Fungal Acne Review: Krave Oat So Simple Water Cream

Krave Oat So Simple Water Cream

Why It’s Useful

Fungal Acne’s annoying since you need to use products that won’t help feed it. That’s hard to come by.⁠ Krave Oat So Simple Water Cream ($28) is intentionally fungal acne safe. (Woop! )⁠

Quick Take

IMO, this moisturizer was designed to be layered with other products. For the face, I suggest layering it atop other hydrating products like an essence and/or serum.

When used alone, it left my skin underhydrated + looking taught. But this didn’t show until about the 2-week mark of testing. If you need something calming to unproblematically layer on top of other products, I could see this working. It did a great job at calming redness.

The cost, according to a cosmetic chemist’s review, is due to the repeated reformulation this product had to go through.

Senstitive Skin Acne Review

⁠This calmed the redness that goes with fungal acne either overnight or within about 2 days. And didn’t cause a flare (fab). I was able to use this alongside my usual fungal acne treatment + it worked well. Minus the calming oat, it reminds me a lot of the Hada Labo Skin Plumping Gel Cream which is $23 for 1oz less product + is also fungal safe.⁠ Of the two, my pick is Krave Oat So Simple Water Cream for the noticeable calming for sure.⁠

For regular sensitive skin acne, this didn’t bother existing acne or cause a breakout. In fact, I used it as a control to test if another moisturizer was causing a reaction. That’s how neutral it is. For some reason, moisturizers are difficult for me so finding a moisturizer that doesn’t cause a breakout is a plus.⁠

However, with extended use, I noticed faint pull or stretch lines began to appear on my face. (I’m sure only I could see them.) I’m guessing that’s a sign of dryness for my skin. I hear dryness sometimes described as flaking skin, but that only happens for me if I use an overly harsh product intended to dry.⁠ And tight feeling skin only happens if I strip off all my facial oils (a big nope for me).⁠

How to Tackle Fungal Acne with Sensitive Skin

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through & make a purchase.

All opinions are honest + my own. All products are put through a 2 week test period conducted on myself.

fungal acne vs bacterial acne

About 2 years ago, I started dealing with an acne that would not respond to my trusty sensitive skin acne treatments. It could not have been more frustrating! And honestly confusing. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon it, but breadcrumbs lead me to hear about fungal acne.

This brought me to Simple Skincare Science – the most amazingly comprehensive fungal acne blog + information source to date. For about a year + a half, I tested products from his list + finally found some that work for sensitive skin 7 months ago.

What is Fungal Acne?

Our skin naturally has a balance of bacteria and yeast that coexists on our skin harmoniously. It’s totally normal.

If that balance gets rocked, the yeast can take over more space + overpopulate. It can occur due to hot climates, humidity, not showering directly after working out, antibiotic use, or steroid use.

Fungal acne is a beast in that it thrives off of commonly used ingredients. To beat it, you need a combination of a fungicide (kills the fungus to try to rebalance) + products it can’t feed off of (prevents bounce back). But it will likely be an on and off issue, reoccurring at some time + needing to be put in its place again. From my experience, it gets easier once you find what works, but it’s possible to have a flare.

What Are the Signs?

  • Pimples that do not respond to acne treatments.
  • You may find a spike in them a day after working out, if you do not shower right away.
  • Itchiness (or reflexive scratching, in my case) near breakout sites.
  • Typically found, but not limited to, forehead, neck, shoulders, chest, or back.

A Sensitive Skin Fungal Acne Regime

Yes, a full one!

It’s worth noting there are different fungicides. And I tested a few. What worked + cleared my skin was this below list. I had also tried ketoconazole and chlorhexidine without luck.

Noble Formula 2% Pyrithione Zinc (ZnP) Argan Oil Bar Soap ($13)

best fungal acne cleanser

I tried a lot of treatments. Some were too strong, some had surfactants that were too aggressive, some almost helped, and others just didn’t seem to have an effect for me. Until I found this! It visibly works, visibly calms, and resolved things faster than I thought possible.

best products for fungal acne

It’s incredibly creamy + gentle, while lightly moisturizing. And the ingredient list is tiny! All you need to remember is to let it sit on your skin for 2-5mins to properly do its job. Then wash it off like normal. I recommend only using it on affected areas, which allows the bar to last for 1.5mos – from my tests. Be sure to store it somewhere it can dry out after use as will melt if kept in a splash zone.

fungal acne safe products

Kala Health MSM Skin Facial Gel ($12)

This one aims to gently dial down skin oil levels to give fungal acne a harder time. It doesn’t dry out the skin at all. And I even use it for hormonal acne. (It’s not a one trick pony!)

