I’ve received lots of DM on my IG about this topic, and I’m trying to find ones that are safe for fungal-acne prone skin. Feel free to add to this list, please DM me on my IG, here.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you will know that I did recommend to do the basic skincare routine while dealing with Fungal Acne. You can build up your routine once they’re completely gone. Personally, I will stick with cleansing, toning and hydrating steps. That’s it. No makeup added, just the good ol’ basic skincare routine.
When to use
mist & essence in your fungal-acne prone skincare routine?
me, mist can go beyond their original duties. Mist can fit in nicely to my
hydrating toner step, especially after that harsh exfoliating toner. And of
course, spritzing mist on before makeup (after SPF) will help to prepare skin
to enhance our makeup staying power. Or, impart that dewy glow by spritzing
mist after makeup. There’s more: try spritzing before applying sheet mask or on
beauty blender or cushion puff to even out foundation and help it blend
seamlessly. Throughout the day, mist can also help to refresh skin and makeup.
the mists I love that are safe for fungal-acne prone skin.
essence? Well, if you are into Korean skincare routine, you’ll find that
essence is actually the heart of the skincare routine. Use after hydrating
toner and before serum, usually essence comes in thicker liquid form than
toner. Think of essence like a base layer of hydration and moisture.
These are the essences I love that are safe for fungal-acne prone skin.
To cut the
post short, I’ve been looking for skincare with green tea.
it’s rich in EGCG (that’s Epigallocatechin Gallate), that research has shown
can improve acne and oily skin. As I’ve been dealing with never ending hormonal
acne, thanks to my fluctuating androgen levels, I need EGCG’s help. Not only
that, EGCG is also a great anti-aging oxidant which helps fight wrinkles by
increasing cell turnover.
googling journey came to this product. An expensive product for a bottle of
essence. What made them so bloody expensive? Well, it carefully utilizes green
tea cultivated from the Dolsongi Green Tea Garden, the first of the three
garden tea gardens that the company owns and operates on Jeju Island, off the
South Coast of Korea. The green tea leaves are handpicked and naturally
fermented in optimal condition for 50 days, then transferred by tea masters and
placed into this traditional Korean earthware band buried in the earth, to age
naturally for another 50 days.
So yes, it
needs 100 days of waiting and another 24 hours slow extraction process to make
this worthy essence. But, does it worth my splurge (btw, it costs me IDR1,5 mio
for 120ml bottle).
those who love minimal ingredients. It only consists of 6 ingredients: Water,
Propanediol, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (aka the green tea),
1,2-Hexanediol and Ethylhexylglycerin. And yes, this product is also vegan.
As the name
stated, it is an essence, so it goes straight after toner. I use this twice a
day, morning and night by pouring three drops on the palm of my hand and pat. If
you’ve been reading my post, you know I still believe in essence step, as it
will help skin to absorb serum and moisturizer more effectively.
So how did it perform on my skin?
Well, I can see a huge difference when I applied this on night time. When I woke up in the morning, I saw less oil on my face. And if big painful zits, especially on chin area started to appear, this will lessen the red appearance. I believe, it also brighten my skin tone.
very watery with no scent. It looks more like a black tea essence, even though
it’s supposed to be green tea.
Is it safe for Fungal Acne? Yes, even though it comes from fermented green tea.
Patyka Indonesia for having me last week at the launch of their new range:
CLEAN, HYDRA & PURE.
launch, I surely learned a lot about this skincare certified organic brand from
The first product from this brand is HUILE
ABSOLUE, which created way back in 1922. The formulas haven’t changed since.
Currently, it took them 3 to 5 years to
develop one product.
All of their products have ECOCERT Certification
since 2002, and became the first cosmetics brand in the world to be awarded
Ecocert organic certification.
Most of their products are vegan (because some
of them still use bees wax) and they do not test on animals.
Only botanical actives not grown in France
are sought somewhere in the world, but all of their products are fully
manufactured in France, including their unique box packaging.
Last but not least, these new range will be
more affordable and dedicated for more wider age group from 20 years up.
course, we came home with their PR Kit. Mostly contains PURE range, which I
chose because of my oily skin problem. So, let’s begin the review, shall we?
