It seems that everywhere you look, there’s a skincare ad somewhere. These ads promote skincare products that range from cleansers to toners to serums. If you know anything about skincare at all, then you’ve probably heard the word, ‘moisturizer’.When dealing with fungal acne on the face (forehead, cheeks, and chin) and body, It’s important to follow a fungal acne safe skincare routine. However, this routine cannot be complete without a fungal acne safe moisturizer. This is because moisture is needed to help the skin heal itself.
What is moisture anyway?
Contrary to popular belief, hydrating and moisturizing are not interchangeable in dermatology.
In skin care, hydration means adding water or moisture, while moisturizing involves applying other substances to maintain or hold on to that moisture, this process keeps skin moisturized.
Therefore, when the skin is dehydrated, it lacks water. On the other hand, dry skin may lack both water and oil (sebum).
Hydrators, e.g., hyaluronic acid and glycerin, increase the water content in the skin’s layers via their humectant properties. A standard moisturizer then locks this water into the skin and prevents it from evaporating.
Fortunately, most moisturizers on the market contain both active hydrating ingredients (humectants) and moisturizing agents to help seal the water into the skin.
What do moisturizers do?
The skin consists of three layers: the epidermis/stratum corneum (the outermost layer), the dermis (middle layer), and hypodermis (the undermost layer).
When water moves from the dermis up into the epidermis and evaporates from the skin’s surface, this is known as transepidermal water loss or T.E.W.L. The main goal of moisturizers is to reduce TEWL (the amount of moisture that seeps from the inside of the skin and out into the atmosphere).
Most moisturizers work exclusively on the cells in the epidermis. When applied to the skin, a moisturizer prevents moisture from leaving its surface.
It also replenishes the skin’s water supply by providing water directly to the skin. This water penetrates the cell membranes in the epidermis to rehydrate and plump up the skin cells.
Moisturizers are generally used to replace natural skin oils, cover tiny fissures in the skin, and provide a soothing, protective barrier. Thus, they may reduce the evaporation of the skin’s moisture, thereby maintaining hydration and improving the appearance of dry, flaky skin.
What will happen if you don’t moisturize?
Despite the variety of facial moisturizers in the market, many people skip moisturizing in their skincare routines. When asked why, some people may say it’s because they have oily skin and don’t want clogged pores. Some people may say they prefer spritzes to creams, while others just don’t see the point of moisturizing.
However, if you omit the moisturizing step from your skincare routine, you could create some very unpleasant side effects for your skin.
These side effects include:
- 1. Dull and dry skin – If you don't moisturize your skin, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is likely to occur, and your skin will dry out. It might even get worse if it's winter or the humidity is low.
- 2. Premature aging – Dry or dehydrated skin can make fine lines and wrinkles more visible. When you don't moisturize, the lines on your face that you didn't notice will start popping out more. When your skin is dried out, a breakdown of collagen could occur, leading to the development of new wrinkles.
- 3. Higher likelihood of acne breakouts – Don't skip moisturizer because you are worried it will aggravate your acne. Dry skin may actually make acne worse. If you have very oily or acne-prone skin, you can opt for an oil-free moisturizer rather than give up moisturizing completely.
- 4. More vulnerable skin – Not only do some moisturizers repair the damaged natural skin barrier, they may also create a makeshift barrier for the skin to protect against environmental stressors like toxins, pollutants, and UV rays. Moisturizers are especially needed when your skincare routine consists of active ingredients like retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, or salicylic acid, which may irritate your skin.
- 5. Tight and itchy skin – Because of the skin's lack of moisture, your face or body might feel tight and itchy.
Hydrating agents in fungal acne-safe moisturizers
Since the primary goal of a moisturizer is to increase water content in the epidermis, it only makes sense for moisturizers to contain reasonable amounts of moisture. Since manufacturers list (or should list) ingredients on the labels in terms of concentration, water should appear as one of the first few ingredients in the moisturizer.
Fungal acne-safe moisturizers should also contain ingredients that provide moisture and traps water on the skin so that it doesn’t evaporate immediately.
These beneficial ingredients can be grouped into any of the following four categories: humectants, emollients, occlusives, and protein rejuvenators.
Humectants are compounds known to pull water into the stratum corneum both from the atmosphere and the deeper layers of the skin.
When applied to the skin, the humectants’ molecules attract moisture from the air and retain it inside the skin, keeping it hydrated. They also make healthy, hydrated skin cells stick to the epidermis, keeping the skin from being cracked and flaky.