MSM is in the sulfur family, but without a scent. Sulfur helps with balancing oil production, is both antibacterial + antifungal, and is said to be anti-inflammatory.

I did a recent side-by-side test and it appears MSM + azelaic acid might be in the same ballpark of effectiveness.

I use this as an AM/PM moisturizer.

fungal acne safe skincare

Timeless Squalane 100% Pure, Olive Derived ($12)

One way of navigating this is apparently to make your skin believe its oil levels are sufficient by replacing with an oil type that fungal acne finds useless. (As it thrives on our natural oils.)

Used as a body oil or facial oil, this gives your skin some lovely moisture and keeps your skin hydrated. Meanwhile, fungal acne has a hard time as this isn’t something that it can feed upon.

I use this as another option for a moisturizer. Typically for PM.

(Side note: I also use it to gently remove stubborn eye make-up. Works like a dream!)

fungal acne treatment

Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster ($36)

This is apparently an up-and-coming approach to fungal acne. Azelaic acid is something that is produced as a byproduct of Malassezia (aka fungal acne) +, though not fully understood, has been flagged as something that may help as it reduces what fungal acne thrives on.

I was curious + spent a few months testing this. I found really positive results, that it doesn’t dry out sensitive skin, and have since started using it as a spot treatment or extra push for stubborn areas.

Krave Oat So Simple Water Cream ($28)

This gel moisturizer does a great job at calming the usual redness that that fungal acne sites have. I found redness was reduced either overnight or within about 2 days.

This is best used as a layered product with a hydrating essence and/or serum under. Alone, it doesn’t have enough hydration for the face; I found it left my skin under-hydrated + looking (but not feeling) a little taught.

It’s perfectly fine to use on its own for the body, but given the jar size, I would suggest the MSM Gel instead for body fungal acne.

3 Great Hair Routine Options for Clearer Skin

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All opinions are honest + my own. All products are put through a 2 week test period conducted on myself.

my hair care routine

I will say it till you guys get bored of me! Your hair care routine is skin care. What’s used on our hair washes off along our face and back, which can cause breakouts without us realizing it.

Most shampoos have low key harsh cleansers + strip too much of our skin’s natural defenses. Conditioners are designed to smooth + moisturize our hair, but these same ingredients that do a great job making hair look + feel smooth can clog pores like nobody’s business!

hair routines for healthy hair
the best hair products

I count my hair care as an essential part of my skin routine. Why have an expensive skincare routine if your shower routine is undermining your hard work? You won’t believe the visible difference a change in hair care can make on your skin!

It takes a lot of searching to find hair products that play well with skin. So, I’ve rounded up some that have passed the 2-week skin test + are so worth knowing about!

Live Clean Hydrating Shampoo + Conditioner

This is an all-round fave of mine! This is your model jeans + t-shirt pick that never lets you down. Always leaves my hair feeling soft + bouncy while my scalp feels balanced (some can cause oiliness). This pair also includes camomile extract, oat protein, and green tea extract. And a nice fresh scent that either a girl or guy could use + I’ve received compliments for.

best hair routine

The conditioner is able to keep my easily tangled hair easy to comb through without extra products. I often turn to one of these when I’m testing a shampoo or conditioner whose mate doesn’t work with sensitive skin. They’re just that easy to work with. Bonus: it’s both Leaping Bunny cruelty-free + a biodegradable pair. So fancy! I like pretending I’m doing something good with everyday choices.

(This has hexyl cinnamal {cinnamon}, linalool {found in lavender}, citrus, rosemary, and fragrance. FYI as can be a trouble point for some.)

Not Your Mother’s Naturals Volume Boost Shampoo + Conditioner with Linseed, Chia Blend, + French Plum Seed Oil

best hair products for women

Another great, easy pair + the most affordable to date, given its big size! The scent is so calming + fresh it’s one of my faves. This pair also leaves my hair silky soft while allowing volume. (Can you guess what I love?)

