Glycerin Free Skin Care and Makeup Products for Fungal Acne (Malassezia Folliculitis)

glycerin free makeup and skin care productsThis post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I earn a small commission at no cost to you.

In my most recent blog post, I told you exactly why I think the fungal acne community needs to quit villainizing glycerin as an ingredient! I swear – people seem to care more about glycerin than they do about any other ingredient – including those that are legitimately proven to promote the growth of malassezia folliculitis – ingredients such as esters and lipids.

Every time I recommend a product on my blog or in a Youtube video, I always get comments saying, “this product contains glycerin, ugh!! give us glycerin free stuff, you dummy!” Ok, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but see for yourself:

 Youtube comment that reads "All of these products have glycerin"

And yet, I will continue to recommend products that contain this controversial ingredient. To summarize my last post on this subject, I hypothesize the reason people get so #triggered over glycerin is because of the error that the website throws when you enter an ingredients list containing glycerin. It looks like this – glycerin high sensitivity warning

It makes it look like glycerin would be super bad for those of us suffering from fungal acne/malassezia to use, but upon closer inspection, that isn’t what the warning says at all. If you want my full take, make sure to read my previous post in its entirety.

But I realize that some of you may disagree with me about glycerin, and that’s ok. When I first started my journey to clear my fungal acne, I was convinced I needed to avoid it, too.

I treated my skincare and makeup products as if I was doing an elimination diet… eliminate all the things that even have the potential to cause harm. I can always add them back in later to see what’s really triggering me.

And that’s why I’m bringing you my favorite glycerin-free fungal-acne-safe skin care and makeup products.

Plus, there’s the potential that some of you could have a true allergy to glycerin (though it’s extremely rare). So this one’s for you!

By the way – if you’re new to fungal acne, check out these posts to get the lowdown on this stubborn form of acne (which isn’t technically acne at all). I have tons of amazing free resources on this blog and on my Youtube channel.

Glycerin Free Skin Care Products

1. Albolene Cleanser/Makeup Remover

First things first, we all need well-cleansed skin in this battle against malassezia. And if you wear a lot of makeup (guilty!), then you might want to use a makeup remover before cleansing. Enter Albolene.

If you’ve ever used & loved Ponds Cold Cream, then this is the product for you. It’s a solid product that melts when it comes into contact with your body heat. And it will do a wonderful job of getting all that junk off your face.

Simply scoop some onto your fingers, massage it into the skin, and then wipe clean with a washcloth. Technically, you don’t even have to cleanse afterward – but I usually do.

2. Bioderma Sébium Gel Moussant Cleanser

I bought this Bioderma Cleanser when I started my journey to clear my fungal acne, and I still use it to this day. That’s how obsessed I am with this stuff. I’ve never used a cleanser I like better. Bioderma is a bomb-dot-com French skin care brand, but I’ve started to see it popping up in some U.S. drugstores.

They also make the cult-fave of all cosmetologists and makeup artists – the Bioderma Sensibio H2O Soothing Micellar Cleanser Makeup Remover. It contains glycerin, so don’t get confused. But this stuff beats out every other micellar water on the market. It is butter soft, and it’s the only thing I use for removing my eye makeup.

Anyway, back to the cleanser. I don’t find this product to be too drying. There’s no tight feeling skin after I use it, although I still moisturize religiously. If you plug the ingredients list into, you will get one unverified ingredient – sodium cocoamphoacetate.

This ingredient is derived from coconut, which usually isn’t a friendly ingredient for FA/MF, so you’ll have to make your own decision here. It’s a surfectant, meaning it’s what makes the cleanser foam up.

Here’s my defense of this unverified ingredient : this cleanser is only going to be in contact with your skin for like.. 10-20 seconds, after which time you will rinse it completely away. Therefore, the sodium cocoamphoacetate isn’t staying in contact with your skin the way makeup, serums, moisturizers, sunscreens, etc. would. Do with that info what you will.

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3. Stridex Maximum Strength Pads

Next up we have our ACTIVE.. aka our fungal-acne-fighting ingredient! Stridex Maximum Strength Pads contain 2% salicylic acid, so they’re gentle enough to use every day, and they are also v. effective in killing of that malassezia yeast.

I really can’t say enough about this product. It will go to battle on your behalf to banish your blemishes. It’s affordable. It’s widely available. It’s glycerin-free. Get some.

4. First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Coconut Water Cream: Oil Free Moisturizer

We’ve got our basics covered, but it wouldn’t be a complete skincare routine without moisturizer. Forget all the bad advice you’ve heard over the years – drying out your skin is not the best way to get rid of acne. Raise your hand if you never used moisturizer until you were in college, or even post-college. (?‍♀️)

Despite what you may think, you need to moisturize every day – probably twice a day. Anytime after cleansing, really. And glycerin-free moisturizers are extremely hard to come by. That’s because glycerin is a naturally occurring substance whose primary purpose is to retain water. It’s used in almost everything!

But luckily, we fungal-acne-sufferers do have this FAB Coconut Cream Water as an option. I can’t attest to it’s powers, though, because I’ve never used it. But if you have – drop me a comment and let me know what you think!