Furthermore, humectants such as lactic acid can stimulate the natural production of ceramides in the skin, which also can prevent the loss of water from the epidermis.
However, humectants can potentially make the skin even drier and increase TEWL by increasing the water absorption from the dermis into the epidermis, where it quickly evaporates.
This is why humectants are often paired with occlusive ingredients. When combined, humectants and occlusives help enhance the epidermal barrier function and trap the moisture into the stratum corneum to prevent water loss.
Examples of humectants
Glycerin is a natural compound derived from vegetable oils and animal fats. In skincare products, glycerin is usually paired with occlusives to trap the moisture it pulls to the skin.
Glycerin is known to replenish and restore the skin, helping to establish balance and hydration. It is a substance naturally found in the skin that helps maintain a healthy look and feel. It defends the skin against dryness and helps maintain its moisture level.
When combined with emollients and, or occlusives, glycerin works to repair the natural skin barrier and prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). It protects the skin against irritation and environmental stressors and helps the skin heal itself.
Glycerin also has antibacterial and antifungal properties. This means that it may help slow the growth of Malassezia yeast, the fungus that causes fungal acne.
Thanks to false propaganda and dated theories, some might consider this ingredient unsafe for fungal acne. But in one study, 10% glycerin solution significantly reduced the symptoms associated with yeast-induced skin conditions: itching, rashes, redness, etc. In another comparison study, glycerin (glycerol) was the most effective compound at attracting water, critical for maintaining healthy hydrated skin.
However, in some rare instances, people may have glycerin sensitives, which causes an adverse skin reaction to the application of glycerin.
If you are unsure whether this applies to you, try patch testing these products for at least 3-4 weeks before incorporating them into your regimen.
2. Propylene glycol
Propylene glycol is a common ingredient in skincare products.
In a study, propylene glycol was discovered to effectively reduce the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis on the scalp. Since Malassezia yeast plays a key role in the development of fungal acne and seborrheic dermatitis, the antifungal properties in propylene glycol may help combat the growth of Malassezia yeast.
NB: It is important to note that high concentrations of propylene glycol can be irritating to the skin.
3. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
AHAs are water-soluble acids made from sugary fruits. These acids help peel away the surface of the skin through the desquamation process so that new skin cells may generate.
Desquamation is simply the exfoliation of the skin via desmosomal degradation, which is the ungluing of dead skin cells so that they can slough off easily.
One of the most effective AHA is lactic acid. Lactic acid promotes desquamation due to keratolytic actions and improves the skin's natural barrier function. When applied topically, lactic acid also increases the level of ceramides in the skin's outermost layer by up to 12%. Ceramides help hydrate the skin and maintain a healthy and resilient protective skin barrier.
Panthenol is a derivative of vitamin B5, which, when applied to the skin, acts as a barrier to protect the skin from water loss.
Not only does panthenol bring water to the surface of your skin, but it also penetrates the epidermis deeply, infusing water into the skin cells and retaining moisture deep within the skin layers.
Moisturizers that contain panthenol can significantly increase the moisture in your skin and decrease the loss of water from the epidermis.
Panthenol can help improve the skin's hydration, elasticity, and smoothness. It also has potent anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, which help calm red skin and relieve the itching associated with fungal acne.
Urea is mainly used in dermatology for its hydrating and keratolytic properties. This means that it can gently exfoliate and moisturize your skin simultaneously. Studies conducted have shown that there was a decrease in TEWL after dry, damaged skin was treated with urea.
Urea is a part of the natural moisturizing factor (NMF) of the skin, which consists of free amino acids, and various derivatives of these amino acids such as PCA, urocanic acid (a natural absorber of ultraviolet [UV] light), lactic acid, and urea, amongst other things. All these substances hold water within them, which makes them essential for maintaining the stratum corneum's health, hydration, and function.
Urea also improves the skin’s barrier function and calms irritation caused by certain skin cleansers that contain SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). Urea helps promote desquamation, which is essentially the shedding of the outermost membrane of the skin.
High concentrations of urea can be irritating. 5 – 10% concentration or even less seems to be the sweet spot for the face and body. Higher percentages are normally used for nonsurgical debridement of nails.
6. Hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a clear, gooey substance naturally produced by the body. It is found in the skin, connective tissues, and eyes in large amounts.
Hyaluronic is widely known for being able to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. Its main function is to retain water in your tissues, plump the skin cells and keep them well hydrated.
Hyaluronic acid also plays a vital role in wound healing. It is naturally present in the skin, but it is produced in even larger quantities when there is a tear in the skin or damage in need of repair.
