Fungal acne (Malassezia folliculitis) is incredibly challenging to both treat and diagnose due to its similarity to traditional “bacterial acne”. Although fungal acne and bacterial acne sound and look similar that are completely different skin conditions that require different treatment regimens.
Additionally, fungal acne breakouts severely limit the skincare products that you can use particularly, toners. In this article we will review several acne safe toners that will give you the hydrating and PH benefits of a normal toner without inflaming fungal acne. If you do not want to read the whole article you can just go with our top pick for fungal acne prone skin: Biossance – Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner.
Biossance – Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner
Biossance – Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner
Infused with a gentler, nature-derived alternative to salicylic acid and enriched with barrier-strengthening components that enhance the skin’s moisture retention ability, the Biossance Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner is not only fantastic for achieving a blemish-free complexion but also ensuring that fungal acne never returns.
Suitable for combination and oily skin types.
Toner is non-toxic, vegan, cruelty-free, and fragrance-free.
Hydrates and Soothes
Squalane, cucumber, lavender, and other ingredients improve moisture levels and soothe inflammation.
BHAs from white willow bark extract works to decongest pores and improve texture.
The Biossance Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner is a lightweight, skin-refining toner formulated with willow bark extract, a natural and gentler alternative to salicylic acid that effectively dissolves the cellular debris inside the pores responsible for causing acne and textural irregularities.
Additionally, the toner also contains squalane, a lipid naturally found in our skin oil responsible for fortifying the moisture barrier, preventing loss of hydration, and keeping the skin lubricated and protected from external aggressors and inflammation-causing pathogens.
Squalane is also non-comedogenic, which makes it suitable for skin that’s prone to developing bacterial and fungal acne; therefore, those dealing with these conditions can certainly benefit from this ingredient, which will help maintain a healthy balance of moisture and protection.
Finally, the Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner is also infused with a plethora of hydrating and skin-plumping ingredients, such as cucumber fruit water and glycerin, that will keep the skin looking fresh and glowy.
Biossance Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner Pros:
- Suitable for all skin types, including oily and acne-prone skin.
- Hydrates and plumps the complexion.
- Gently exfoliates dead skin cells to reveal a smoother, more even skin tone.
- Refines textural irregularities and fades discoloration.
Biossance Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner Cons:
The Biossance Squalane + BHA Pore Minimizing Toner is a fantastic daily toner for all skin types, including skin that’s prone to fungal acne due to containing a gentle, natural derivative of exfoliating acid that will prevent pore clogging along with squalane, a naturally antibacterial and antifungal component found in our skin oil that helps lubricate and soften the skin while keeping harmful pathogens at bay.
Thayers – Witch Hazel Toner
Thayers Witch Hazel Toner
A staple in every acne-fighting regimen, the Thayers Witch Hazel Toner is an OG in the skincare game that has helped thousands of people maintain clear skin without breaking the bank.
Formulated with natural ingredients that provide the skin with a refreshing and invigorating care.
The toner’s key ingredient, witch hazel, is renowned for its astringent properties that refine the appearance of large pores while balancing oil production.
Unlike many astringent-based toners, this product is alcohol-free and won’t dry out the skin.
Enriched with soothing components, this toner will reduce the appearance of redness and calm irritated skin.
An affordable solution for anyone dealing with acne, the Thayers Witch Hazel Toner is a simple, straightforward, and effective product that will help clear up this pesky and stubborn condition without investing hundreds of dollars in expensive skincare.
The toner has a lightweight consistency that sinks into the skin instantly and leaves a refreshed and slightly mattified complexion behind.
It’s formulated with witch hazel, a natural astringent that purifies the skin and prevents the overgrowth of bacteria and yeast that can lead to acne and acne-like clusters, also known as fungal acne.
Additionally, witch hazel is also fantastic for soothing redness and inflammation, which can help reduce the size and severity of the pimples and make them appear flatter and less inflamed.
