Products to Treat Fungal Acne by Paula’s Choice

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In this article, I’m listing every product by Paula’s Choice that is fungal acne safe! But first, I need to sing some praises for Paula Begoun and her incredible line of skin care products.

I loved Paula’s Choice products long before discovering I had fungal acne. But also–since discovering I have fungal acne, her sunscreen in particular has been a life saver product.

A Science Backed Beauty Brand

As cheesy as it may seem – from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank Paula’s Choice for committing to “Smart, Safe Beauty,” for formulating products based on scientific research, and for sharing that research with her customers!

Seriously – if you don’t know this – Paula’s Choice has TONS of information about skin care ingredients in her Ingredient Library. It’s an invaluable, free resource I use all the time while creating content for Brooke’s Beauty Bazaar Blog and Youtube Channel.

And not only that, but according to the Paula’s Choice website, “[Paula’s Choice is] continually evaluating new data and research around skin care and ingredients. Our proudest point of difference? Each of our product pages features the exact studies used to guide formulation.”

That’s right. Paula tells us exactly how & why her products are formulated like they are. And while she may not be the only one doing it these days, I credit her with setting the beauty & skin care industry standard on transparency!

And finally–before we get into these fungal acne safe products, I have to mention Beautypedia. It’s a website dedicated to “Expert skin care brands & makeup reviews” owned by Paula’s Choice. I didn’t even realize that until I started researching her product lines!

And she has A LOT of different product lines. I’ve found 11 products total over 6 different lines from her collection that are fungal acne safe.

Many more products came so close to being fungal acne safe as well, containing just one bad ingredient.. especially looking at you, 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant.

Before I get into it, if you need to do some catching up on fungal acne, I have written a ton of content (and filmed tons of Youtube videos) about it. Here is a list of my best resources on fungal acne (or malassezia folliculitis, if you wanna get technical):

And now, let’s do this!

RESIST LINE // Paula’s Choice

This line is all about anti-aging, and it’s one of my favorite lines by PC! We have 3 different product choices here.

1. Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, this is “An innovative water-light formula that contains a vital selection of antioxidants and broad-spectrum sun protection to fight visible signs of aging and prevent premature aging of skin.

  • Promotes a healthier, younger-looking appearance
  • Fights against environmental stressors
  • Fluid formula leaves a matte finish
  • Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine”

My Take on this Product:

This is my all time favorite & go-to sunscreen. In fact, I need to buy a new one stat because mine is empty!

What I love most is that this sunscreen is formulated with SPF 50. Keep in mind that 30 SPF is the bare minimum we want, so 50 SPF is amazing!

This product is so easy to apply and leaves a satin finish to my skin–no pesky white cast! I also think it makes my skin tone look more even, so I don’t always feel like I need foundation when wearing it. However, when I do wear foundation, this acts as a great “primer” product.

2. Intensive Wrinkle Repair Retinol Serum

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “This extravagantly silky serum blends pure retinol and potent antioxidants to help impart firmer-feeling skin, smooth and soften fine lines and wrinkles, and provide hydration so skin of any age can look radiant and revitalized.

  • Stabilized retinol improves the appearance of wrinkles
  • Vitamin C helps brighten and replenish skin
  • Silky serum leaves skin soft and smooth
  • Use twice daily after cleansing, toning & exfoliating
  • Mid-strength 0.1% retinol concentration”

My Take on this Product:

I’m so excited to have discovered this product. I’ve used retinols in the past and loved them, but I’ve never found one that is fungal acne safe until now!

Retinol is for those of us trying to prevent aging, fine lines, and wrinkles. I’m 30, so sign me up! If you are concerned with preventing fungal acne but also desire more even, glowing skin–give retinol a try.

And make sure you wear an SPF while using this! In fact, skipping sunscreen can actually cause certain products to have a reverse effect (read: speed up aging) & and therefore, and adverse effect.

3. Advanced Pore-Refining Treatment 4% BHA

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “When it’s time to take it to the next level, this powerful-yet-gentle, antioxidant-rich exfoliant with salicylic acid goes deep to unclog pores for smoother younger-looking skin.

  • BHA clears & minimizes the look of congested pores
  • Antioxidants visibly fight signs of aging
  • Lightweight serum texture for all skin types
  • Apply after cleansing & toning”

My Take on this Product:

This product is meant to clear & minimize the look of congested pores, and when I was struggling with fungal acne–my pores looked congested all the time.