Hyaluronic acid helps increase the healing of wounds by regulating the inflammation levels and notifying the body to build more blood vessels in the damaged area.
The function of emollients isn’t necessarily to moisturize as it is to smoothen the skin. Emollients fill the spaces between the skin cells making them appear smoother.
Although emollients and occlusive have some properties in common, they work quite differently. While occlusive simply forms a film/barrier on the stratum corneum, emollients can actually penetrate the skin and fill in little gaps between cells with fatty layers of lipids.
Many ingredients that serve as occlusives and humectants—dimethicone, for example—also double as emollients. Emollients generally do not do the work of occlusive unless applied heavily onto the skin.
Occlusives are compounds that form a barrier on the surface of the skin that water molecules cannot permeate. They lock in the moisture that is already present in the skin and makes them keep the skin hydrated for a period of time.
Generally, occlusives have the most pronounced effect when applied to slightly damp skin.
However, applying occlusives frequently and in large amounts to the skin can exacerbate fungal acne, especially under conditions involving heat and sweating.
NB: Always apply occlusives on freshly cleansed skin.
Examples of occlusives include:
Paraffin is a compound that provides a thin, protective layer when applied to the skin. This layer protects the skin against allergens and irritants when the skin’s own barrier is weak or damaged. Paraffin also helps lock moisture into the skin where it’s needed.
The film formed by paraffin helps prevent evaporation of the skin’s natural moisture, thereby reducing TEWL. Over time, this causes a buildup of water in the stratum corneum which increases the skin’s hydration.
In addition to providing intense moisture, paraffin may help with the itching caused by fungal acne because the occlusive film it forms protects against environmental irritants like pollutants, allergens, and bacteria.
However, paraffin has been touted to clog pores and promote the development of acne and blemishes. The research on this topic is still inconclusive.
Petrolatum, otherwise known as petroleum jelly, is a mixture of natural waxes and mineral oils, which are formed into a partially solid, gel-like substance. While petroleum jelly itself does not hydrate the skin, it helps seal in existing moisture.
100% petrolatum is the most effective occlusive and is great for dry, cracked skin or lips. It creates a film on the skin to protect compromised skin and significantly reduces transepidermal water loss (TEWL). It reduces water loss through the epidermis by nearly 99%. Petrolatum also provides an immediate barrier-repairing effect when applied to the skin.
Petrolatum seals in moisture, soothe cuts and abrasions and provide instant relief to chapped lips and eczema patches. This occlusive works well with dry skin, but might not work as well on very oily or acne-prone skin, especially during the daytime.
Petroleum also has a heavy, greasy consistency that might not please everyone. Also, some people are allergic to petrolatum.
3. Mineral Oil
Mineral oil is a clear, odorless liquid made from highly refined, purified, and processed petroleum. This occlusive is non-comedogenic, which means that it does not clog pores. It is essentially baby oil minus the fragrance.
It works well with humectant ingredients like glycerin or hyaluronic acid which attract moisture to the skin. When these ingredients pull moisture to the skin, mineral oil can lock it in and retain it within the skin tissues.
Mineral oil also possesses soothing properties that can calm and relieve irritated, hypersensitive skin. It can also be used in those with skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
Mineral oil works well for dry, sensitive skin but is generally not recommended for acne-prone skin.
Dimethicone is a type of silicone that is widely used in cosmetics. Dimethicone is among a family of silicones that comprise the basis of all oil-free moisturizers. Like petrolatum, dimethicone is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and can act as an emollient.
Dimethicone does not evaporate when it touches the skin. Thanks to its larger molecules, it traps existing moisture inside the skin cells and helps it hydrate the skin further. Dimethicone also helps address mild skin irritations, healing wounds, and dry patches.
While dimethicone is a good moisturizing agent, it is less effective than petrolatum. Petrolatum works better than dimethicone at healing the skin and decreasing the fine facial lines of dehydration.
Dimethicone is also permeable to water vapor. Therefore, if the natural skin barrier is compromised, dimethicone will not reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
This can be advantageous when used in some foundations and sunscreens, as it allows for the evaporation of perspiration, which prevents the skin from developing miliaria (heat rash).
Protein rejuvenators are substances that claim to rejuvenate the skin by restoring its essential proteins. However, this is not likely to occur because these proteins are way too large to penetrate the dermis.
