Top 10 Fungal Acne Safe Serums

*Links marked with asterisks are affiliate links, these support Teadra and costs of the blog such as buying products to review and keeping the blog running. 

It’s been a while, but I am back with another top 10, and I’m talking about serums this time. Serums are other skin care products in the treatment stage of your skincare routine. Serums are applied after the essence and are more of a thicker consistency. Here we are with the serum list of my top picks, including honorable mentions. I hope this list will help anyone with fungal acne looking for a serum that won’t trigger it.


The Inkey List – Alpha Hydroxy Acid Serum 

The Inkey List AHA serum is a fantastic addition to any skincare routine. I have used this serum and other aha serums throughout my skincare journey. I have always loved The Ordinary and The Inkey List because of their affordable price. I have used this serum and the past and have recently tried it out for several weeks now and have already noticed a significant improvement in the texture and brightness of my skin.

What I love about this product is how lightweight and fast-absorbing it is. It goes on smoothly and leaves no sticky or greasy residue behind. One thing I hate about serums or any skincare product is when it leaves the skin sticky or greasy. I usually apply it in the evening after cleansing and toning, and it sinks in quickly, allowing me to follow up with my moisturizer without any wait time.

I have dry, sensitive skin and have been nervous about using any AHAs, but I am glad I included this ingredient in my skincare routine. I had no issues with irritation, sensitivity, or dry patches. Instead, I have noticed a gradual improvement in the texture of my skin. It feels smoother and more refined, with less texture and rough patches.

The Inkey List AHA serum contains glycolic acid, one of the most effective AHAs for skin exfoliating. It also contains aloe vera and ginseng, which help to soothe and hydrate the skin. Overall, this serum is a great value for the price. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an effective and affordable AHA serum that is fungal acne safe.

COS DE BAHA – Arbutin 5% + Niacinamide 5% A.N. Serum

The COS DE BAHA Arbutin 5% + Niacinamide 5% A.N. Serum is a game-changer for anyone looking to brighten their skin tone. I have used this serum for several weeks and used it in the past during the beginning of my fungal acne journey. I  am already seeing a noticeable difference in the brightness and clarity of my skin. Continue reading Top 10 Fungal Acne Safe Serums

Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation Review

*Links marked with asterisks are affiliate links, these suport Teadra and costs of the blog such as buying products to review and keeping the blog running. 

Nars Soft Matte Complete Foundation is a full-coverage liquid foundation that is long-wearing with a natural-looking matte finish. It is best for oily, combo, and normal skin.  This foundation is supposed to be oxidation resistant and lasts up to 16 hrs, similar to the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation wear time. This foundation is fungal acne safe, unlike her counterparts, Nars Light Reflecting Advanced Skincare Foundation has three triggers (Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Diisostearate and Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Palmitate)); *Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation also has three triggers (Sorbitan Sesquiisostearate, Behenic Acid, and Stearic Acid) – so its best to do a patch test if you have fungal acne to see if it is safe to use. Fungal acne has different sensitivity levels regarding ingredients; therefore, these might be safe to use based on this.


The foundation shades are pretty much the same, and their foundations are usually medium-full coverage.  This foundation is medium-full coverage which means it is buildable. I agree that this foundation is buildable, covers up my hyperpigmentation, and evens my skin tone.

Shade Range:

Soft Matte Foundation has 34 shades, similar to the shade ranges of Nars foundations between 34-40 shades. I had difficulty finding my shade in this foundation. I usually wear the shade Marquises-MD5 (Medium-deep to deep with warm undertones) or Macao-MD4 (Medium-deep to deep with warm undertones and olive tones).  Their shade matches for undertones are pretty tricky, so I just went a shade up.  I first tried it in the shade Marquises, which was too red for my skin tone. Then, I tried it in Macao, which is lighter than my skin shade. I am between a yellow, olive-undertone. So I usually try to stick to neutral shades just because it is either too warm or too light if I use yellow or warm foundation undertones. Undertones can be tricky to look for in Nars. I feel that yellow tones are either too dark or too warm, Neutral tones are too light, and olive tones are too dark or too warm. So, regarding shade match with undertones, Nars still has improvements, especially with yellow undertones. The shades Macao is too red and also too light, and Marquises is too red and too dark. As a shade reference, I wear the shade 14 Neutral in Charlotte Tilbury’s Beautiful Skin Foundation, Neutral Rich in It Cosmetics CC+ Nude Glow Foundation, and 21 in Fenty Beauty Eaze Drop Skin Tint