Linseed, another name for flaxseed, has omega-3, B vitamins, + antioxidants; it may also help with better hair growth.

Compared to this one, the Live Clean pair feels very slightly lighter. So if you’re looking for a little extra moisture, this is probably your duo.

(This has fragrance, which can be difficult for some.)

Rahua Voluminous Shampoo + Conditioner

The luxe pick when you want to elevate your hair routine to scalp pampering. Or prefer a clean beauty alternative. This set works best with more use. . . Hear me out. At 1st wash it caused my hair to catch + tangle easily into, honestly, a horrible flat mess. It required a lot of extra post-shower product to keep my hair from knotting in the beginning. However, after a week’s use, a switch flipped + my hair became a ton easier to work with on its own. Full u-turn from hot mess to lovely, manageable locks.

After that 1 week mark, my hair had lovely voluminous bounce with good loft at the roots. If you’re up for the process, the results are good! Plus the ingredients practically say scalp skincare with green tea, aloe, quinoa, and omega-rich oil. Hey scalp, you happy being pampered a bit?

(For those of us who have trouble with essential oils – this might not be for you!)

Sensitive Skin Acne Review: Honest Beauty Magic Gel-to-Milk Cleanser

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All opinions are honest + my own. All products are put through a 2 week test period conducted on myself.

Honest Beauty has a great cleanser with a short ingredient list.
Bottle reflects about 3 weeks use.

Why It’s Useful

This Honest Beauty Magic Gel-to-Milk Cleanser was one of the few that passed the sensitive skin acne test after months of tries. You can read about the others here.

A small ingredient list can help you to start simply + build-up towards complex formulations – if your skin shows it can handle that. The longer an ingredient list, the harder to tell what disagreed with your skin, when it happens.

Quick Take

Best For :

  • Oily Skin / Combo Skin
  • Acne Skin / Healing
  • Cruelty-Free Conscious
  • Natural Ingredient Preference

Honest Beauty Magic Gel-to-Milk Cleanser ($15) is a great cleanser in my book. The texture is pleasant + leaves the skin feeling hydrated. I found this cleanser kept my skin’s oils at a happy balance, which a lot of cleansers have trouble doing.

Sometimes this cleanser’s milky quality can cause cloudy vision for a second or two as you’re washing/cleaning it off. I found this infrequent, brief, and no stinging. So, I do not find this a detractor. I actually continued to use this after the test period. The brand describes a floral scent, I don’t feel it has a scent + found it neutral smelling. (That’s normal for rose water. The real stuff smells more earthy than floral.)

Sensitive Skin Acne Review

Review of Honest Beauty products:  a great sensitive skin cleanser

Short ingredient lists make it easier to deduce what your skin is cool or not cool with. Big clear skin wins are gained with that!

I often gravitate to rosewater as it has been incredibly gentle for my skin, encourages youthful skin by boosting cell turnover, improves skin texture, said to gently treat acne, and helps balance pH + oil levels. It’s a swiss army knife.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if kaolin would be over-the-top for a daily facial wash. I have completely retired mud masks for my sensitive skin. Thankfully, it seems like there’s only a small amount + my skin didn’t feel dried out from this wash.


  • To take off mascara, you need to leave it on for a moment before washing off. It’s a little awkward to let it sit for a sec with eyes closed, but it works. Maybe it’s just something I’m unused to. You could opt for a gentle dedicated eye make-up remover instead or use a gentle facial oil you already have such as squalane.

We’re Diverse in Our Skin’s Reactions, So Some FYI’s:

Some people can have skin reactions to rose water or citric acid.

Sensitive Skin Acne Review: Avalon Organics Intense Defense Cleansing Gel with Vitamin C

Why It’s Useful

An old favorite that I’ve loved so much, I’ve given to friends! It’s a great facial cleanser to have in your back pocket. I don’t typically like to recommend a cleanser you can’t use daily, but this one’s so cheap + has such great results that it doesn’t concern me.

Vitamin C is a building block of new skin. It’s an antioxidant that protects skin against damage, it helps even skin tone, and also promotes collagen production.