Protein additives may relieve dry skin temporarily by filling up irregularities and gaps in the stratum corneum. When they dry, they shrink a bit, leaving a protein barrier that appears to smooth the skin and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Examples of protein rejuvenators are elastin, collagen, and keratin.
How to choose a fungal acne-safe moisturizer
A great fungal acne moisturizer will not only soothe, but also heal, hydrate, and protect the skin. It will also possess antifungal superpowers that can knock out fungal acne.
When choosing a fungal acne-safe moisturizer, pay attention and ‘listen to your skin’. Not all hyped-up products will be right for you. As you use products, make sure to take note of how your skin is actually reacting to the product. Don’t listen to what everyone says the product is doing for them. Remember, your skin is not their skin!
A good, fungal-acne-safe moisturizer should:
- 1. Contain ingredients that fight against and do not encourage the growth of fungal acne
- 2. Reduce and prevent further transepidermal water loss (TEWL).
- 3. Repair or strengthen compromised skin barrier.
- 4. Increase water content in the skin
- 5. Increase the level of ceramides in the epidermis.
- 6. Restore the lipid barrier by duplicating and enhancing the skin’s moisturizing retention mechanisms.
- 7. Restore the lipid barrier’s ability to attract, hold and redistribute water to the skin.
- 8. Be lightweight and be absorbed immediately into the skin.
- 9. Provide immediate hydration.
- 10. Not contain allergens and potential skin irritants like dyes, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, oils, etc.
- 11. Be cosmetically acceptable (i.e. it should be non-sticky or tacky)
What to look for when choosing a fungal acne-safe moisturizer
When in the market for fungal acne-safe moisturizers, consider the following factors:
- 1. Moisture content– Check where "water" falls in the list of ingredients. Normally, water should be the first ingredient in a fungal acne-safe moisturizer. Note that water can be written as ‘Water’, ‘Aqua’, or ‘Eau’. They all mean the same thing.
- 1. Minimal ingredients– Check how many ingredients the moisturizer was formulated with. By rule of thumb, the more chemicals there are in a moisturizer, the more likely it is to cause an allergic reaction.
- 3. Antifungal or anti-Malassezia ingredients – This is the main point. If your moisturizer is going to help you tackle fungal acne, it has to have ingredients that actually fight against and not promote the growth of the fungus, Malassezia yeast.
Some natural antifungal ingredients are:
Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil an essential oil that contains strong antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It can be effective at deterring the growth of Malassezia yeast.
Honey – Honey is a natural ingredient that has strong hydrating, antimicrobial, and antifungal qualities.
Green Tea Extract – Green tea is rich in polyphenols and catechins, which are antimicrobial and help destroy acne-causing bacteria and fungi spores.
Eucalyptus Extract – Eucalyptus extract has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, and fungicidal properties. These properties work together to help treat fungal acne on your skin.
Other moisturizer ingredients/compounds that have Malassezia-inhibiting properties include Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Propylene Glycol, Cinnamic Acid, etc.
NB: To know for sure which ingredients are beneficial for fungal acne, input them into our handy ingredient checker. This tool will tell you whether the ingredients in your moisturizer are safe for fungal acne or not.
- 4. Where you live in the world – The climate of where you live in the world plays a huge role when choosing a fungal acne-safe moisturizer. If you live in a country that has a warm climate or warm seasons, you might be more likely to develop fungal acne. This is because Malassezia yeast thrives in warm, humid places.
These places include, but are not limited to, Indonesia, The Philippines, and Malaysia.
- 5. Your skin type– Your skin type also plays a vital role when choosing a fungal acne-safe moisturizer.
There are certain ingredients that cater to specific skin types.
Sensitive skin – If you have skin that reacts quickly to ingredients and flares up very easily, look for ingredients that hydrate the skin These ingredients include glycerin, panthenol, allantoin, licorice root, and caprylic/capric triglycerides.
Dry skin – Dry skin is an extremely common skin problem. To treat it with a moisturizer, you need to look for ingredients that are deeply hydrating and gentle. These ingredients include hyaluronic acid, squalane oil, glycerin, ceramides, polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), urea, and honey amongst others.
Oily/combination skin – If parts or all of your skin is oily, your moisturizer should contain ingredients that regulate the production of oil on your skin. Look for ingredients like niacinamide, glycerin, and green tea extract.
Aging/mature skin – If you are over the age of 50 and are looking for a fungal acne-safe moisturizer, pick one that has ingredients like retinol, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP), antioxidants, and acids (AHA, BHA, and PHA).
These ingredients work on the skin to hydrate deeply, exfoliate, brighten, improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and restore the natural skin barrier.
