Fungal Acne: What It Is And How To Treat It | Clozette

Contrary to popular belief, even if it looks like acne, it may not be necessarily acne. Here’s what we mean: regular facial acne is caused by bacteria that would produce the zits we know — and love to pop but resist to do so. Fungal acne, on the other hand, is caused by excess yeast growth in the hair follicles found on your chest, back, and shoulders. To be more accurate, it shouldn’t even be called fungal acne. Its dermatological term is pityrosporum folliculitis or Malassezia folliculitis.

So what is it, really?

Malassezia folliculitis happens when there is a growth of excess yeast within the hair follicles, causing an imbalance in the bacteria-to-fungus ratio in our skin. The yeast, known as Malassezia, is a kind of fungi that are naturally found on our skin. This causes acne-like bumps to appear on the areas we’ve mentioned. "High yeast levels promote inflammation, which, in turn, manifest on the skin as pus bumps," according to Allure. Because it’s yeast-caused, tropical weather like that in Southeast Asia is the perfect environment for yeast growth. Since it’s also a fungus, it can be contagious.

Woman's Back in Bathtub

It differs from bacterial acne in that fungal acne is an inflammation of the hair follicle. Its placement on parts of the upper body and a noticeable intense itching in those areas also differentiate it from regular zits. Fungal acne is most often caused by wearing tight and restrictive clothing or sweating in your clothes and not showering right away, like after a workout, for example.

What does it look like?

The difficulty here is that it really does look like a regular pimple breakout. Look for clusters of small whiteheads, so small they can be a millimetre in size. As mentioned, they would primarily appear on your chest, back, and upper arms.

How do you treat it?

It’s always best to consult a dermatologist. They may prescribe something as simple as a body wash to oral medication depending on how bad your case is. If it doesn’t clear up after several weeks, you may be prescribed with anti-fungal medication.

How do you prevent it?

Woman Exercising in Gym

You can prevent fungal acne by cleansing your skin immediately and thoroughly after a sweat sesh, especially after workouts or scuba diving where you wear tight clothing. Change into clean and loose clothes, so your skin can breathe. Using a salicylic acid cleanser while showering can help remove excess oil and dirt from the skin — two things that promote yeast growth. If you don’t have time for a full shower, keep some cleansing towelettes with an exfoliating ingredient inside your bag for a quick wipedown.

Read about the weirdest actions women have done to cure acne.



For beauty addicts and enthusiasts, trimming down our makeup and skincare arsenal can be quite the challenge. After all, it's evolved from things we use daily to a collection that we love to sift through from time to time. However, with the rise of awareness towards sustainable beauty, the need to support this advocacy while feeding our continuous quest to finding holy grails seem to be contradictory. In fact, it's like the antithesis of each other. And even when you cut back on purchasing and promise never to buy a new product before hitting pan on powders or finishing a tube of lipstick, expiration dates are the next enemy. So it really is a dilemma. 

But, of course, as people who share the same sentiments, we're here to propose a solution: travel-sized products. Yup, you read that right. We're here to see if minis are the answer to our question. People often prefer full-sized bottles over travel sizes for various reasons, with two prominent factors being volume and value for money. But are we really getting more from full-sized variants? Let's investigate. 

On quality and potency

Should You Switch To Travel-Sized Products? - on potency

One of the biggest misconceptions about travel-sized beauty products is that they're not as potent as full-sized picks. However, this is not necessarily the case. Brands know that consumers tend to sample products — especially when the prices of full sizes are quite indulgent — that on the first buy, getting the smaller versions is the practical option. Given this, travel-sized products need to have a very convincing quality that would make buyers want to get a fuller-sized version. We're not saying that brands tend to cheat or downplay on full-sizes, but rather illustrating why minis tend to have the same, if not better, quality. 

On saving some bucks

Next up is practicality on a financial level. One of the biggest reasons why people tend to buy full-sized products off the bat is the idea that smaller versions tend to cost more in the long run. However, there are many circumstances that can prove this notion wrong. As mentioned in our previous point, when trying out a product that's new, travel-sized products are more practical as they give allowance whether or not the product is the right match for you. Less waste, too, if you didn't like it as much. 