The packaging is very nice, and I love that it is in a squeeze-frosted plastic bottle with a silicone bottom. This beauty brand usually packages its foundation in a glass bottle. If you are heavy-handed, please try not to squeeze too much product out because you can’t put it back due to the packaging, similar to Dior’s Backstage Face and Body Foundation packaging. 


Soft matte is thicker, dries quickly, and will get stuck in place if you don’t blend thoroughly. I tend to use my setting spray when that happens to loosen the formulation. The formula claims to be transfer resistant, shine-resistant, and doesn’t oxidize. I apply it from the back of my hand to warm up the formulation and to make sure I get an even blend using a brush. I am a brush girl with this formulation because it gives me more coverage and glow to the skin. This foundation does set pretty quickly, and there’s no need to set it with a powder. It feels like a second skin but is resistant while wearing a mask throughout the day. I have a dry skin type, and because of that, I take my time prepping my skin so that it doesn’t feel dry during the day. You can also add your moisturizer to the foundation to give that extra boost of moisture. Luminous primer or Auric Glow Lust works well with this formulation as well. I prefer more of a glow-from-within foundation look. But the formulation is versatile because you can add stuff with it, even a facial oil, and it works just fine.  

Shelf Life:

It is a standard of their foundations to last up to 24 months in shelf life. If you found my blog because you have fungal acne, I recommend adding the expiration date when you open it. So, if you open it on 2/24/23, it will expire on 2/24/25 (2 years).

Wear Time:

The powders in this formulation are supposed to absorb excess oil, so for all my oily skin types, this foundation is for you. If you wear masks often, look no further; this foundation will not budge. If you have dry patches or texture, use a primer or prep your skin, as this formulation can peel. The foundation blurs throughout the day and does hide texture if you prep your skin. I have texture around my chin, smile lines, and nose. This is my go-to foundation for the spring and summer because it is sweat-resistant. 


Does it cover pigmentation?

100% yes, this does cover pigmentation and evens the skin tone.

Does it cover up texture and pores?

Yes, it leaves the skin with a blurred finish. I would suggest that if you have dry skin or dry patches, prep the skin.

Is it suited for dry skin?

Yes, and No, it depends on skin prep, but I love that the formula is versatile and easier to add a moisturizer, primer, or facial oil without it peeling or affecting the formula.

Is it suited for oily skin?

Yes, this is more suited for oily and combo skin.

Is it transfer-proof? 

Yes, it wears well with a mask throughout the day and sets itself, so there’s no need to add powder on top. 

Does it last 16 hrs?

I have worn it for over 12 hrs, and it still looked good. I would say it looks better throughout the day. It looked dewier and natural throughout the day. Not much touching up with this formulation besides maybe the T-zone.

Do I recommend it? 

Yes, it is 10/10 because it is 100% fungal acne safe and a fantastic formula. Even though it is for oily and combo skin types, you can still add something to make the formula more suited for your skin type. 

This foundation retails for $42, the normal price range of Nars Foundations ($42-$50).

Let me know what you think about this foundation in the comments. And be sure to check out my other foundation reviews.

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation

Dior Backstage Face and Body Foundation

Huda Beauty’s Glowish Luminous Tint Foundation



What is Fungal Acne?

Before we dive into my blog, do you know what is Fungal Acne or Pityrosporum Folliculitis?