Over the years, Thayers has come out with many toner options, mainly focusing on various scents and slight texture differences, depending on the skin concern they’re aimed at.
However, their original, fragrance-free formula continues to be the best option for everyone, especially skin prone to clogging when exposed to richer and heavier ingredients.
Therefore, if you’re in the market for a budget-friendly toner that can help keep fungal acne under control while also being gentle on the skin, definitely give the Thayers Witch Hazel Toner a shot!
Thayers – Witch Hazel Toner Pros:
- Lightweight and fast-absorbing.
- Prevents overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeast on the skin.
- It keeps the skin fresh and clean.
Thayers – Witch Hazel Toner Cons:
- Scented versions may be irritating for sensitive and reactive skin.
The Thayers Witch Hazel Toner is a fantastic solution for anyone looking for a budget-friendly product to help reduce acne and its symptoms.
The main active ingredient, witch hazel, along with other hydrating and skin-soothing components, can help maintain the skin’s moisture balance while preventing the overgrowth of acne-causing pathogens on the skin’s surface.
Best for Oily Skin:
Paula’s Choice – Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
Paula’s Choice – Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner
Soothing, barrier-replenishing, and hydrating, Paula’s’ Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner refreshes the skin while refining enlarged pores, keeping excess oil at bay, and preventing the recurrence of fungal acne.
Suitable for combination and oily skin types.
Formula is made with non-irritating ingredients, and is fragrance-free.
Ceramides and hyaluronic acid lightly hydrate.
Balances Oil Production
Niacinamide and hydrating ingredients balance skin’s moisture levels to regulate oil production, which also leads to refined pores.
The Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner is a fantastic option for those with oily skin who struggle with fungal acne.
This lightweight toner helps improve the complexion and skin tone, as well as refine the size of the pores due to containing niacinamide, a barrier-repairing ingredient that smooths out skin texture by maintaining hydration levels and reduces pigmentary irregularities by inhibiting the overproduction of melanin.
Additionally, the toner also contains hydrating ingredients, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid, along with willow bark extract, a natural component that keeps oil production under control and prevents pore clogging.
Finally, the product also contains brightening resveratrol and licorice root extract that can help even out uneven skin tone and fade hyperpigmentation left from old acne.
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner Pros:
- Lightweight and hydrating.
- Balances oil production to prevent pore-clogging.
- Soothes acne and prevents future breakouts.
- Fades hyperpigmentation and acne scars.
Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner Cons:
- Not enough hydrating for dry skin.
Niacinamide, purely for its oil-balancing properties, is an ingredient that should be a staple in the routine of oily skin, which is why the Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing Pore-Reducing Toner was the top pick for this particular skin type.
Additionally, by balancing the oil production and preventing excess oil from becoming stuck inside the pores and leading to pimples, the toner can help maintain clear and healthy skin and prevent future breakouts.
Best for Dry Skin:
CeraVe – Hydrating Toner
CeraVe Hydrating Toner
A perfect pick-me-up for those struggling with dry skin caused by fungal acne, the CeraVe Hydrating Toner is enriched with hyaluronic acid and nourishing components that will instantly quench your skin’s thirst and restore a healthy, radiant glow.
Infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid, this toner will keep the skin soft, plump, and comfortable.
Suitable for both bacterial and fungal acne-prone skin, the non-comedogenic formula of this toner won’t clog the pores and exacerbate inflammation.
Without irritating fragrant components, this toner is suitable for sensitive and reactive skin.
The addition of ceramides makes this toner fantastic for repairing a damaged skin barrier.
While fungal acne is typically associated with excess oil that feeds the yeast and causes this condition, some people may find themselves experiencing dryness and flakiness in the areas where the clusters appear.
Therefore, introducing a lightweight toner that will hydrate and soften the skin but won’t feed the yeast with heavy and pore-clogging ingredients can help relieve the symptoms of fungal acne and even reduce the severity of the lesions.