Should You Switch To Travel-Sized Products? - on saving money

Next, when you feel like the product really works and find that you're reaching for it often, then it's time to really go for a bigger bottle. Still, this is taking into account how big the next available size actually is and whether or not your usual consumption can meet its expiry date. Lastly, your product rotation matters. If you have a minimal routine and only have one product per step in your regimen, then you can definitely save up more in getting fuller sizes as you'll tend to really use them to the last drop. But if you find yourself switching between one or two products (or more) at various steps of your routine, minis tend to be a better option because not only do they save space, but they also allow you to get around all your products without being wasteful (or forgotten at the back of your vanity).

On saving the planet

The beauty industry is one of the biggest plastic waste contributors with billion tons accumulated through packaging alone every year. Not only are these from product empties, but they also include those still half-filled with your already expired vanity favourites. And if you're thinking that you can always recycle canisters, the truth is it's not that easy.

Should You Switch To Travel-Sized Products? - on sustainable beauty

Plastic and even paper waste from beauty products (similar to the food industry), which tend to be wet or contaminated containers, must be separated manually from a 'clean' bunch before they can be processed. This is to ensure that they won't mess with the recycling process and its finished product. We won't get to the chemistry of it all, but sometimes, depending on the level of product retained or has seeped through the material, these containers cannot even be recycled at all. Given this, using up all your favourite products before tossing the containers to be reprocessed and reused is a simple yet important contribution you can do as a consumer. 

Besides this, many brands have come out with eco-friendlier packaging for their travel-sized products. They're also easier to use up, and therefore, clean before disposing of. Brands like Lush with their naked packaging, Bybi Beauty with their plastic-free containers, Herbivore with their solid eco-friendly beauty bars, and Dr. Bronner's with their mandate on social responsibility, are just some of the ones to check out.

Should you make the switch? 

Should You Switch To Travel-Sized Products? - on making the choice

We can't recommend an absolute conclusion as to whether or not you should really swap your full-sizes for smaller variants. However, with the reasons we have shared earlier, we hope that it gives a clearer picture of what size you should reach for depending on your needs, your routine, and of course, your perspective on saving the planet. Travel-sized beauty products show a lot of positives not just when it comes to money and space-saving, but also proves that size, in certain cases, certainly do not matter. 

Since we're on a travel-related topic, why not check out our top picks for year-round outerwear, too?



When it comes to beauty products, there are so many options made available for us today that sometimes it’s hard to keep up and choose which ones could actually work for us. There's sensitive, extra-sensitive, best for summer, best for winter, cruelty-free, best for the evening, best for day and a whole lot of other considerations. Our tip? Listen to the experts. So we did our research and even asked some of our favourite makeup artists what makeup products they swear by. Keep reading to know their suggestions.

PrimaVista Long Keep Base

Philippine-based makeup artist Apple Faraon, who has worked with various brands like MAC Cosmetics and has done makeup for personalities like Miss Universe Catriona Gray, said that her all-time fave for keeping the oil at bay is PrimaVista Long Keep Base. "I ask my clients who use this and they say their skin stays matte longer," she said.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil

This drugstore find is actually a favourite and used regularly by makeup artists such as LA-based Bree Stanchfield whose clients include Sarah Gadon and Maria Bello. “You can make the tiniest brow strokes [with this product]! It’s a dupe for a popular Anastasia Beverly Hills pencil, and is just as good,” Stanchfield said in a report.

NARS All Day Luminous Foundation

Archie Vergara, another Philippine-based makeup artist who has done various fashion editorials with beauty queens like Margo Cooper, the current Miss World Bulgaria, said that his favourites include NARS All Day Luminous Foundation because it feels very light on the skin and already offers medium to full coverage. He also swears by using Thayers Toner and the moisturiser from VMV to help prep the skin before doing full makeup.

e.l.f Shine Eraser Blotting Sheets

According to Sienna Gross, an editorial makeup artist, one of the best products she has used to blot unwanted shine of makeup while on set is something you can buy at drugstores: e.l.f Shine Eraser Blotting Sheets.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick

Melina Ruiz, a makeup artist to the stars like Chrissy Teigen and Keleigh Sperry, said that one of the best yet simple makeup finds you can cop from beauty stores is L’Oreal’s Infallible Pro-Matte Liquid Lipstick. This liquid lipstick is long-lasting and doesn’t have the cake-like feeling that can be uncomfortable for some.

(Cover photo from: @lorealmakeup)

Next, learn about 'cork skincare'.