5. Biossance 100% Squalane Oil

Something that those of us with fungal acne don’t often get to use is natural ingredients. All those natural oils that have been touted as powerful, life & skin altering miracle elixirs (lookin at you, coconut oil) are actually making our skin worse by feeding the malassezia! Yikes. But squalane oil is an exception!

My con to using this product is that I don’t feel like it ever fully dries/absorbs into my skin, so anything I put on top of it (makeup) is going to slide right off. Therefore, I prefer to use this at nighttime only. If you don’t plan to layer anything on top of it – you’re good to go.

6. Asterwood Hyaluronic Acid

Here’s one hack that I like to use on my skin – in the summertime when it’s hot & humid, I’ll often moisturize with just plain water and a good hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, meaning it holds water against your skin, and apparently 1 gram of this bad boy can hold up to 6 liters of water! I don’t know what you make of that information, but to me it means hydration station.

You can layer this under other moisturizers, or you can try using it as a stand-alone. If you decide to give it a try, here’s how I use it: Spritz my whole face with plain water. I like to use these handy fine mist spray bottles. Then apply a few drops of the hyaluronic acid and gentle massage it into my wet skin. Let dry, and repeat if you desire.

P.S. My go-to hyaluronic acid is by The Ordinary, but it isn’t glycerin-free. This one by Asterwood Organics is!

Shop More Fungal Acne Safe Skin Care Products

Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Hydrating Fluid Face Moisturizer SPF 50
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF46
Stridex Maximum Strength Medicated Pads
Differin Gel (Adapalene 0.1%)
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 30ml
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
FAB Hello Fab Coconut Water Cream
Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Moisturizer
Bioderma Sensibio H2O Soothing Micellar Cleanser Makeup Remover
BIODERMA Hydrabio Gel Crème Moisturizer
Biossance 100% Squalane Oil
CeraVe Healing Ointment
CeraVe Acne Foaming Cream Cleanser 4% Benzoyl Peroxide
Clearsil Stubborn Acne Ultra 5 in 1 Pads
Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser
BIODERMA Sébium Purifying Cleansing Foaming Gel
CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
Summer’s Eve Fragrance Free PH Balance Cleansing Wash
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
AVEENO Baby Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
Asterwood Naturals Hyaluronic Acid
CeraVe Baby Cream
CeraVe Hydrating Micellar Water
2oz Amber Glass Small Empty Spray Bottle, Fine Mist Spray, Set of 3
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

Glycerin Free Makeup Products

Thank goodness that glycerin-free makeup products are a bit easier to find than skin care products. I have 8 different products to recommend that are all glycerin-free, and add up to one full face of makeup!

1. NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation

It’s all about that base, ’bout that base. Obviously we need a great base for our makeup, and this NYX CSWS Foundation is not only long-wearing and high-coverage, but also glycerin free.

NYX is a brand with a lot of options for those of us suffering from malassezia folliculitis. Plus, they have an impressive shade-range in most things. Not everything is glycerin-free, of course – but you’ll see them again on this list!

Check out my full review of this product & other fungal-acne-safe foundations:

2. bareMinerals Original Foundation

I remember a sad, sad time in life – a time when I was at the height of my severe cystic acne (which was a combo of yeast overgrowth both internally and externally) – during which I had been using this mineral foundation. Back then, nothing could really provide the level of coverage I needed, but I figured natural had to be better than liquid foundations.

Unfortunately I convinced myself this foundation was causing me all the problems, when in reality I was slathering my face in castor oil, olive oil, and coconut oil as part of the oil-cleansing-method – and those lipids were feeding the malassezia yeast like crazy. I had gone full paleo and full granola during that time! Full crazy, too.

Boy, was I wrong about this foundation! I should’ve hung onto this stuff for dear life and ditched the oils. I really do love bareMinerals as a brand, and that recent ad campaign they’ve done featuring Hailey Beiber? I die, it’s so gorgeous!

3. NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Concealer

The complementary concealer to the previously mentioned top-rated drugstore foundation – the NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Concealer. In fact, I like this product more than I like the foundation.

Every human who wears makeup needs a good concealer! Now that my skin is clearer than it’s ever been, I tend not to wear a full face of foundation everyday. Instead, I prefer to use a good concealer and some powder for a natural finish. And this concealer really hits all my marks. It’s affordable and widely available, a good dupe for my old cult-fave concealers, and glycerin-free.

By the way – NYX has an impressive shade-range in their products. Props to them!

I wrote a full review of this product & other fungal-acne-safe concealers. You can check it out here:

4. Wet N Wild Color Icon Bronzer

I’ve recommended this bronzer in many of my Youtube videos, and I’ll continue to recommend it always. It’s not that it’s the best formulation I’ve ever used, but when you have fungal acne – you change your standards. You adapt or you live without. And this is a bronzer I can live with.

Number 1, it’s affordable as hell. Don’t act like your middle school makeup bag wasn’t chock-full of Wet N Wild products.

Number 2, where isn’t Wet N Wild available? Every drugstore, grocery store, Walmart, and Target in the U.S. has it. Is it widely available where you live? Let me know in the comments!