A godsend for dry skin types, the CeraVe Hydrating Toner is an excellent choice if you’re dealing with fungal acne and parched, flakey skin.
The formula is enriched with hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that draws moisture from the deeper layers of the skin or the environment and redistributes it throughout the epidermis to maintain a healthy and plump complexion.
Additionally, the toner also contains CeraVe’s proprietary blend of three essential ceramides, which help strengthen the skin barrier and prevent the growth of pathogens, including the yeast that’s causing fungal acne.
The toner also has a soothing and lightweight texture that absorbs into the skin without leaving a greasy layer behind and is a perfect daily pick for dry skin that deals with fungal acne and requires the perfect balance of hydration without the risk of exacerbating this inflammatory condition.
CeraVe Hydrating Toner Pros:
- Provides intense hydration for dry skin.
- Contains essential ceramides that strengthen the skin’s natural barrier.
- Fragrance-free formula makes it suitable for sensitive skin types.
- Helps prevent dryness-induced fungal acne breakouts.
CeraVe Hydrating Toner Cons:
- Although it’s fantastic for dry skin, people with oily skin may find it slightly too hydrating.
With a lightweight texture and a skin-soothing formula, the CeraVe Hydrating Toner is fantastic for dry skin dealing with fungal acne.
Hyaluronic acid will help keep the skin hydrated and healthy, while the proprietary ceramide blend will balance the delicate microbiome and prevent the overgrowth of harmful pathogens, such as the yeast that’s causing fungal acne.
Best for Sensitive Skin:
EltaMD – Skin Recovery Toner
EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner
Enhanced with nutrients that help reduce redness and relieve irritation, the EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner is a fantastic option for those dealing with fungal acne and ultra-sensitive and reactive skin.
Contains calming ingredients that reduce redness and relieve irritation.
A blend of barrier-repairing amino acids helps strengthen the skin’s protection against external aggressors.
Non-irritating formula suitable for sensitive and reactive skin.
Contains components that prevent inflammatory protein spikes.
The EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner is an absolute blessing for those with sensitive and reactive skin who are also struggling with the complexities of fungal acne.
This mineral-rich toner is infused with a plethora of nourishing, antioxidant, and soothing ingredients that help reverse cellular damage, encourage a healthy cellular function, and reduce the activity of inflammation-inducing proteins thanks to its patented blend of amino acids.
Additionally, the toner is also packed with nutrients, such as malachite extract, an ingredient that boosts cellular defenses and soothes the symptoms of inflammation, such as redness, dryness, and itching, and reduces their appearance after as little as several uses.
Finally, the Skin Recovery Toner is also non-comedogenic and fantastic for those dealing with acne-prone skin and fungal acne who are in desperate need to relieve some of the symptoms without exacerbating the condition any further.
EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner Pros:
- Strengthens the natural skin barrier to prevent damage from external aggressors.
- Reduces the appearance of redness after as little as a few uses.
- Hydrates the skin to improve its elasticity and radiance.
- Non-comedogenic and suitable for acne-prone skin and fungal acne.
EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner Cons:
With its non-comedogenic, fragrance-free, and ultra-nourishing formula that strengthens the skin’s natural defense barrier to prevent environmental and pathogenic damage, the EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner is fantastic for sensitive and reactive skin with fungal acne.
Best for Acne Scars:
REN Clean Skincare – Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic
REN – Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic
Suitable for normal, combination, oily, and dry skin types.
Vegan and Cruelty-Free
Formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and made with non-toxic ingredients.
Willow bark extract refines pores and clears away pore-clogging debris.
Brightens and Fades Hyperpigmentation
Lactic acid and azelaic acid precursors work to boost radiance and lighten hyperpigmentation.
The REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic is a lightweight, hydrating toner that refines the complexion and reduces the accumulation of acne-causing impurities.