Fungal acne, also known as Pityrosporum Folliculitis, is a skin condition characterized by pimple-like bumps, typically on the face, chest, and back. They appear to be small pimples grouped together and are often the same size as hair follicles. This happens when hair follicles have an overgrowth of yeast, aka a yeast called Malassezia. Our skin/body already has a certain amount of yeast which is generally found in our digestive system. Fungal acne can be the cause of consuming too much yeast in our diet, skincare especially expired products, and lifestyle, such as being athletic.  

It can look similar to traditional acne but is treated differently. Unlike acne, fungal acne is not caused by bacteria; you will need to use salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide and pair it with antifungal medications and products used to clear the yeast overgrowth and manage the symptoms. There is also a list of ingredients to avoid because Malassezia can feed off of these and worsen. Check out the deep dive into ingredients here

Fungal acne is new in the skincare world, and there is no way to get rid of it but to change your lifestyle and habits. This is the only way; I have been fungal acne-free for two years. The most important thing is to turn and read your skincare labels and take note of the ingredients of products that have caused a flare-up. Keep track of your skincare and makeup expiration dates and create a routine to finish up products before you open new ones. I always label my skincare with the expiration date based on its shelf life. A label maker and a skincare fridge were game changers for me. Let’s not forget these fabulous ingredient analysis websites, skinsort, sezia, folliculitisscout and skincarisma. These will be useful on your fungal acne journey.  Please take a look at some of my top 10 fungal-safe products to start with. Your skin will thank you!

Top 10 Fungal Acne Safe Moisturizers

Hey, there! It’s been a while. But I had to return after testing out and searching for fungal acne-safe moisturizers for my readers. I think, as a consumer, it is a struggle to find safe products for our “skin condition.” Moisturizers and makeup removers are vain of my existence because I struggle with these a lot. Now, I can say that fungal acne is like a surprise trip. You never genuinely know what triggers YOUR fungal acne. And that depends on your fungal acne’s sensitivity to certain ingredients. All we can do is do our best to keep at least track of certain ingredients that are a BIG NO: esters, lipids, fatty acids, oils (not all), and polysorbates. How can I identify the ingredients that may trigger a fungal acne flare-up? Well, ingredient analyzers are your friend; Sezia, Skinsort, folliculitisscout, and Skincarisma are my favorite ones and are great for educating us on ingredients and the benefits based on skin types. Remember to patch test, track your progress, and enjoy your skin journey and struggles. Now here are my top 10 fungal acne-safe moisturizers and some honorable mentions.


Curel Intensive Moisture Facial Cream

I have repurchased this moisturizer three times. I am about to go to Amazon and repurchase it because I ran out while writing this post. This is my favorite moisturizer because of the formulation of this silky airy nourishing magic cream. This is a moisturizer with vitamin e that is specifically for dry and sensitive skin types. You can wear this during the daytime with SPF or at nighttime. I don’t believe in a day or nighttime moisturizers when facial oils like Happy Honey Oil by Sjoskin or 100% Squalane Oil by The Ordinary (any 100% squalane oil will do from any brand) can be added to a moisturizer to bump up the moisturizer to fit your needs for a more nourishing moisturizer. This doesn’t peel underneath makeup or SPF. It supports the skin barrier with ceramides, squalane, and glycerin and is pH-balanced, fragrance-free, and alcohol-free. Your skin will thank you and will be healthy and glowy.


Malezia 5% Urea Moisturizer*

Malezia is a small skincare brand focused on formulations for individuals with fungal acne (Malessezia Folliculitis). This gel cream has key ingredients to support the skin barrier, especially during a fungal acne breakout. We all know that getting a flare-up can be rough on the skin barrier because of the treatment process and recovery. The star ingredient is urea which is also found in our natural skin as a molecule that is part of our skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF). It is an important ingredient for skin hydration and the integrity to treat dry & rough skin conditions. Urea can also help with wound healing by removing dead tissue in certain wounds to speed up the process. I discovered this moisturizer while looking for a fungal acne-safe brand, which means that the whole theme or purpose of the brand was to cater to individuals with fungal acne conditions.