It’s one of their CLEAN range, which actually consists of 3 items: cleansing oil, cleansing foam, and toner. Basically, it’s a basic cleansing routine range.
eliminate impurities and particles of pollution accumulated during the day. Deeply
cleanses for a radiant and smooth skin.
INGREDIENTS: Aloe Vera (for its’ moisturizing purpose) and Moringa (highly
Yesssss!!!! It’s safe for Fungal Acne and it’s soap-free.
love this, seriously. It caught my attention at the launch event, because
unlike any other facial foam that I’ve tried, this glides so luxurious and
beautifully on skin. It’s still foamy even though it’s soap free, but the
cloudy foam didn’t pull on that disappearing act on your skin (if you know what
I mean). Yes that cloud of foam feels so wonderful on my skin. Highly
One of their PURE range, dedicated for combination to oily skin.
Remove all impurities and excess sebum. Rebalance and smooth the skin.
Imperfections are reduced and pores are tightened.
INGREDIENTS: Organic Mint Floral Water (it’s a natural astringent), Prebiotics
from natural sugar, and (they had me at this) Botanical Salicylic Acid. So,
they use vegetable salicylic acid, extracted from Wintergreen.
Fungal Acne safe product (yeay!)
Alcohol and Fragrance
Even though it’s fragranced, I found the scent really pleasing. It does smell
like mint water, very refreshing to sort of waking up my skin in the morning.
Also from their PURE range. It is a moisturizer, by the way.
Regulates the production of sebum throughout the day and mattifies the skin
without drying it.
INGREDIENTS: Burdock Root Organic (sebum regulating), Prebiotics from natural
sugars (promote the growth of the microbial flora which protects the skin)
& Natural Silica Powder (absorbs excess sebum)
it is a mattifying moisturizer. What’s not to love?
safe for Fungal Acne because it contains Jojoba Seed Oil and Sunflower Seed
Oil. And it has alcohol and fragrance.
like light gel and smells wonderful. And unlike most mattifying moisturizer
which contain silicone, this one does not have any. They use natural silica
powder to absorb excess sebum and shine, and to create that soft but not overpower
Last but not least from the PURE range.
excess sebum and cleanses the pores. Unclogs pores without drying the skin.
INGREDIENTS: Plant-derived Charcoal (sanitize skin and regulates the sebum
production), Green Clay (as decongestant), and Zinc (cleanses and purifies).
PROS: It is
a wash-off mask (leave it for 10 minutes) or use it for spot treatment (for
night time use only).
safe for Fungal Acne and has fragrance.
THOUGHTS: First, I use this as spot treatment. It didn’t budge throughout my sleep, until I took them off in the morning. Of course, it didn’t heal acne overnight. But, I found this work well on almost there pimples. So when you found that spots, put this overnight and they wouldn’t be aggravated acnes.
If you’ve been reading my posts and follow my IG, you’ll know how much I appreciate Niacinamide. Even back in the days when my fungal acne were still around…until today.
You can read somewhere else about WTH is Niacinamide and what would it do to your skin, but here I’m going to share you my favorites and my not so much. But for sure, all of the stuffs I mentioned are fungal acne safe. Tried & Tested by yours truly. Your welcome.
GLOSSIER SUPER PURE
people who purchased Glossier’s makeup products as their first encounter to
this loveable brand, I bought this. I remember I was so disappointed of The
Ordinary Niacinamide because it clumps, then I decided to buy the more
expensive Niacinamide serum out there. And this didn’t disappoint me from the
They used to
sell the 15ml version, but now the latest version is 30ml, bigger bottle. With
5% Niacinamide and Zinc PCA, it’s also paraben free, fragrance free and vegan.
Why I love
this? It contains no Butylene Glycol which I personally believe can be comedogenic.
And I love the feel when it glides smoothly without clumps. Totally a winner,
considering the hefty price tag. I believe this is my fifth bottle already.
PAULA’S CHOICE 10% NIACINAMIDE BOOSTER
I heard so
much good things about this. So, even though it’s more expensive than Glossier,
I decided to splurge.
more percentage of Niacinamide, mind you. This contains 10% of Niacinamide with
additional Sodium Hyaluronate for hydration and Allantoin for skin-soothing.
will mix this with essence, because unlike Glossier, this is a bit sticky when
this contains Butylene Glycol which I try to avoid lately, but since I like to
restock, and already purchased this second bottle, WTH. I will try to finish
this serum booster, anyway.