Formulated with moisturizing and mildly exfoliating lactic acid and with the addition of willow bark extract, a natural alternative to salicylic acid with skin-soothing and antioxidant benefits, the toner will gently exfoliate dead skin cells, unclog pores, and reduce sebum production, without disrupting the skin’s natural balance.
Additionally, by constantly renewing the complexion, the toner can speed up the fading of hyperpigmented acne scars and soothe red acne scars caused by damaged blood vessels under the skin’s surface.
REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic Pros:
- Lightweight and hydrating.
- Contains gentle exfoliating acids that will brighten the complexion and fade acne scars.
- A mild addition of natural BHA will keep pores unclogged and prevent the growth of fungal acne-causing yeast.
- Leaves a long-lasting, radiant finish.
REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic Cons:
- While suitable for various skin types, it might not be ideal for reactive skin.
Suitable to be used as a part of your evening or morning routine, the Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic will leave a beautifully hydrated and glowy layer behind without making the skin look greasy throughout the day.
Lactic acid, which is the main active ingredient in this toner, is a mild exfoliating component that will encourage cellular turnover and gently shed dead skin cells off the skin’s surface to reveal an even, refined, and glowing complexion from underneath.
Q+A – Niacinamide Daily Toner
Q+A Niacinamide Daily Toner
Containing a potent blend of barrier-repairing, hydrating, and skin-soothing ingredients, the Q+A Niacinamide Daily Toner is a perfect pick-me-up for those looking for a budget-friendly solution to a fungal acne problem.
Powerful antioxidant boost that protects cells from external damage.
Smooths out uneven texture and reduces bumps and swelling for a softer complexion.
A potent blend of hydrating and moisturizing ingredients delivers a burst of hydration to keep the skin plump and healthy.
Lightweight formula sinks into the skin with ease without leaving a greasy layer behind.
The Q+A Niacinamide Daily Toner is a refreshing burst of hydration in a bottle. With a lightweight consistency that sinks into the skin like a dream and leaves a hydrated, glowy base behind, this product is fantastic for anyone looking for a daily toner to help target multiple skin concerns.
Formulated with niacinamide, a powerful antioxidant that aids in barrier repair, the toner will keep a healthy skin balance and maintain an environment free of fungal acne-causing pathogens.
The addition of hyaluronic acid will help keep the skin plump and hydrated, while aloe vera extract will instantly soothe redness and minimize swelling caused by fungal acne.
Q+A Niacinamide Daily Toner Pros:
- Hydrates and plumps the skin.
- Helps brighten and refine the complexion.
- Maintains a healthy moisture barrier.
- Prevents overgrowth of the acne-causing bacteria and yeast.
Q+A Niacinamide Daily Toner Cons:
Niacinamide is an absolute must-have in the skincare routine of anyone dealing with fungal acne. This unique antioxidant helps regulate sebum production and prevents the buildup of oil the yeast responsible for causing fungal acne thrives on.
Additionally, niacinamide also aids in the formation of ceramides, components found in the skin barrier responsible for retaining moisture and preventing the invasion of pathogens into the skin.
COSRX – AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner
Formulated with multiple exfoliating acids, the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner helps reduce the appearance of fungal acne while refining uneven skin texture and promoting a healthy, clear, and glowing complexion.
Gentle and Non-irritating
Contains a mild blend of active ingredients that won’t irritate the skin.
Suitable for bacterial and fungal acne due to its lightweight, non-comedogenic formula that won’t clog pores.
Gently lifts dead skin cells to unveil an even skin tone while visibly fading hyperpigmentation.
Free of irritating components and suitable for sensitive and reactive skin that can’t tolerate strong acids.
The COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner is an active solution for bacterial and fungal acne as it helps promote the shedding of dead skin cells, components these acne-causing pathogens thrive on.
The toner contains a combination of two types of salicylic acid to clear congested pores and balance out oil production, along with glycolic acid, an AHA that exfoliates the skin’s surface to smooth out and soften the skin and refine irregularities, such as uneven skin texture and discoloration.