This moisturizer is hydrating and emollient because of the skin-loving ingredients in the formulation. We talked about urea, but did you know that not only does it provide hydrating benefits, but it also locks moisture into the skin? It is a fantastic well-aging (anti-aging) ingredient. Paired with hyaluronic acid and allantoin makes the skin more hydrated and moisturized. Urea locks in moisture, and allantoin soothes the skin. This moisturizer is great for dry, sensitive, and dehydrated skin and also a great moisturizer when your skin barrier is compromised. This moisturizer will change your skincare journey in unique ways. Continue reading Top 10 Fungal Acne Safe Moisturizers

Top 10 Fungal Acne Safe Essences

Essences are one of my favorite skincare products to use for fungal acne. The reason is that brands formulate most essences with 1 or 2 ingredients. Essences focus more on hydration or skin concerns, with one major component that makes up most of the formulation. Still, serums target various skin concerns and have a thicker consistency. We can primarily describe an essence as a “Toner-Serum Hybrid” because of its dense texture. Let’s get right into my recommendations!

Mugwort Essence by I’m From

I used this essence before I ended up with fungal acne. It amazed me it is not only fungal acne-safe but also contains 100% artemisia vulgaris extract, aka mugwort! It is vegan and cruelty-free, free of alcohol, fragrances, oils, parabens, silicones, or sulfates. This watery essence is excellent for fungal acne-safe routines because it contains one ingredient. I use this product in the morning and night after cleansing my face or applying toner. Mugwort has become a trendy ingredient in Korean skincare over the last couple of years. But for a good reason, it helps soothe and treat sensitive and acne-prone skin. Mugwort contains vitamins A, B, C, E, and other antioxidants and antimicrobial properties that nourish and protect the skin barrier. Other antioxidants and antimicrobials like polyphenols. There have been studies that show mugwort’s abilities to fight bacteria and fungi. I’m From is cruelty-free but not 100% vegan, meaning some products contain animal-derived ingredients.

Continue reading Top 10 Fungal Acne Safe Essences

Top 10 Fungal Acne Safe Toners

I figured I should do a list now for all the top 10 fungal acne-safe products and why not start with toners? Toners and essences are the easiest to find for me. I feel as if I struggle with finding serums and moisturizers that are fungal acne safe. By the way, has anyone heard of Kbeauty? It is one of the best discoveries and improved my skincare routine. Don’t be surprised if there are a lot of Kbeauty toners on this list! But, here is my list of the top 10 fungal acne safe toners. 

1025 Dokdo Toner by Round Lab

Round Lab’s Dokdo Toner is one of my favorite toners to use. I recently finished another bottle of this watery toner. This is a hydrating toner and exfoliates the skin gently. They infused it with seawater from South Korea, Ulleungo Island. This toner can be used daily with a cotton pad or applied with your hands. If your skin gets irritated easily, this toner will help soothe the irritation with panthenol, allantoin, and betaine. This toner is moisturizing, softening, kills bacteria, and treats wounds. It doesn’t contain any alcohols, fragrances, oils, silicones, or sulfates. It’s a very simple toner and safe to use for sensitive, dry or dehydrated skin. This is reef safe but not cruelty-free or vegan.

 Hyaluronic Acid Toner Plus by Isntree 

Isntree came out with two types of hyaluronic acid toners: Hyaluronic Acid Toner and Hyaluronic Acid Toner Plus. Both are fungal acne-safe, but I will review the plus one since I haven’t used the other one. I just wanted my readers to know that we can use both. 