There are many shades, but I prefer the shade Sunset Striptease because it’s non-shimmery. Sometimes I even use it as eyeshadow! As a 30-year-old, I prefer to be strategic when applying shimmery products, but there are shimmery options in this bronzer lineup, too.

5. bareMinerals Loose Blush

bareMinerals is all. over. this. list.

I used the NARS Orgasm blush religiously for like.. the past 8 years? And then when I switched all my products to be fungal-acne-safe, I switched to this bareMinerals loose blush & highlighter. The color Golden Gate is my go-to shade. This stuff lasts forever, does the job, and it’s a mainstay in my makeup bag.

6. bareMinerals Loose Mineral Eyecolor

Third time’s the charm, eh? bareMinerals is back again with their loose mineral eyecolor. Now I won’t lie – I don’t use this stuff often, but my twin sister does. And every dang time I see it on her eyes, they look like little shiny, twinkling, crystal ball orbs. This eyeshadow delivers such an understated, beautiful PUNCH.

Lots of shades, lasts forever, and a great formula – you really can’t go wrong with this stuff! My only con is it’s too messy to build up complex eye looks. I like to use it as a simple, one-shade only, swipe-and-go eyeshadow.

7. Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink
| Crayon

I will be hawking this product ’til the day I die. Are you tired of hearing about it yet? It’s probably been in 10+ of my Youtube videos about fungal acne.

What I love about it – there’s the crayon version for the most effortless lipstick. It’s not as matte of a formula, and therefore, it doesn’t last as long, but at least you can apply it without a mirror if you have to!

The liquid version of this product – on the other hand – does last forever. I think they claim 24 hours? Easy. Lots of colors to choose from. My favorite shade is Founder.

I wrote a full review of this product & other fungal-acne-safe lipsticks. You can check it out here:

8. Flesh Proud Liquid Matte Lip

Last but not least – have you heard of Flesh Beauty? It’s a Revlon company, but it has all the indie vibes of Glossier.

This is my all-time-favorite liquid matte lipstick, specifically the color Brazen. It’s my go-to for a classic red lip. The formula has just the right dry time, so there’s less of a learning curve for application. If you’ve used a liquid lipstick before, you know what I’m talking about!

More Fungal Acne Safe Makeup

Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Hydrating Fluid Face Moisturizer SPF 50
Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation
EltaMD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF46
FAB Hello Fab Coconut Water Cream
Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Lip Color
NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Contour Concealer
NYX Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Full Coverage Foundation
Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream | SPF 35
NYX Face & Body Glitter
DUO Brush-On Lash Adhesive by Ardelle
Medusa’s Makeup Mineral Eye Dust
bareMinerals Loose Mineral Eyecolor
NYX Bare With Me Tinted Skin Veil
Makeup Revolution Luxury Banana Powder
Wet ‘n Wild Color Icon Bronzer
Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
AVEENO Baby Cleansing Therapy Moisturizing Wash
L’Oreal Paris Colour Riche Monos Eyeshadow
Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water
Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow Pots
Maybelline Superstay Ink Crayon Matte Longwear Lipstick
bareMinerals Blush
bareMinerals Original Foundation SPF 15
Medusa’s Makeup Baked Eyeshadow
Medusa’s Makeup Eyeliner Seal (Eye Dust Elixir)
CeraVe Hydrating Micellar Water
Kryvaline Face Paint Palette
2oz Amber Glass Small Empty Spray Bottle, Fine Mist Spray, Set of 3
St. Tropez Self Tan Purity Bronzing Water Mousse

Free! Glycerin-Free Products Shopping List

I have a Freebie for you. It’s a downloadable list of glycerin-free products you can keep handy the next time you go shopping. Just enter your email, and I’ll send you the password to get it.

IMPORTANT REMINDER! As always, products can change formulations, and these products are subject to change and start containing glycerin in the future. This has happened to some of my favorite products in the past! So don’t take my word for it, you need to check the ingredients of these products when and if you go to purchase them. Not only for glycerin, but to ensure they remain fungal acne safe!

Shortcut Your Results! Go From Fungal Acne to Clear Skin – Fast!

?SHORTCUT YOUR ROUTINE & GET RESULTS FAST: From Fungal Acne to Clear Skin Guide (PDF Download) My best advice on how to fight fungal acne and get clear fast!

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  1. Danielle P.
    August 28, 2020 / 11:25 am

    Hi Brooke, do you have a recommendation for a good eye cream or eye gel that is fungal acne safe? I tried the HA acid eye gel from Olay and it burned the delicate skin around my eye. I also tried one from the K-beauty brand Missha, but couldn’t use it because it smelled like perfume. Thank you! -Danielle

    • Brooke Helwig
      August 29, 2020 / 3:09 pm

      Hey Danielle, To be honest with you – I don’t really use eye cream anymore, but I’ve had several people ask this question, so I’ll have to do some research! I feel like a solid moisturizing routine has taken away my need for a separate eye cream. Do you have a good face moisturizer you like? Admittedly, I am using CeraVe Moisturizing Cream on my face (even though it’s a body lotion!).