The star ingredient – salicylic acid – is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) which can actually kill the malassezia yeast that causes fungal acne. Not to mention, this formula contains antioxidants that fight signs of aging. In the words of Val Garland, “ding dong!”

I should mention this isn’t the only product by PC with this purpose. There are others that include even more vitamins/antioxidants, but this one gets solid reviews.

Need Help Shopping for Fungal Acne Safe Products & Treatments?

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With my fungal acne friendly shopping lists, you’ll be able to pick out skincare & makeup products with complete confidence.

Download my FREE Shopping Guides & take them with you to the store!

Simply fill out this form & I’ll send them to your inbox!

CLEAR LINE // Paula’s Choice

This line is formulated for those of us suffering from acne prone skin. That doesn’t mean everything is safe for fungal acne, though. Here are the 3 products that are.

4. Ultra Light Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 30+

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “This shine-free fluid minimizes the appearance of pores and helps protect skin from sun damage to maintain a beautiful, healthy appearance.

  • Helps reduce early signs of aging
  • Alleviates dryness and flaking
  • Fluid formula leaves a matte finish
  • Use as the last step in your AM skincare routine”

My Take on this Product:

I have shared this sunscreen in many of my Youtube videos!

Yet again, I love this product and have an almost-empty container in my bathroom right now. It gives a beautiful, glowing finish and wears well under makeup. I especially like it when creating a dewy makeup look, because it gives a more glossy finish.

The only reason I favor the Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid more is because it has a higher SPF!

5. Regular Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “An effective acne treatment that works immediately to fight acne, prevent future breakouts, and reduce redness.

  • For mild to moderate acne
  • No harsh ingredients that can cause dry flaky skin
  • Lightweight lotion sets to a soft matte finish
  • Use twice daily after cleansing & exfoliating skin”

My Take on this Product:

Benzoyl Peroxide is not an ingredient that necessarily kills fungal acne (malassezia yeast), but it is good for acne vulgaris/bacterial acne.

If you are planning to use this, be sure to invest in a GREAT moisturizing routine. Here are my favorite moisturizers that are fungal acne safe.

BP is very drying, and you don’t want to disrupt your skin’s moisture barrier. I prefer salicylic acid when it comes to treating acne – especially fungal acne – such as Stridex Maximum Strength Pads.

6. Extra Strength Daily Skin Clearing Treatment with 5% Benzoyl Peroxide

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “An effective acne treatment that works immediately to fight stubborn acne, prevent future breakouts and reduce red marks.

  • For stubborn acne
  • No harsh ingredients that can cause dry, flaking skin
  • Lightweight lotion sets to a soft matte finish
  • Use twice daily after cleansing & exfoliating”

My Take on this Product:

This is the same as the above product, but a higher concentration of benzoyl peroxide at 5%. I personally think 5% is way too much for my skin, so I’ll probably never use this.

Something to keep in mind is– if you’re going to go with a BP, start with a lower dosage & work your way up to a higher dosage unless otherwise advised by a dermatologist.

BOOSTER LINE // Paula’s Choice

The Booster Line is a line of highly concentrated products meant to be added to your other skin care products to give them extra vitamins & antioxidants. There is only one fungal acne safe option here, and you’ll typically mix boosters with your moisturizer or serum.

7. 10% Niacinamide Booster

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “This concentrated 10% niacinamide serum booster dramatically improves uneven skin tone and refines the appearance of pore size, skin texture and fine lines.

  • Promotes a brighter, younger-looking appearance
  • Niacinamide (vitamin B3) visibly minimizes pore size
  • Sheer, ultra-light liquid formula
  • Use alone or add to your moisturizer or serum”

My Take on this Product:

This is on my PC wishlist, but it’s quite expensive! Niacinamide is Vitamin B3, which is meant to minimize pores & give brighter, more youthful looking skin.

This product not only contains niacinamide, but it also has a blend of antioxidant vitamins like Vitamin C & Sodium Hyaluronate (derived from hyaluronic acid, my fave!) The reason it’s so expensive is that it’s a concentrate.

Feeling Stuck When It Comes to Clearing Your Fungal Acne?

from fungal acne to clear skin guide

When I first found out I had fungal acne, it took me months of research to figure out what I could & couldn’t use. And I still made mistakes!

The resources I found online didn’t have the answers I needed, so I had to be my own guinea pig.

And now that I’ve done all the work, I want to share it with you!

