the skin.

Anti-dandruff shampoos that contain effective fungicidals like Ketoconazole, Zinc Pyrithione, Boric Acid, Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin) Seed Oil, Salicylic Acid, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Mandelic Acid, Sulfur, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Piroctone Olamine can be really good at-home treatments for fungal acne.

Furthermore, Malassezia has been linked to other skin conditions such as pityriasis versicolor and seborrheic dermatitis, both of which can be treated with these over-the-counter medications. As a result, these antifungal products are ideal for personal use at home.

Here are a few products that contain ingredients that are effective against the fungal acne causing yeast malassezia:


Bisabolol seems to be safe for malassezia folliculitis (fungal acne) and does not appear to promote or encourages the yeast's growth.

In addition, Bisabolol has anti-inflammatory properties.It could also be helpful in situations where skin brightening and wound healing are desired.

This ingredient may be beneficial to sensitive skin.

We do our best to keep our ingredient library up to date and accurate; however, if you have any suggestions or other relevant information that you believe should be included on this page, please let us know.

You can find links to any supporting studies or research material below, if they are available.

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