Quick Take

Avalon Organics Intense Defense Cleansing Gel with Vitamin C ($6). If you’re looking for something that gives bland-looking skin a lovely glow, this delivers on the 1st wash. I mean, a $6 gel cleanser that does that? Yumm!

Leaping Bunny ✔️
Vegan ✔️
Some Organic Ingredients

Sensitive Skin Acne Review

With the Vitamin C in this, I found it works best when used on alternate days. It can be a little too much for my skin if used daily for a while. (I tried!)

Sensitive skin has a lower threshold for tolerating some ingredients that others, with more resilient skin, are able to handle higher doses of. Vitamin C is one of those. Sensitive skin needs to toe in slowly + be allowed to get accustomed to it. Once it does, it’s such a helpful ingredient.

I do not foresee an adjustment period with this facewash as I find that’s more of an issue with Vitamin C serums or moisturizers. However, it’s good to know of. If your skin says stop by becoming red, back off from Vitamin C for a few days. You can also wash it off with cool water, if you need + let your skin rest.

Some of us with the most sensitive skin might not be able to tolerate it. Listen to your skin + follow its lead.


  • If your skin is unused to Vitamin C, especially with us sensitive skin types, introduce this slowly, say 1-2x a week with gap days in between.
  • If you’re in sun at all, be sure to apply SPF as Vitamin C ups skin sensitivity to sun (burns more easily). Don’t cause damage while improving skin!

We’re Diverse in Our Skin’s Reactions, So Some FYI’s:

Some people can have an allergy to citrus, aloe, or lavender. Each is not a common allergy, but worth knowing about.

Sensitive Skin Acne Review: Kala Health MSM Skin + Facial Gel

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through & make a purchase.

All opinions are honest + my own. All products are put through a 2 week test period conducted on myself.

MSM benefits include being a great hormonal acne moisturizer and fungal acne moisturizer.

Why It’s Useful

MSM is in the sulfur family, but without a scent (amazing!). Sulfur itself has been used for acne since the days of Cleopatra and was also a fixture in Roman baths, where it was said to provide skin softness among other things. Sulfur can be a great help for stubborn hormonal acne. And, in the case of this product, is approved for that jerk fungal acne per Simple Skincare Science.

Sulfur helps with balancing oil production, is both antibacterial + antifungal, and is said to be anti-inflammatory. In short, it’s helpful with managing acne and oil levels.

Quick Take

Kala Health MSM Skin and Facial Gel ($15) is an under the radar babe of a product, in my book, and is used as a gel moisturizer.

I’ve been using this guy off and on for over a year + often forget just how useful it is. It’s not sexy looking, but I’ve been super happy with the results. It’s been a great help when I’m battling hormonal acne or noticed a general breakout. It doesn’t dry out the skin at all; it only balances oiliness, which is surprisingly effective for acne help.

While using, my skin has felt soft + does appear moisturized, though not highly moisturized. That could just be because you feel it dialing down oil levels, so no firm impression on how well moisturized it is.

Transferring it to a beautiful bottle is an easy aesthetic fix, if you want to compliment the great results with an equally pretty container.

Sensitive Skin Acne Review

Acne-prone sensitive skin responds best to products that treat it gently. You can’t go full force at a breakout the way you would with more resilient skin types. Instead, you need something that provides skin benefits – typically moisturizing and soothing – while gently treating a breakout.

Sulfur (and MSM) is one of those great ingredients for sensitive skin acne. From this gel moisturizer to a spot treatment, sulfur has really impressed me.

It’s able to gently lower oil levels without drying out + aggravating sensitive skin like other traditional treatments such as benzoyl peroxide does or high salicylic acid can.

I’ve found this product helps keep skin soft + moisturized, too, which is a great help. That’s what I always aim for with sensitive skin acne treatments – without that moisturizing quality the treatment usually fails.


  • This can be used as an AM or PM gel moisturizer.
  • The texture of this product doesn’t mix well with oils applied directly after. There’s a texture clash + they’re not able to blend.
  • So far, I’ve found it’s best used as a final step. If you explore + find you can layer something else on top, I’d love to hear!

Sensitive Skin Acne Review: CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through & make a purchase.