All skin types – Vaseline is the best ingredient to help reduce and prevent further transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Made from petroleum jelly, Vaseline forms a film on the skin’s surface that can effectively prevent moisture loss, keeping the skin hydrated and healthy.
NB: Vaseline does not clog pores due to its large molecule size, but it does seal in and trap whatever is beneath it. So always apply to freshly cleansed skin.
What to avoid when choosing a fungal acne-safe moisturizer
Just as there are things to look for when choosing a fungal acne-safe moisturizer, there are also things you should avoid.
Some of these things include:
- 1. Irritants– Check that the moisturizer is not formulated with potential skin irritants. Ingredients like alcohols, artificial dyes, and synthetic fragrances should not be a part of your moisturizer.
This is very important, especially if you have any allergies. If you are not sure what ingredients qualify as potential skin irritants, you can plug the ingredients into our handy ingredient checker. It’ll point out the ingredients that are problematic for your skin.
- 2. Problematic emulsifiers – In cosmetic formulations, emulsifiers are substances that are used to keep oil and water together. Emulsifiers prevent the ingredients in the product from separating.
Emulsifiers like beeswax, candelilla wax, carnauba wax, rice bran wax, glyceryl stearate SE, lecithin, polysorbate 20 (40, 60, 80), cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, palmitic acid, hydrogenated castor oil, and stearyl alcohol are considered to be fungal acne-triggering ingredients.
Fungal acne-safe oils
The presence of oil on the skin or in skincare products is usually a no-no for people with fungal acne. This is because Malassezia yeast feeds on oil. Generally, oils encourage the growth of Malassezia yeast and trigger fungal acne breakouts.
However, there are some oils that are actually safe for fungal acne. These oils do not promote fungal acne. Some may even have fungicidal properties to help prevent the growth of Malassezia yeast.
These fungal acne-safe oils include:
- 1. Irritants– MCT Oil is also known as caprylic/capric triglycerides. This oil is basically coconut oil without the lauric fatty acid component.
MCT oil is not likely to trigger fungal acne breakouts because it is made up of caprylic and capric acid (C8 and C10 respectively).
Malassezia yeast typically feeds on oils that have carbon chain lengths between 11 to 24. Because MCT-C8 and MCT-C10 oils are made up of 8 (octanoic) and 10 (decanoic) carbon chains respectively, they are safe for fungal acne.
- 2. Squalane Oil – As mentioned earlier, people often confuse squalane with squalene. Squalane (with an ‘a’) is a hydrocarbon derived by the hydrogenation of squalene (with an ‘e’). The hydrogenation process helps squalane have a longer shelf life than squalene.
Squalane is naturally produced by the skin. Studies have shown that the skin surface lipids of people that have seborrheic dermatitis lack an adequate amount of squalane. Seeing as Malassezia yeast also causes seborrheic dermatitis as well as fungal acne, it makes sense to treat these conditions with squalane oil.
Squalane does not feel greasy against the skin. It also protects against skin damage from exposure to harmful UV rays and may have antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is safe to use on sensitive skin and can treat skin conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and seborrheic dermatitis.
Unsafe oils for fungal acne
Many other popular oils contain fatty acids that encourage the development of fungal acne. These oils should be avoided at all costs.
These unsafe oils include, but are not limited to:
- 1. Coconut Oil
- 2. Almond Oil
- 3. Aloe Vera Oil
- 4. Argan Oil
- 5. Grapeseed OiI
- 6. Jojoa Oil
- 7. Marula Oil
- 8. Moringa Oil
- 9. Pomegranate Oil
- 10. Tamanu Oil
- 11. Rosehip Oil
- 12. Peanut Oil
- 13. Sea Buckthorn Oil
Best fungal acne safe moisturizers
Moisturizers alone will not cure nor clear up fungal acne on its own. You will need potent and fast-acting anti-Malassezia products that kill Malassezia yeasts.
The fungus that causes fungal acne (Malassezia yeast) also causes dandruff. Hence, most anti-dandruff shampoos are formulated with fungicidals that combat the growth of the fungus. This makes OTC anti-dandruff shampoos some of the best anti-fungal agents that kill fungal acne, and to do just that we recommend Ketokonazole based products.
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1. Malezia 5% Urea Moisturizer
This moisturizer is formulated with 5% urea. Urea exfoliates dead skin cells, increases cell turnover, hydrates and moisturizes the skin deeply, and calms the itching often associated with fungal acne.
