Does Fungal Acne-Safe Makeup Exist? Advice and Product Recs From Derms

Chances are, if you know anything about acne and the variety of types there are, then you will have heard of fungal acne — also commonly known as pityrosporum and malassezia folliculitis in most medical settings. “Fungal acne is due to an overgrowth of a normal yeast that lives on the skin, which causes inflammation of the hair follicle,” says New York City-based board-certified dermatologist, Marisa Garshick, MD. She adds that it’s distinct from traditional acne in that it can be itchy and often occurs along the hairline, as well as on the chest and back. 

In terms of makeup that’s safe for folks with fungal acne, Garshick recommends steering clear of any products with active "anti-acne" ingredients, such as salicylic acid, because ultimately fungal acne is not the same as other types of acne and shouldn’t be treated as such. “These kind of ingredients may just lead to dryness and irritation without targeting the specific trigger,” says Garshick. “That being said, products that are gentle on the skin and don’t clog pores can be helpful for patients dealing with pityrosporum folliculitis, so looking for formulas that are non-comedogenic is important.”

More on what to look for — and what to avoid

If your complexion is inflamed and irritated, Garshick says your best bet is to find lightweight formulations that won’t feel heavy and further anger the skin. “For those with fungal acne, it is especially important to remove makeup prior to exercise," she notes. "That, and be sure to rinse the skin after exercising to prevent makeup and sweat from getting trapped in the pores." Additionally, Garshick points out that you should always discuss the treatment of fungal acne with a board-certified dermatologist in order to help eliminate the underlying issue.

Also weighing in on the matter of fungal acne-safe makeup — specifically what to avoid — is Washington, D.C.- based board-certified dermatologist, Pooja Sodha, MD. “Stay away from thick creams or formulas that block the oil glands, such as white petrolatum, as well as lipid-rich products like cocoa butter," she advises.


Face makeup recs for fungal acne

When it comes to makeup that’s going on your facial skin specifically — so, not your eyes or lips — Garshick recommends foundations like It Cosmetics’ CC + Cream Oil-Free Matte with SPF 40 and Ilia’s Super Serum Skin Tint  Foundation SPF 40. “The Ilia tint offers lightweight coverage without clogging the pores and leaves behind a natural finish,” she says. “It also contains hyaluronic acid, squalane, and niacinamide so it won’t leave the skin feeling dry. As a drugstore option, she suggests L’Oreal Paris’ Infallible 24-Hour Fresh Wear Foundation Lightweight. “This weightless foundation is waterproof and sweat-resistant, making it a great option for those with pityrosporum folliculitis,” she explains. “Plus, while it is lightweight, it still provides coverage for long-term wear.”

As for products you’re putting on your cheeks — like bronzer and blush — well, shameless plug, but, you really can’t go wrong with Youthforia’s BYO Color-Changing Blush Oil. While the word “oil” might elicit alarm bells in those with acne-prone skin, it shouldn’t, because all of the plant-based oils in our unique green blush formula are non-comedogenic and won’t clog up your pores or cause more pimples. Even better: They’re ultra-gentle, nourishing, and rich in antioxidants that help to repair and protect the skin from environmental stressors like pollution. 

Don’t just take our word for it though. Here’s what some of our amazing acne-prone users had to say about BYO. 🥺 *All responses were approved to share.

screenshots of instagram DMs about byo blush for acne


Done reading? Now watch Fiona Co Chan chat about why our blush oil works for acne-prone peeps — and how it was formulated to act just like skincare. Then shop BYO, here



Answer to @stephhii1 what’s in ##byoblush that’s good for ur skin? ##youthforia ##blush

♬ happier - Olivia Rodrigo