Additionally, the toner has a lightweight, water-like consistency that, once it sinks into the skin, leaves the complexion looking and feeling refreshed.
COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner Pros:
- Effective at keeping fungal acne at bay.
- Provides a gentle exfoliating action that improves uneven skin texture and discoloration.
- Hydrates and nourishes the skin.
- Provides a cooling and refreshing sensation.
COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner Cons:
- It may not be suitable for daily use.
Products containing a blend of exfoliating acids can be super effective at reducing fungal acne and preventing future outbreaks of clusters.
Therefore, whether you’re currently dealing with fungal acne or your skin is prone to this inflammatory condition, having the COSRX AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner in your routine can certainly help reduce these skin concerns.
Best Korean Skincare:
Purito – Centella Unscented Toner
Purito Centella Unscented Toner
Perfect for sensitive and irritated skin, the Purito Centella Unscented Toner will gently purify the complexion while soothing inflammation, reducing redness, and boosting hydration.
Skin-soothing Centella Asiatica relieves inflammation caused by dryness and conditions such as acne.
Suitable for sensitive and reactive skin due to not containing irritation-triggering fragrance.
Packed with a blend of hydrating components that keep the skin healthy and supple.
Promotes antioxidant activity in the skin to reduce cellular damage and regulate cellular function.
Known for their gentle approach to skincare and understanding how important hydration is for clear, healthy skin, Korean skincare is definitely one of a kind when it comes to improving the skin’s health and appearance.
And this soothing elixir in a bottle certainly doesn’t stray away from the overall ethos of Korean skincare.
Made with a potent dose of Centella Asiatica, one of the staple ingredients in Korean beauty products, and a powerful antioxidant with skin-soothing properties, this toner is a potent anti-inflammatory addition to your skincare routine that will calm even the most irritated skin while promoting recovery.
The addition of hyaluronic acid adds an extra layer of hydration to the skin and ensures it stays plump and supple throughout the day, while panthenol promotes the soothing of irritating reactions and makes this product all the better for those dealing with fungal acne, an inflammatory condition that appears when the skin barrier is disrupted.
So, if you’re a K-beauty lover or are looking for something that’s going to soothe your skin and relieve inflammation, the Purito Centella Unscented Toner is definitely a must-try!
Purito Centella Unscented Toner Pros:
- Soothes irritated and inflamed skin.
- Reduce acne-induced redness.
- Softens fungal acne eruptions.
- Hydrates and nourishes the skin.
Purito Centella Unscented Toner Cons:
Due to the blend of ultra-hydrating and skin-soothing ingredients, the Purito Centella Unscented Toner is our top pick for anyone looking for a Korean skincare product that’s safe for fungal acne and promotes clear and healthy skin.
The main active ingredient, Centella Asiatica, is an unmatched skincare component for soothing redness and inflammation caused by acne and other harsh skincare products.
Additionally, the added blend of hydrating and skin-plumping ingredients make this K-beauty product a must-have, daily toner that will refresh the skin and promote a healthy complexion.
Best Green Tea Leaf:
Isntree – Green Tea Fresh Toner
Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner
Boasting an impressive ingredient list that makes it suitable for all skin types, the Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner is a standout choice for those struggling with fungal acne and are looking for a plant-based product to soothe this inflammatory condition.
Formulated with a natural oil-balancing complex that helps keep excess oil under control.
A blend of soothing components relieve redness and irritation caused by acne.
Hydrating and Barrier-Strengthening
Ultra-hydrating ingredients provide a protective boost that strengthens the skin barrier and keeps moisture in the skin.
Safe for Daily Use
Formulated without exfoliating, drying, or irritating components, making it suitable for daily use.
Formulated with green tea extract, a component that reduces cellular damage and encourages the cells to fight inflammation caused by overgrowth of pathogens, the Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner is one of the best toners for all skin types and concerns on our list.