This formula also contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin, both of which draw moisture from the atmosphere to deeply hydrate your skin. These powerhouse ingredients help retain your skin’s natural moisture and provide replenishing and healing benefits to the skin. This moisture will help heal the skin faster, which is very important when clearing fungal acne.
The moisture also plumps skin up and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
The dimethicone in this moisturizer has large molecules that can’t penetrate the skin but rather create a protective barrier that helps lock in moisture and prevent the loss of water from the skin. This silicone-based ingredient provides emolliency and gives the skin a smooth finish. It is especially great for oily skin.
This moisturizer also contains allantoin which hydrates the skin and protects it from cracking. It has soothing and healing properties that can help calm inflamed skin and aid in healing minor wounds. Allantoin can also prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) which helps the skin stay hydrated longer. It promotes the regeneration of skin cells, which quickens the healing of fungal acne prone skin. This is an essential step in any fungal acne skin routine.
This product is also formulated with caprylic/capric triglycerides which have strong antifungal benefits that can prevent the growth of the fungus (Malassezia yeast).
Simpleskincarescience’s Malezia 5% urea moisturizer is free of oils, esters, alcohols, fatty alcohols, and fragrances. It is also vegan.
2. Avene Tolerance Extreme Emulsion
This is a lightweight moisturizer that is formulated with just 6 essential ingredients.
One of the ingredients is squalane oil. Squalane moisturizes the skin while mimicking the ways the skin naturally hydrates itself. Squalane is often confused with squalene, but they are not the same thing. Squalane is lightweight, hydrating, and non-comedogenic. It absorbs quickly without feeling tacky or greasy.
This moisturizer is free from Malassezia-promoting oils, which means the yeast cannot flourish on this product. It also contains caprylic/capric triglycerides which can work to inhibit fungal acne growth due to their antifungal properties.
This formula nourishes the skin gently and keeps it soft and supple while allowing it to breathe. This moisturizer is suitable for combination and oily skin types. It absorbs easily and doesn’t leave the skin oily.
This product is cruelty-free and vegan. It is also free of artificial colorants, oil, synthetic fragrances, paraffin, phthalates, and sulfates.
Pro Tip: Pair this moisturizer with a fungal acne-safe oil like this to get an extra dose of moisture and hydration
3. La Roche Posay Toleriane Sensitive Fluide Protective Moisturizer
This lightweight moisturizer hydrates, soothes, and heals irritated skin.
It contains powerhouse ingredients like glycerin and niacinamide. Glycerin is a humectant that attracts moisture from the atmosphere and binds them to the skin, providing long-lasting hydration.
Niacinamide helps regulate oil production, soothe irritated skin and repair the protective natural barrier of the skin. This ingredient has antibacterial and anti-aging properties that can help fight against acne, fade brown spots and even skin tone. It also strengthens the skin barrier, reduces sebum production, and can help treat skin conditions like atopic dermatitis and rosacea.
It also contains caprylic/capric triglycerides, which may help prevent Malassezia yeast’s overgrowth, leading to less fungal acne.
This moisturizer is not formulated with any Malassezia-promoting oils, so it is not likely to contribute to Malassezia yeast’s growth, which is good for fungal acne-prone skin.
This moisturizer is cruelty-free and alcohol-free.
4. Sebamed Face Care Gel
This gel is formulated with powerful moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe vera extract. Hyaluronic acid and glycerin are popular humectants that help retain moisture to keep your skin properly hydrated.
Not only does aloe vera extract moisturize the skin, but it also soothes irritation, smooths rough skin, and can help heal fungal acne lesions.
The allantoin in this gel hydrates soothes and promotes cell turnover in the skin.
It also contains caprylic/capric triglycerides and propylene glycol, which possesses Malassezia-inhibiting properties.
This face gel has a slightly acidic pH of 5.5 which helps protect the acid mantle resulting in skin that is more resilient and less break-out prone.
This moisturizer is specifically formulated for oily and acne-prone skin but can be used on all skin types.
This product is cruelty-free and vegan. It is also free of potential skin irritants like paraffin, phthalates, and parabens.
Pro Tip: Pair this moisturizer with a fungal acne-safe oil like this to get an extra dose of moisture and hydration
5. Meishoku cerocolla perfect gel
This gel-based moisturizer contains glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which attract moisture from the atmosphere and binds it to the skin.
It also contains three different kinds of ceramides that repair the skin’s damaged protective barrier and maintain its health.