The Plus Toner is thicker than the regular toner, hence the plus in the title. It is free of alcohols, oils, parabens, silicones, and sulfates. It contains hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica extract, panthenol, and chamomilla recutita flower extract. This is great for sensitive and irritated skin types. I remember using this one around fall, which is the perfect weather to be using it, especially if you have dry skin. I tried it again in the summer and it was just too thick for me to use as a toner because the weather was hotter. During seasons, our skin types may change based on if the weather is cold or hot. My skin gets more combination skin types during the summer with some slight dehydration because I have dehydrated skin. I liked this toner more when I used it in the fall/winter because it sinks into my skin quicker. I felt like I was patting it into my skin more during the summer and I didn’t like how it dried onto my skin because it felt like a sticky film was on it. Again, this is just how it was on my skin so it can vary based on a person’s skin type or when/how you are using it. I did like it better with a cotton pad than just applying it onto the skin with my hands. This is reef safe but not cruelty-free or vegan. Continue reading Top 10 Fungal Acne Safe Toners

My Layers Balancing Milky Cleanser Review

I’m not sure why no one talks about this Indie Skincare brand, Layers. But I have found the most amazing fungal acne-safe prebiotic + probiotic milky cleanser I’ve tried. Since I’ve had fungal acne, using milk or cream cleansers was a setback for my dry, flaky skin. Most of these cleansers had fungal acne-triggering ingredients like:

One day I decided to go on a quest for such fungal acne-safe milk cleansers. I first came across Evan Healy. I tried their Rose Cleansing Milk which wasn’t fungal acne safe. At that time, I believed that wash-off products should be fine to cheat my goal of no more prolonged use of unsafe products: skincare and makeup. But, I guess the burning in my eyes when I used it was a sign to stick to my goal. It got the job done, but it burned my eyes. I tried to focus less on my eyes, but the scent and the cleanser were too strong. I was desperate to look for something better. One day, I looked at my google search and came across Layers Balancing Milky Cleanser. This was when I discovered the fungal acne-safe milk cleanser I needed in my routine.

The Balancing Milky Cleanser has a prebiotic + probiotic blend of yogurt powder and lactobacillus ferment. Ph is balanced and claims it improves skin hydration and removes impurities while preserving good bacteria. The amount of product that you get is 120 mL / 4.1 FL. OZ, and it’s priced at $29. Layers is a clean beauty brand, cruelty-free, and their website has a breakdown of some of the ingredients in this cleanser. The ingredients include:

Continue reading My Layers Balancing Milky Cleanser Review

Huda Beauty Glowish Tint Review

It is becoming the norm when makeup brands create skincare-infused makeup. Makeup with skincare ingredients. When Huda Beauty came out with their Glowish line, it was described as a fragrance-free, light-cover skin luminous tint. It was also described as a radiant, moisture-packed skin tint that brightens. Based on the ingredients, it contains exfoliates, aha, PHA, and SPF. Aha and PHA are chemicals that exfoliate and are suitable for reducing pores. However, it is very slim that you will see results right away. It’s the same as putting only foundation/tint with SPF. You must apply a certain amount to get complete protection from the sun. It is nearly impossible without the makeup appearing mask-like. Also, you would have to be wearing it every day and for a certain amount of time.

Let’s take a deeper look at the ingredients. Sodium Salicylate helps reduce irritation and reduces large pores. Citric Acid also reduces large pores. Titanium Dioxide provides UV ray protection. There are concerns that sensitive skin like Citric Acid (AHA) may irritate, and Mica may worsen eczema. There are also exfoliates like Alumina, which is common to help blend nano-sized mineral UV filters such as titanium dioxide, which is also in the ingredients. This usage is also known as buffering or adjusting pH levels in a product.

Continue reading Huda Beauty Glowish Tint Review

Dior Backstage Foundation 5N

Dior’s Backstage Face & Body Foundation caught my attention when I searched for fungal acne-safe foundations, and it was recommended. Dior’s foundation includes 40 shades; it is cruelty-free, waterproof, and sweat-resistant. It is ultra-buildable and provides custom coverage. Not sure about the cruelty-free part since Dior is still sold in China; animal testing happens if they are required by law. I had never tried Dior before until I went to a Sephora in Soho, made a beeline to the Dior section, and grabbed the Backstage Face and Body foundation. Right away, with the shade offering, I needed to try it on to see which shade would work. A Sephora associate helped me and recommended shade 5 N and explained that the foundation was very lightweight and natural but also buildable. I immediately loved the feel of the foundation on my skin and how it looked like my skin but better. I purchased it along with the powder in the same shade.