COS DE BAHA NIACINAMIDE 10 SERUM
seriously guys, I am so glad I stumbled upon this serum while browsing
religiously online. This is like the cheapest serum I’ve ever bought in my life
and it’s not even a local brand. It costs under IDR100K, for a 30ml bottle.
Yes, all the
good stuffs are in there. 10% Niacinamide, Pure Hyaluronic Acid, 1% Zinc PCA
and Licorice. It’s a South Korean brand, and they claim to use 78% organic
ingredients. Free of sulfates, paraben, colorant, alcohol and fragrance, too.
I love this,
it is that good. Similar feel like Glossier, without the price. For sure I’m
going to repurchase this (currently checking what to buy next from this underrated
2 SOL FACIAL RECOVERY BOOSTER
Unlike those three mentioned above (which have clear transparent texture), this has yellowish liquid shade. I believe it’s because of Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, aka Vitamin C, one of the main ingredients here. Yes, this one mix 10% Niacinamide and Vitamin C, people. But no worries, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is a very stable Vitamin C and soluble in water and oil. I didn’t find mine getting oxidized after awhile (just make sure to close it tightly after usage), so there you have it.
Unfortunately, this also has Butylene Glycol in it (like Paula’s Choice one). And I don’t like the packaging, it has no stopper. So, I’m also trying to finish this first (and last) bottle.
not a teenager anymore (obviously!), I’m not treating my skin like one especially
when dealing with acne.
From my own
personal trial & error, ingredients that are comedogenic, like Butylene
Glycol, Cetyl & Cetearyl Alcohol and Tocopherol (Vitamin E), are a big no
no. And thanks to Dr Liv Kraemer (I’ve been enjoying watching her YT Channel),
since I stopped using facial oil (even though they claim it’s ok for acne-prone
skin, like rosehip and marula), I saw improvement on my skin’s texture. She
said in one of her videos, if you have acne-prone skin, the bacteria on top
would be trapped by facial oil, which actually formed more pimples.
fact that I’ve found recently, Centella Asiatica will not help if you have
acne-prone skin (thanks for this information, Dr Eche Idrus SpKK). Yes,
Centella is effective in treatment of wounds and even for cellulites. But not
for acne-prone skin, especially if they’re still raging like a bull.
So, with new
information that I’ve got, I’ve sort of revamped my skincare regime, by selectively
cutting out the above ingredients. Here are some new ones that have been taking
over my vanity.
And last but
not least, taking vitamins. Trust me, I drank lots of Roaccutane before, but it
felt wrong having so much chemical inside, so I decided to stop and switched to
vitamins instead. Anyway, they’re vitamins. But, mind me, these vitamins didn’t
fix my acne problem instantly, but I believe they’ll help from the inside since
I rarely eat healthy foods. Disclaimer: I’m not coming from a medical
background, I just wrote based on personal experience and what I’ve found all
around the net.
took two different vitamins. Two of vitamin B2 B6, and one vitamin D. Vitamin
B2B6 is very popular skin vitamin when they came from, Japan. They claim that
these vitamins combination will improve skin problems like skin irritation and
acne. If vitamins are not your thing, you can also get this vitamin B intake
from grains, soybeans, bananas and watermelon (which are known to have vitamin
vitamin D. Also known as “the sunshine vitamin”, because you can actually get
vitamin D while being exposed to the sun. But, since I rarely out in the sun (I
am horrified of the heat and the after-smell), I supposed my body is lacking of
vitamin D. Imagine to my surprise, when one day, I read that vitamin D
deficiency maybe a part of what’s causing acne or making acne worse. When I
asked Dr Eche Idrus SpKK about this, she said that vitamin D does have an
anti-inflammatory property and in some cases can reduce acne. As we all know,
milk and cheese are a great source of vitamin D (not too much or they’ll make
acne worse). Unfortunately for me whose sensitive to lactose, I can’t choose to
have dairy products as a replacement for vitamin D’s intake. And I believe my
fungal-acne won’t agree with me if I’m sitting under the sun to keep acne at
bay. So the only choice for me, is this Vitamin D.
Know what ingredients work well on your skin
Stay away from facial oil
Take the right vitamin(s) for your skin
Drink lots of water, infused ones if you are
not a heavy fruits and vegetable eaters.
Took a very
long time for me to jump into this Vitamin A aka Retinoid, Retinol stuffs. I
was super afraid that it’ll react badly, as some people with sensitive skin
like me will purge (even though I don’t believe in purging, but having massive
acne attack will not be a walk in the park).
Really, what can vitamin A do? It’s like a mediator to our skin cells, because it attaches to them and sort of like telling them to behave, by speeding up the turnover. So usually, if our skin regenerates in 28 days, vitamin A will speed them up and cut the days in half. Not just that, it supposedly thicken the dermis for younger and glowing looking skin and improves hyper-pigmentation, acne, large pores and wrinkles. Sounds like a true champ, yes?
WHAT TO CHOOSE? RETINOL OR RETINOID? Well, both are actually vitamin A derivatives. But, retinoid is essentially a basic term for over-the counter retinol and prescription retinoid. Usually, retinol contains a lower concentration, while retinoid have much higher ones. So, you might see slower result when using retinol compared to retinoid.
So, after a long thought and online research, I decided to purchase retinoid over retinol.
Yes, the good ol’ The Ordinary. This is a water-based serum with a high concentration of two next-generation of retinoids (claimed to be more effective than the standard ones). I purchased this for its’ claim to be a non-irritating retinoid serum.
I didn’t see significant and instant improvement the morning after, but anyway, I don’t believe that one product can do such. And because I do have acne-prone skin (they already put a caution in their website), I experienced a temporary increase in acne during the first two usage. Since I don’t believe in purging, it might be just forcing gunk to the skin’s surface. At least my skin didn’t get red, irritated or dry. I’ll update about my skin condition on my IG stories, so stay tune!
HOW I INCORPORATE THEM IN MY SKINCARE ROUTINE Because I’m new to retinoid, I started by applying The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion once a week at night time to avoid irritation. After my triple cleanse (micellar water, cleansing balm, and facial cleanser), I use soothing toner, then I prepared my skin with ISNTREE Hyaluronic Acid Water Essence. I waited until they’re completely absorbed and dry, then I use about three drops of Retinoid for the whole face. I’ll wait about 5 minutes then finish with ILLIYOON Ceramide Ato Soothing Gel.
TIPS FOR RETINOL & RETINOID NEWBIES
Start slowly. Apply once a week first, then
if your skin can tolerate (nothing bad happened), move on to every third night.
And if your skin is totally fine with it, go for every night.
Always apply on completely dry (not damp)
skin. Make sure your toner and essence already absorbed well.
Tone down with moisturizer (probably ones
with Hyaluronic Acid) to minimize any irritation.
Don’t use them if you are pregnant or
Never mix with Benzoyl Peroxide, AHA and BHA.
This stuff is already potent by itself.
If you have sensitive skin that’s prone to
irritation, start with retinol first because it’s less potent than retinoid.
Don’t forget to slather yourself with SPF the
next morning after Retinol or Retinoid. These two are known to make skin more
sensitive to sun. And don’t forget to do SPF touch up (every 4 hours if you use
SPF 50 like me).
If you have raging fungal acne, don’t try
this. Wait until your fungal acne is fixed, then you might want to use retinol
Been in a very tough situation lately, I have to admit this is not a very good year for me. And I’m sure you’ve heard it everywhere, when you are stressed, so does your skin. Just look at my stress acnes!
I’ve been fighting them for about two weeks now, but I know I’m not alone. So I decided to do some research online and write down this post.
WHAT CAUSED STRESS ACNE? Obviously, STRESS. And if your skin is already acne-prone, stress can make acne worse. You see, hormones released and produced during stress will increase further skin inflammation. And for some people, stress will vigorously make them pick at their acnes which can cause bigger problem like scars and such.
WHAT DIFFERS NORMAL ACNE & STRESS ACNE? I personally believe stress acne is redder than ordinary ones, and doesn’t necessarily have pus in it. Sometime, it formed a painful cyst too. And also what I personally experienced, stress acne will show up on areas you’ve never had acnes before. I also experienced more blackheads and whiteheads.
HOW TO MANAGE STRESS ACNE? Seriously guys, if I told you not to stress over it and stay calm, you’ll kill me, right? I tried to manage my stress first, by hanging out with friends and trying not to bring work problems home. So, find your chill first, then try to handle the stress acne. First, drink more water, less caffeinated & dairy drinks and alcohol. Then, do basics skincare like cleanse, tone and moisturize. Don’t overdo things like adding more unnecessary steps to your skincare routine. Or worse, do cleansing more than twice a day. Remember to stick to your basic routine and products.
MY BASIC SKINCARE ROUTINE DURING STRESS ACNE
This stuff is MAGIC in a bar form. It’s fragrance and soap-free, doesn’t contain any essential oil and have honey in it (you know how I love honey).
The name said it all. It is a soothing toner, feels and looks like water. I’d recommend to stay away from exfoliating toner when your skin is stress. Choose a hydrating toner that’s light and alcohol free.
Why 89? Because it does contain up to 89% of natural origin Hyaluronic Acid. This will protect skin from pollution, stress and fatigue. And I chose hydration serum during my stress acne period, rather than my regular Niacinamide or vitamin C serum (it’s like taking a break from the hard stuffs). I also skip moisturizer after this, just because I feel this already helped with the hydration.
Long time favorite of mine. SPF in a gel form, easy to absorb, doesn’t leave any white cast and never broke me out. It’s super light in texture and good for makeup base too.
Don’t overkill your stress acne with spot treatments, especially those with tough ingredients such as Benzoyl Peroxide or Salicylic Acid. Trust me, they will look worse (looks more red & irritated).
Instead, try to hydrate your skin as much as you can. Personally, I love to spray my face with Avene Thermal Spring Water during the day.
And also, try to touch up your SPF during the day. Usually, I reapply every four hours even though I stayed indoor most of the time. Because I wear makeup, I like to use Kose Suncut Protect UV Spray SPF50+ PA++++.
Double cleanse if you have makeup on. My all time favorite is Banila Co Clean It Zero
Stay clear from anything acid and retinol while stress acne attacked. Treat them first with tender, love and care.
Some of you
might asked, “Do I need 10 steps?” Girl, it’s so 2017!
not be intimidated by contents out there with so many layering steps, if you do
not have the time nor the budget to do so. Knowing your skin is the first best
thing, then you can accommodate based on that.
might not be the same as others and I don’t expect it to be. And I totally not
recommend anyone to follow mine exactly. Frankly speaking, there are no such
things as ideal steps. Remember, you know you best.
So, these are my steps of skincare routine:
off with Micellar Water for base makeup. Then Lip & Eye Make Up Remover.
Wait till dry then move on to Cleansing Balm. Quickly emulsified the balm,
rinse and wash it all away with Face Soap. At the end of the day, I felt extra
clean after all of these.
thought that I’d even consider this as the most important step in my routine.
But it is, now. Hydrating Toner and Essence are my skin’s BFF.
My skin is
far from perfect, therefore exfoliating toner, serum and ampoule are still
needed in my repertoire.
underestimate the power of moisturizing to seal the previous steps in. I try to
stay away from cream and lotion for moisturizer, instead I opt for gel ones.
Living in a
city when the sun is blasting all year round, it’s impossible and sort of
forbidden to skip this step in the morning.
For sure, morning and night time routine are different. Morning routine is simpler because all the cleansing hard stuffs will be happening at night to remove makeup. And night routine might require more steps, just because there’s more time to do so.
Dedicated to those who asked me on IG DM, “SHALL I STILL BE USING FUNGAL-ACNE SAFE PRODUCTS NOW THAT THE FUNGAL ACNE IS GONE?”
Well, first, disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist or skin expert. I’m only sharing based on my own trial & error.
Q: Shall I
stay away (still) from skincare products with fungal acne trigger ingredients?
A: From my
own experience, when it comes to wash-off products (only stay on skin for
maximum 2 minutes), I’d go for non-safe fungal acne products.
Q: What kind
of wash-off products are you talking about?
cleansers are your best bet. Cleansing balm, Micellar Water, Lip & Eye
Makeup Remover and/or Face Wash.
Q: How about
A: Personally, I will stick to fungal-acne safe products for stay on skincare products (just to be safe), like toner, essence, serum, ampoule, moisturizer, and even for SPF. But if you are bored or simply just want to try other products, maybe you can try non-safe for fungal acne SPF, because it’s the last layer on skin and won’t absorb anyway.