If you’re feeling confused and want the straightforward information, products, and skincare routines I used to treat & clear my fungal acne, I’ve created the From Fungal Acne to Clear Skin Guide just for you.

Download it now to fast-track your results to clear skin for life.

CLINICAL LINE // Paula’s Choice

The point of the Clinical line is to offer clinical strength products over-the-counter. There are 2 fungal acne safe options in this line, and both are spectacular options.

8. Niacinamide 20% Treatment

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “A highly concentrated niacinamide (vitamin B3) serum that effectively tightens and minimizes the look of sagging pores and rough bumps caused by age or sun damage.

  • Dramatically reduces the look of stretched pores
  • Helps reduce hard, clogged bumps & orange-peel texture
  • Visibly improves blotchy tone & fades post-blemish marks”

My Take on this Product:

According to the PC website, this product debuted in 2020 and is the very first of it’s kind.. specifically referring to the high percentage of niacinamide!

This is targeted at people with orange peel skin, so think rough texture and large, sagging pores. But just remember – you may want to ease your way in with a lower percentage niacinamide first.

9. Triple-Action Dark Spot Eraser 2% BHA Gel

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “This specialized anti-aging product with salicylic acid and hydroquinone (the gold-standard for fading dark spots) improves the appearance of brown skin discolorations, while refining and smoothing the surface of skin.

  • Improves the appearance of dark spots
  • Reduces the appearance of enlarged pores
  • Sheer fluid gel easily absorbs into skin
  • Apply after cleansing, toning, & exfoliating”

My Take on this Product:

Hydroquinone is a skin lightener, and the BHA here is salicylic acid. Together, they are a power couple that can help to lighten the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

Keep in mind – the way you use this product is as a “spot treatment” –don’t spread this all over your face. Apply it to dark spots only.

If you put it all over, you’ll be lightening everything at the same time instead of just lightening the dark spots to match the rest of your skin. Make sense?

PC4MEN LINE // Paula’s Choice

PC makes a line of products specifically advertised to men – however – all Paula’s Choice products are fragrance-free, so no worries–this next fungal acne safe product won’t leave you smelling like a lumberjack.

10. Body Wash

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “Bar soap can be drying and make skin rough and uncomfortable. Instead, this gel body wash thoroughly cleanses and refreshes every inch of you, and can even be used on your hair.

  • Gets rid of dirt, oil, and sweat without drying skin
  • Makes a great shampoo
  • Rinses clean and isn’t slippery
  • Softens skin and hair
  • Fragrance-free”

My Take on this Product:

This is the simplest and most affordable product on this list. It’s a pH balancing cleanser that is non-scented, which is great.

But for less money, you can use Summer’s Eve Fragrance Free Wash, which is half the price and also fungal acne safe.

If you’re looking for something fancier – or scented – I’ve also made a Youtube video about fungal acne safe body washes.

EXFOLIANT LINE // Paula’s Choice

This line is called Exfoliate, but so many of the other lines by PC contain exfoliating ingredients, too. Mostly BHAs, though, so if you want an AHA, this line has you covered.

Honestly, I was hoping for lots of FA safe options here, but there’s only one..

11. Skin Perfecting 8% AHA GEL

About this Product:

According to Paula’s Choice, “A unique AHA gel exfoliant with glycolic acid that removes built-up layers of dead skin revealing smoother, firmer-looking skin.

  • Revitalizes uneven skin tone
  • Smooths the appearance of wrinkles
  • Weightless gel texture perfects skin’s surface
  • Use up to twice daily after cleansing & toning skin”

My Take on this Product:

This product is primarily composed of glycolic acid, which I love. Glycolic acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), and it’s got the smallest molecular size, which means it can penetrate deeper into skin than other chemical exfoliators.

Be careful when using this, because you don’t want to irritate your skin!

And mostly – make sure you don’t get this product confused with the 8% AHA Lotion, which has similar packaging but is crawling with malassezia-feeding ingredients.

P.S. Make sure you wear sunscreen daily when using any of these products! If you don’t cover yourself with SPF, chemical ingredients can actually have the OPPOSITE of the intended effect on your skin, which means encouraging rather than preventing aging. Yikes!

Spread the Word About Fungal Acne by Sharing this Post!

What do you think of these products by Paula’s Choice for fungal acne? Be sure to leave a comment letting me know if you use any of these.

And do me a favor?

Share this post! Send it to a friend or family member who’s struggling with their skin and help me get the word out about fungal acne. Learning about fungal acne changed my skin – and my life – and I want the world to know!

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