I have been using this for months, and it is my favorite foundation to wear. It is a liquid, lightweight texture. This is a consistency that I look for in a foundation because I think it will be hydrating, dewy, satin, light, and not cakey. It is very buildable, blends effortlessly on the skin, sets itself, and one or two pumps are all I need to get a full face. Now, I only use makeup brushes, but if you use a beauty blender, it will probably be more than 2. I have dry, dehydrated, and sensitive skin. But, an essential part of my skin type is its fungal acne-prone. Therefore, some products can’t be used due to certain ingredients that may trigger them. I have dry skin, patches, and textured skin, and I can see no issues with the formula clinging to them or showing texture. It doesn’t sit on top of my skin; it sets itself and has a satin finish. This could be due to my skincare as I have a skincare routine that already gives me a dewy look. For your information, I do not use primers because I focus on an entire skincare routine to address my skin type, such as texture, dark spots, dry patches, etc. Due to this, the foundation gets along with my skincare and doesn’t ball up.


Dior Foundation without setting powder/spray

It is an excellent foundation for winter and summer because it’s a formula you can add to. An oil or liquid highlighter can be added to the foundation to enhance it. I love to mix the Auric Glow Lust Radiant Luminizer in Goldstone. It goes excellent with Dior’s Backstage Face & Body Powder and Kosas’s Setting Powder. I only set my cheek, nose area, and under my eyes lightly with powder for reference. If I am wearing a mask, I spray the mask with setting spray and then powder the areas the cover would be. I can do without putting, but since I wear glasses, it isn’t avoidable. Sometimes I use a setting spray, Ciate London’s  Everyday Vacay Setting Spray, or Smashbox’s Photo Finish Weightless Setting Spray.


Dior Foundation with setting powder/spray

I am curious about the Nar’s Soft Matte Foundation. Are there some similarities between the two? I look forward to a review/comparison, and recent updates can be found on my Instagram. Be sure to follow for any quick product reviews, makeup looks, and empties. I try to make first impressions of foundations and powders, but it depends on whether I am using them correctly or prepping my skin for the product. I try to use it enough to give my review and thoughts entirely. But, I recommend this foundation if you have acne, dark spots, or looking to even out your skin tone. If you prefer a foundation that is easy to travel with on the go, this will be perfect.

Purito From Green Cleansing Oil – RENEWED Review

Trying to find a fungal acne-safe oil cleanser to take off makeup is a struggle. I have been looking for one for a while. I made a 2022 New Years’ Resolution to get rid of fungal acne-causing products/ stop buying them. Recently, I found this ingredient analysis site called “Skinsort” and it has been a lifesaver. This oil cleanser was fungal acne-safe, so I clicked add to cart on amazon.

Purito is a very interesting brand because there are hit-miss products, especially those that are fungal acne safe can be hard to find. This cleansing oil has a med to light consistency (it is a little thick) and it is fragrance, essential oil, and alcohol-free. I use this as a first cleanse and follow up with either a gel or milk cleanser.  Double cleansing is something that I do when I have makeup or SPF on. It gets the job done if you are using a towel or a magic eraser, it has great slip. I prefer using it that way because I feel like it cleans my skin enough because it is messy taking off makeup.

If I were just using it to take off SPF, then I would be fine without the magic eraser.  It breaks down mascara and full-face makeup very well and it doesn’t sting your eyes, but it does blur my eyes sometimes. I can still tell there is no makeup left on my skin, and it emulsifies pretty well. There are benefiting oils in the formulation like Olive Oil which is great for dry skin. Sunflower Oil, Jojoba Oil that great for sensitive skin, and Sweet Almond Oil and Grape Seed Oil. I have other fungal acne-safe cleansing oils I want to try now, thanks to Skinsort. I’m not sure if I will repurchase, just because there is a lot on the market to try out. Definitely would not recommend this for oily/combo skin types.

More Fungal Acne Safe Cleansing Oils/Balms: