5 Natural Ways To Heal Fungal Acne That Really Work

by Gio
5 natural ways to heal fungal acne

So, you got fungal acne?

The first step is to rid your skincare routine of ANYTHING that could remotely feed Malassezia, the fungus that’s making your life miserable. I’ve written a post about how to do this here.

The second step is to kill the damn fungus once and for all. But what if you’re not comfortable taking anti-fungals for however long it takes?

I need to say this: my advice is always to see a dermatologist and take her advice, even when she prescribes an anti-fungal.

But if that doesn’t work for you or you want to try a natural remedy first, there are a few natural ways that have been scientifically proven to help heal fungal acne. Here they are:


get the ordinary acne routine cheatsheet


1. Azelaic Acid

What it is: a byproduct of Malassezia. Yep, the fungus that gives you fungal acne also gives you a way to treat it. Thanks!

Why it works: scientists aren’t 100% sure yet but it has a lot to do with its ability to reduce the overall fatty acid content (ie the stuff that Malassezia eats to grow) in your skin. Plus, it kills both aerobic (needs oxygen to grow) like Malassezia and anaerobic (doesn’t need oxygen) bacteria like P.Acnes.

How To Use: after serums but before moisturizer.

Side effects: a lot of products with azelaic acid also have ingredients that feed Malassezia. Azelaic acid may counteract some of these effects. Still, pick products high in azelaic acid and low in offenders.

Where to find it: Finacea (prescription only), Paula’ Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster and The Ordinary Azelaic Acid 10% Suspension (£5.50)

2. Caprylic Acid Oil

What it is: a fatty acid with a short carbon chain length found in coconut and MCT oil. It’s one of the few fatty acids Malassezia DOESN’T feed on.

Why it works: it has powerful antifungal properties that can kill Malassezia.

How to use it: as a cleanser or mixed with your moisturizer.

Side effects: caprylic acid oil is generally considered to be safe.

Where to find it: Alana Mitchell Organic MCT Facial Oil ($40.00)

skincare benefits honey

3. Honey

What it is: a sweet, sticky nectar bees make from the nectar they collect from flowers.

Why it works: honeys has strong antimicrobial properties. Studies show it’s effective against seborrheic dermatitis, a condition caused by the same fungus. Manuka honey is the most effective at this.

How to use it: apply raw honey on the affected area for 3 hours every other day. If it’s too sticky for you, try products that are high in raw honey (propolis works too). Just make sure they don’t contain anything that feeds the fungus.

Side effects: raw honey is sticky and feels unpleasant on the skin.

Where to find it: Wedderspoon Raw Premium Manuka Honey ($29.65), Cosrx Propolis Light Ampoule ($28.00) and Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence ($39.00)

Related: The Benefits Of Honey In Skincare

4. Sulfur

What it is: A yellowish, nonmetallic element that occurs widely in nature, especially in volcanic deposits.

Why it works: I couldn’t find any research showing it works against fungal acne BUT there’s plenty of proof it’s an effective treatment for seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema. All conditions that involve Malassezia. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Sulfur works because it sloughs off dead skin cells and produces an acid that is toxic to fungi.

How to use it: as a spot treatment only.

Side effects: sulfur is harsh on the skin and terribly dries it out. Use it only as the last option on this list and on the affected area only. Oh, it smells like rotten eggs, too. Ewww!

Where to find it: Kala Health MSM Gel ($19.75) and ZO Skin Health Oeffects Sulfur Masque ($45.00)

Related: Sulfur: Good For Acne, Bad For Skin?

5. Tea Tree Oil

What it is: an essential oil derived from the melaleuca alternifolia plant.

Why it works: lots of studies show it has powerful antimicrobial properties that kill Malassezia.

How to use it: dilute it with water and use as spot treatment.

Side effects: tea tree oil can be very irritating, especially if you have sensitive skin. That’s why you need to dilute it.

Where to find it: Tea Tree 100% Pure Best Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil ($6.99) and ArtNaturals 100% Pure Tea Tree Essential Oil ($15.95)

Related: Tea Tree Oil, The Underdog Of Acne Treatments

Have you ever tried any natural treatments to heal your fungal acne? Share your experience in the comments below.

Take The Guesswork Out Of Skincare Shopping

Screenshot from 2017 04 30 11 51 35

Get access to the “Pro Skincare Library” for exclusive skincare routine “cheat sheets” and tricks to help you navigate the beauty aisles jungle like a pro and immediately know what to pick off the shelves to achieve the gorgeous skin of your dreams - even when you’re drowning in an endless sea of skincare products.


Powered by ConvertKit

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

35 comments

Cindy November 16, 2018 - 7:47 pm

Wow this is amazing! Great research. How about aloe?

Reply
Gio November 23, 2018 - 11:35 am

Cindy, aloe is very hydrating but it’s not a treatment for fungal acne.

Reply
Erin December 19, 2018 - 11:56 pm

Instead of water, the tea tree oil should be diluted with a carrier oil like coconut oil or grapeseed oil before applying to the skin. Water won’t combine with the tea tree oil, so it won’t do much to minimize the burn tea tree oil can cause. If essential oil is ever burning your skin, it’s usually recommended to apply more of your carrier oil until the burn subsides. This is more effective than washing with soap and water.

Reply
Gio January 6, 2019 - 12:46 pm

Erin, this is a great tip. Thanks for sharing!

Reply
Bernadette Monterola March 12, 2019 - 12:42 am

You cannott mix it with other oil except MCT, Squalane and Mineral oil. Because the other oils are rich in fatty acids which is a food for the fungus.