All opinions are honest + my own. All products are put through a 2 week test period conducted on myself.

A great facial cleanser for sensitive skin acne sufferers

Why It’s Useful

Facial cleansers really set the tone for sensitive skin acne. The wrong one causes chaos that’s tough to reign in, if at all. The right one gives a neutral cleansing base to allow your skin to thrive.

Key here is supporting your skin, not overdoing it by stripping off too much oil or using a daily exfoliating cleanser.

Quick Take

CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser was a drugstore find, which I love for ease of replacing it + also for the $13.50 price point! It’s not luxe-looking, but the texture’s just fine + results are really what you want here.

If you’re just starting out, I highly recommend this one. If you’re experiencing chaos, its skin barrier help should give you stability. (It’s one of the most effective ones I’ve found, yet!) There’s also no added fragrance + no essential oils that naturally contain fragrance. So, if you have no clue what you react to yet, here you go!

Sensitive Skin Acne Review

Not long into trying this one I noticed my skin went from pale to rosy cheeks. And my skin calmed + stabilized within 4 days, after a few pretty rough weeks of testing other cleansers.

During those rough weeks, none of my trusty products were able to restabilize me back into clear skin. Though they helped, they were not enough until I switched to this cleanser. From there, my skin rapidly cleared. Goes to show how much a wrong facial cleanser can undermine your skin’s integrity and also the rest of your routine.

This has now become my recovery cleanser anytime I hit a rough patch in product trials. (That’s actually a really big deal!) It also really opened my eyes to ceramides + just how much good fixing your lipid barrier can do – both from an acne perspective + also from general hydration and glow.

Fungal Acne Review: Noble Formula 2% Pyrithione Zinc Argan Bar Soap

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through & make a purchase.

All opinions are honest + my own. All products are put through a 2 week test period conducted on myself.

The best fungal acne treatment for sensitive skin!

Why It’s Useful

Alright, bacne/chestne time! Fungal acne edition.

Switching to a non-SLS/SLES/ALS shampoo + body soap did wonders for bacne. Saw the volume reduce by a lot. As did a conditioner without coconut oil, shea, and silicones.

But I still had a lingering flare that started almost 2 years ago that just would not respond to any treatment. It just persisted. Until I found the blog Simple Skincare Science where he broke down fungal acne + how to treat it. (Go check out his blog! It’s fab.) Turns out, a key sign of fungal acne is non-response to acne treatments.

Ew. Fungal. I know! But it’s just an imbalance of what’s naturally present on our skin.

They look like tiny, uniformly sized breakouts + might be itchy.

(Update: just found this great resource, too!)

Quick Take

Enter this guy: Noble Formula 2% Pyrithione Zinc Argan Bar Soap ($13). This guy WORKS. It calms my skin, moisturizes it, and visibly keeps fungal acne at bay. (Side note: it’s also formulated to help with psoriasis + eczema, but I’m not able to test for that.)

I tried a whole bunch of fungal acne products, some of which were too strong for my skin. And this is the only one that visibly helped while not causing irritation + more breakouts. It took me over a year to find something that worked!

Sensitive Skin Acne Review

Pyrithione Zinc is antifungal + tries to help by getting your skin biome back to a more balanced state. Most times, it’s paired with SLS, which doesn’t help sensitive skin + kept aggravating it into more breakouts.

My sensitive skin overreacts when I use strong acne products, so a gentle + moisturizing treatment like this is key.

It also has oats to give it a gentle, physical exfoliation. My general rule is to really limit physical exfoliation, especially for your delicate facial skin. Body skin is tougher than facial skin (yes, that’s a thing) and can handle it better. Though I wouldn’t go overboard.


Here's how to get rid of fungal acne, while being kind to sensitive skin!
  • (You should see signs it’s helping in the first 2 weeks. If it doesn’t, you might need a different approach or it might not be fungal.)
  • While showering, be sure to apply + allow it to sit on your skin for 2-5mins. Let it marinate. The Pyrithione Zinc needs that to do its job.
  • Store it away from direct shower water as would likely melt.
  • Though it’s $13 for a bar, it lasts about 1.5mos, if you only use it for affected areas. You can also buy a set of 3 bars for $33 (which brings the bar price down to about $10 each).