Additionally, besides the lightweight formula that leaves the skin deeply hydrated, soothed, and glowy, the toner features a blend of plant extracts – Anti Sebum P(HD) that helps control excess oil production without drying out the skin, which makes it suitable for oily and sensitive skin.
Additionally, the toner also contains Centella Asiatica, which reinforces the skin’s moisture barrier and prevents the colonization of disease-causing pathogens, as well as hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid that pulls moisture from the deeper skin layers and distributes it across the superficial, epidermal layers, to keep the skin plump, hydrated, and balanced.
Finally, the Green Tea Fresh Toner also contains allantoin, a non-comedogenic moisturizing component that creates a barrier on the skin’s surface to prevent moisture loss while softening the rough outermost layer of our complexion.
Fantastic for daily use and suitable for all skin types, the Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner is definitely a product worth looking into if you want to elevate your skincare routine and achieve a healthy and glowing complexion.
Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner Pros:
- Reduces visible redness.
- Relieves irritation caused by acne and other inflammatory skin conditions.
- Hydrates and plumps the skin.
- Suitable for all skin types.
Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner Cons:
The Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner is versatile enough to fit into your morning or evening skincare routine, and consistent usage can yield a noticeable improvement in skin clarity and health.
Packed with soothing, hydrating, and balancing ingredients, this toner is a must-have for every skin type and concern!
What is The Best Treatment for Fungal Acne?
To effectively get rid of fungal acne, you need to start using fungal-acne-safe skincare products that don’t contain ingredients that could potentially feed the yeast and cause it to overgrow.
Additionally, topical antifungal creams, gels, or even regular cosmetic products, such as shampoos and masks that contain ingredients like ketoconazole and sulfur, can also help in reducing yeast overgrowth, thus minimizing the cluster of pimples.
Finally, oral antifungal medications prescribed by a doctor can also be beneficial in more severe cases of fungal acne.
How We Made Sure These Toners Were Safe for Fungal Acne
Here are the criteria we looked for when selecting the best toners safe for fungal acne:
- Fungal Acne-Safe Ingredients: The toners on our list only contain ingredients that are safe for fungal acne and are free of known fungal acne triggers.
- Non-Comedogenic: The toners on our list are also non-comedogenic, which means they won’t clog pores and promote the appearance of other forms of acne, such as bacterial acne, that often appear alongside fungal acne.
- Alcohol-Free: The toners on our list don’t contain drying alcohol that can strip the skin’s moisture barrier and exacerbate fungal acne symptoms, such as redness, irritation, and itching.
- Anti-Inflammatory: Besides being free of drying and irritating ingredients, the toners on our list are also formulated with at least one or more anti-inflammatory components that actively soothe and reduce symptoms of fungal acne.
- Positive Customer Reviews: The toners on our list were selected based on positive reviews from customers with bacterial and fungal acne, affirming their effectiveness and safety.
What Common Toner Ingredients Should be Avoided by People Dealing with Fungal Acne?
When dealing with fungal acne, it’s essential to steer clear of certain ingredients that are commonly found in skincare products but could potentially exacerbate the condition.
Some common toner ingredients that should be avoided by people dealing with fungal acne include:
- Essential Oil: Lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus are often included in toners for their antifungal benefits but can irritate the skin.
- Esters: Stearic Acid, Glyceryl Stearate, and Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate can clog the pores and contribute to fungal acne.
- Fatty Acids: Lauric acid, Linoleic acid, and Oleic acid can feed the yeast that’s causing fungal acne and exacerbate the condition.
To effectively avoid these ingredients and ensure you’re not perpetuating your fungal acne, always check the ingredient list before purchasing a toner and opt for products that don’t contain components that could cause or exacerbate this inflammatory condition.
How Can Toners Help Fungal Acne Breakouts?
Toners can help reduce the appearance of fungal acne by balancing oil production and exfoliating dead skin cells.
This action eliminates the food source for the yeast that triggers fungal acne, thus preventing it from overgrowing and causing inflamed lesions.