Reply
Gio March 15, 2019 - 3:45 pm

Bernadette, thanks for the remainder!

Reply
Andrea Juliet January 2, 2019 - 2:54 am

Hello,
I have a question about finacea gel. Are any of these ingredients harmful: lecithin, polyacrylic acid, polysorbate 80. I know you said polysorbates contain fatty acids and can feed fungus? Or would the good of finacea cancel out the polysorbate?
Thank you!

Reply
Gio January 12, 2019 - 11:39 am

Andrea, if by harmful, you mean they can feed fungal acne, then yes. I personally recommend you stay away from products with polysorbates and anything that can feed Malassezia. But if these ingredients have very further down the list, the chances of them causing problems drastically diminish. But you won’t know for sure until you try them.

Reply
Natalij February 11, 2019 - 8:43 pm

I have fungal acne and i tried tea tree oil but it ruined my skin. It caused me to break out even more and it dried it out. It took 2 weeks for my skin to heal from the reaction. Any alternatives?

Reply
Gio February 15, 2019 - 1:21 pm

Natalij, sorry to hear that. Did you dilute it properly? It’s very harsh if you don’t. Try Azelaic Acid and see if that works for you. It’s a lot gentler.

Reply
Natalija February 11, 2019 - 8:44 pm

Ketokonazole and anti dandruff shampoo is a great treatment because of it’s antifungal properties

Reply
Gio February 15, 2019 - 1:24 pm

Natalija, thanks for sharing. Glad it works for you.

Reply
Nyra Olazo March 17, 2019 - 8:49 pm

would you recommend diluted apple cider vinegar to treat malassezia?

Reply
Gio March 21, 2019 - 2:02 pm

Nyra, no I wouldn’t.

Reply
Sara April 10, 2019 - 8:29 pm

is there a difference in using regular and raw honey?

Reply
Gio April 12, 2019 - 3:51 pm

Sara, the raw kind has more antioxidants and nutrients so it works faster.

Reply
Jena Mae Batong May 10, 2019 - 3:50 am

So mixing squalane with essential ouls is perfectly safe?:)

Reply
Gio June 5, 2019 - 12:39 pm

Jena, NO! Essential oils are NEVER safe, especially not for people with fungal acne!

Reply
Geo June 2, 2019 - 9:59 pm

I use zinc pyrithione soap and it is very effective for treating fungal acne.

Reply
Gio June 4, 2019 - 5:50 pm

Geo, good to know! Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Viviana June 27, 2019 - 12:07 am

I applied honey to my face and what it did was burn my face, this because it happens?

Reply
Gio July 6, 2019 - 2:47 pm

Viviana, honey has a low pH. You should never use it alone.

Reply
Martina MacKenzie July 4, 2019 - 5:19 pm

I have learned that mixing tea tree oil into the manuka honey and leaving on as a mask is a good option. Follow with a toner containing green tea and apple cider vinegar (1 cup tea / 1 Tbsp vinegar), then finally moisturize with a mixture of aloe + a drop of tea tree oil.

Reply
Alex July 16, 2019 - 7:02 pm

Is active Oxygen good for fungal acne?People say it’s helping with acne problems.Should I try it?Is it dangerous?
Let me know your opinion.
Also, I’m planning to see a dermatologist pretty soon, but just curious..is it really fungal acne cuz mine are skin colored, tiny bumps,they are not “burning” when i touch them but the texture is different.. I just woke up with bunch of them 4 days ago(i have them on my T zone and left cheek), could it be allergic or..?
Please answer, I need help.
Thanks

Reply
Gio August 8, 2019 - 3:07 pm

Alex, oxygen won’t do anything for acne. As you’re already seeing a dermatologist, I think it’s best to let him diagnose.

Reply
Khadija August 13, 2019 - 4:29 pm

Hi.i have small bumps all over my face and it is mostly textured and they dont pop or anything. Is that fungal? I use isdin oil free cleaner, body shop tea tree toner and aloe vera gel. Could these products be triggering it?

Reply
Gio September 15, 2019 - 6:43 pm

Khadija, does it itch? That’s usually one of the tell-tale signs. Tea tree oil could definitely be a culprit.

Reply
Osas November 11, 2019 - 11:01 am

Is tiny bump and fungal the same please can you recommend something for me to use

Reply
Gio December 15, 2019 - 11:07 am

Osas, not always. It’s fungal if it itches. Is that the case for you?

Reply
Anna November 21, 2019 - 9:54 am

Hi thank you! I was wondering… Does the rice, milk and honey body scrub recipe help against fungal acne??

Reply
Gio December 20, 2019 - 8:06 am

Anna, there is some evidence that honey can help.

Reply
A November 21, 2019 - 1:03 pm

Can’t i use raw honey every day on my body? I bought some honey from a supermarket and started using some on my lower back (near waist area) for fungal acne and i noticed that the honey has some tiny corns that slightly scratch my skin similar to body scrubs when i massage the honey to my back, is this normal?

Reply
Gio December 20, 2019 - 8:07 am

A, if it scratches your skin, I wouldn’t use it.

Reply
Being Healed January 31, 2020 - 4:15 pm

Honey that is slightly scratchy may have started going to sugar. I used mine anyway like an exfoliator. You could gently heat in double boiler to dissolve sugar crystals

Reply
Being Healed January 31, 2020 - 4:14 pm

Honey that is slightly scratchy may have started going to sugar. I used mine anyway like an exfoliator. You could gently heat in double boiler to dissolve sugar crystals

Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.