They help lock moisture into your skin, preventing dryness and irritation. Generally, It might be good to resupply compromised skin with what is missing. However, we recommend that you do a patch test for ceramide-based products before fully incorporating them into your fungal acne-safe skincare routine. This helps avoid potential acne triggers and or allergic reactions.
This product is cruelty-free. It is also free of alcohols, silicones and artificial fragrances.
Pro Tip: Pair this moisturizer with a fungal acne-safe oil like this to get an extra dose of moisture and hydration
6. Dewy Glow Jelly Cream
This gel-based cream is super bouncy and lightweight. It absorbs quickly into the skin to deliver an almost immediate glow.
It is infused with Prunus yedoensis (spring cherry blossom) extract which boosts radiance and brightens the skin tone.
It also contains niacinamide which protects the skin from environmental pollutants like toxins and UV rays. It also brightens the skin, fades hyperpigmentation, and improves texture. It possesses anti-inflammatory properties that are excellent at treating inflamed forms of acne like nodules, pustules, and cysts.
Niacinamide may also play a role in regulating the production of sebum in oilier skin types.
This cream also contains beet-derived betaine which forms a light moisture barrier over the skin to moisturize it and prevent hydration loss.
This product is cruelty-free, non-comedogenic, and is free of alcohol, silicone, parabens, and sulfates.
7. Neutralyze Renewal Complex
This powerful moisturizer contains 2% salicylic acid and 1% mandelic acid. While these ingredients do not possess fungicidal properties, they can help fungal acne by exfoliating the skin and unclogging your pores. The exfoliation process removes dead skin cells, including fungi and bacteria, and speeds up the skin’s cell turnover.
It is formulated with advanced oil control technology that regulates oil production in your skin, hydrates the skin and improves skin elasticity.
Neutralyze Renewal Complex also treats acne-related and other skin issues such as pimples, blemishes, acne scars, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, and many more.
This product is cruelty-free and dermatologist-recommended. It is also free of parabens and synthetic fragrances.
It won’t clog your pores and works great for adults, teens, men, women, all skin tones, and all skin types.
You should always wear this product with sunscreen because salicylic and mandelic acids may increase photosensitivity. We recommend this one.
8. Supergel Oil-Free Moisturiser M3
This oil-free, gel moisturizer provides lightweight hydration and moisture.
It is formulated with hyaluronic acid and glycerin which helps retain your skin’s natural moisture. These humectants provide replenishing and healing benefits to all skin types, especially dry skin. This moisture will help heal the skin faster, which is critical when clearing fungal acne. It also plumps skin up and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It also contains niacinamide which protects the skin from environmental stressors such as toxins, UV, and pollutants. It also brightens the skin, fades hyperpigmentation, and improves texture. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-acne benefits also help treat various forms of acne like cysts, pustules, nodules, etc. It may also help regulate the production of sebum in oilier skin types.
This moisturizer contains propanediol which is a hydrating compound that helps the skin stay hydrated by reducing water loss in the skin. It can improve the skin’s ability to absorb certain ingredients e.g. salicylic acid. This ingredient works well with sensitive skin.
This moisturizer also contains lactic acid. Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that is a key element of the Natural Moisturizing Factor, which keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated by its ability to bind water to the skin.
According to one study, lactic acid may also stimulate the development of ceramides which results in a more hydrated skin barrier, a strong epidermal barrier can lessen the effects of skin conditions like Malassezia folliculitis. It also brightens, smooths, and evens out skin tone. Since lactic acid acts as an exfoliant, it can cause increased photosensitivity in the treated areas. Thus, usage of sunscreen is advised!
N.B: For some, patch testing lactic acid may be required before fully adding it to your anti-fungal acne skincare routine.
The salicylic acid present in this moisturizer helps reduce build-up that might clog follicles by dissolving oil and debris from the pores. This results in a more refined skin texture and minimized pores. Salicylic acid also increases cell turnover and sheds dead skin cells (fungi and bacteria) from the outermost layer of the skin, which is essential for maintaining healthy skin. This face acid also has antibacterial properties which make it excellent for treating regular acne (acne vulgaris).
The green tea in this moisturizer is a powerful antioxidant that possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which have been proven to eliminate the overgrowth of Malassezia folliculitis (fungal acne).
Supergel is free of alcohol, parabens, silicones, SLS, SLES, PEGs, and oils that encourage fungal acne. It is specially formulated for combination, oily and acne-prone skin types.
9. Curel Intensive Moisture Cream
Specifically formulated for dry and sensitive skin, this moisturizer helps balances the pH of the skin. The very lightweight texture works at hydrating the skin very deeply.
This cream is formulated with Cetyl-PG Hydroxyethyl Palmitamide, which is a synthetic form of ceramide that helps maintain the natural barrier functions and preserves moisture. A healthy protective barrier will be less prone to breakouts (fungal or bacterial). A ceramide deficiency can contribute to very dry skin or, in the most severe cases, skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
The glycerin in this cream helps attract and bind water from the air to the skin. The squalane present helps hydrate the skin and regulate the production of sebum.
Dimethicone forms a protective film over the skin to help minimize water loss. It also improves the smoothness and flexibility of the skin. Allantoin helps soothe and protect the skin, thereby keeping the skin’s function optimal
This cream also contains eucalyptus leaf extract. This extract can increase the ceramide levels in the skin, reduce water loss and boost natural barrier functions in the skin. This makes the skin less prone to diseases.
This product is cruelty-free and pH-balanced. It is also free of artificial colorants, synthetic fragrances and alcohol.
NB. It is always a good idea to patch test ceramides before adopting them in your fungal acne skincare routine.
10. Moisturel Therapeutic Lotion
This lotion is used to treat or prevent dry, scaly, rough itchy skin. It also relieves skin irritations like skin burns and diaper rash. It calms the itchiness and inflammation caused by fungal acne, too.
Moisturel Therapeutic Lotion contains glycerin which is a humectant that draws moisture from the air into the skin.
This lotion also contains petrolatum, which is an excellent emollient that softens and moisturizes the skin very deeply. It can provide moisture to even extremely dry skin types.
This product is non-comedogenic and free of lanolin and parabens that might irritate sensitive skin.
This product was specially formulated for dry and sensitive skin types. It is free of fragrance, gluten, nickel, lanolin, soy, and preservatives.
11. Peter Thomas Roth Oilless Oil 100% Purified Squalane
This lightweight moisturizer hydrates skin deeply and gently softens it.
It is formulated with squalane, a hydrating agent derived from sustainable sugarcane. Squalane mimics the body’s natural hydrating oils to provide intense hydration and nourishment that helps improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
This product is not formulated with any oils that Malassezia yeast likes to feed on.
This moisturizer also improves the elasticity of the skin leaving you with a firm, smooth and youthful-looking complexion.
This product is free of potential skin irritants like synthetic fragrances, artificial colorants, dyes, phthalates, and sulfates, amongst others. It is also non-comedogenic and vegan.
This product can either be used alone or added to any of the moisturizers above to enhance the moisturizing capabilities of the products.
OTHER POPULAR Moisturizers
Many people with fungal acne have purchased products that contain potential triggers or harsh chemicals not suited for fungal acne-prone skin because of the hype. You can avoid this by checking the products with our fungal acne ingredient checker.
- Cetaphil Moisturizing lotion (Contains: ingredient(s) that are bad for fungal acne)
- Bioderma Hydrabio Gel Cream (Contains: ingredient(s) that are bad for fungal acne)
- CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (Contains: ingredient(s) that are bad for fungal acne)
- Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel (Contains: ingredient(s) that are bad for fungal acne)
- CeraVe AM (Contains: ingredient(s) that are bad for fungal acne)
- CeraVe PM (Contains: ingredient(s) that are bad for fungal acne)
- La Roche-Posay Effaclar H Moisturiser (Contains: ingredient(s) that are bad for fungal acne)
- DML Moisturizing Lotion (Contains: ingredient(s) that are bad for fungal acne)
Moisturizing is a vital step in your skincare routine that should not be skipped, especially if you’re over the age of thirty. As you age, the rate at which your body produces hydrating chemicals (e.g. hyaluronic acid, collagen, squalane, etc.) slows down.
This can cause dry/dehydrated skin. This is why it is very important for people with mature skin to moisturize religiously. It is preferable that you moisturize immediately after you leave the shower, as damp skin can provide more moisture than completely dry skin.
It is imperative that you replenish the moisture by applying a cream or a gel that contains these hydrating chemicals to your skin.
Important: Manufacturers can change formulations without warning or notice. To get the most up-to-date list of ingredients, always check the ingredient labels on your product packaging.
Join the Folliculitis Scout Community
Above all know that you aren’t alone in your fungal acne problems. There’s a whole community of people with this issue that are ready to share their tips and tricks for treating the problem. We love our community at Folliculitis Scout! Socialize with us as well on Facebook. It’s so easy to Join Join and become part of a community that truly supports each other through the journey to better skin.