Getting rid of Tiny Bumps - Malessezia Foliculitis (Fungal Acne)!
Do you have tiny bumps all on your face that refuses to budge despite following a good skincare routine and trying EVERYTHING there is out there but nothing works on those stubborn bumps? Read on!
For me, the tiny bumps were caused by an overgrowth of yeast - Malessezia Folliculities AKA Fungal Acne. However it isn't Acne, it is just called "Fungal Acne" because of how it looks. It cannot be treated like "normal acne". They come in the form of tiny uniformed size bumps which commonly appears at areas where you “sweat”. Well for me it happened on my forehead and cheeks. It looks very much like clogged pores caused by a build up of dead skill cells getting trapped in your skin. However, i knew it couldn't be the case as i was very diligent with my skincare routine. It happened pretty much “overnight” and lasted a long time. It also kept spreading all over my face and was itchy when i was in hot places.
At first i thought i was because of an allergic reaction to a product because as you know, i do try quite a bit of products for Fickle Beauty. However, even when i switched back to my “safe products” which worked well for me and always fixed my skin, the bumps refused to budge.
I tried EVERY anti-acne fighting ingredient there is – nope it didnt work. I did more sheet masks – used a hydrating sheet mask daily – IT GOT WORSE! I saw a dermatologist and he prescribed me anti-biotics – which usually works when i have breakouts. But this time, it didnt do anything! In fact, after doing more research, long term usage of anti-biotics could be the cause of Malessezia Folliculitis as it ruins your gut health. It was a horrible period for me as i love make up and all but applying make up just emphasized the little bumps and made it look worse!!! It was a horrible feeling – you can cover scars or 1-2 pimples but this tiny bumps were EVERYWHERE in clusters.
I was desperate and started to go onto google, youtube and reddit and i came across this blog: www.simpleskincarescience.com IT SAVED MY SKIN BIG TIME! Please check the website out for the full explanation of what Malessezia Folliculities is – it is A LONG ARTICLE but i hope it will help you. When i learnt about it and tried the routine, within 3 days or so, the stubborn bumps all went down and stopped spreading.
It went away REALLY quickly after i started using an Anti-Dandruff Shampoo on my face as a wash off face mask. I know right, it sounds crazy but it really happened!
I am not a certified dermatologist nor a medical professional but i really want to share this because when i shared it over on my Instagram Stories (@ohsofickle) and SO many people followed the routine and it helped them! I even created a section on Fickle Beauty for Fungal Acne Safe skincare products for those who are prone to it. Even though it is gone, there is a high chance of it coming back. To prevent it from coming back, i started taking a probiotic and supplements for gut health so it wont reoccur often.
Let me share the routine i did to clear those bumps! When dealing with Malessezia Folliculitis, you have to be VERY strict with your routine and avoid any possible ingredient with fungal acne triggers. There are websites for you to check if the skincare product is fungal acne safe or not. You can copy and paste the ingredient list on the cosmetic analyzer on www.skincarisma.com or www.sezia.co and it will show if the product is safe for fungal acne or not. If you want to fix this issue FAST, you need to ensure ALL your products are safe so as to not feed the yeast. You'll be surprised at how many products feed yeast!
My Fungal Acne Routine
Here's my routine that i followed for 2 weeks to get rid of it. It cleared so much within the first 3 days but you want it to be COMPLETED gone so it'll be good to stick to the routine as long as possible!
Night Time Skincare Routine
A lot of makeup remover contains oil which will feed the yeast so it is not easy to find an over the counter oil cleansing balm to remove make up if you have fungal acne. However, you can use 3 oils, MCT OIL, Mineral Oil or Squalane oil. I used a Mineral Oil – Baby Oil. I have been doing the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) to remove my make up for the longest time. A lot of people feel like it clogs their pores but the key thing about OCM is you MUST use a microfibre cloth to WIPE away the oil. Then proceed to double cleanse using a gentle facial cleanser to get rid of oil. If you do not use a lot of make up like i do, then you can use the Bioderma Micellar Water!
After my face is free from dirt, make up and oil, i then proceed to the most important step of clearing Fungal Acne. You want to stick to using a very gentle cleanser as the step after this is very drying!
An alternative is Head and Shoulders anti dandruff shampoo which contains another anti-fungal ingredient called Zinc Pyrithione. I used either of the shampoo as a wash off face mask. I know, it sounds crazy putting shampoo on my face but it seriously worked for me. I leave it on for 10 min, then wash it off. I did this every night for 2 weeks. You are actually supposed to use it every alternate day? But i was impatient....lol. You MUST layer a lot of hydrating serums after this step!
Step #4 Apply a Toner - I used the Sioris Feel So Fresh Toner SGD$26
Step #5 Apply multiple layers of Hydrating Essence + Serums
To add back hydration to my skin, layer Hydrating Essences and Serums - i have a collection of Fungal Acne Safe products on Fickle Beauty which you can choose from (here)! I recommend you to do the 7 SKIN METHOD. It means to apply thin layers of serums (1 drop/1 pump), spread it on your face and gently pat it in, then use another serum (1 drop/1 pump), spread it on your face. Then after that seal the serum in with a good moisturizer or facial oil. Apparently, when you apply the essences/serums on your skin in thin layers, your skin absorbs it better and will feel much more plump.
My favourite hydrating ingredient to look out for are Snail Mucin, Propolis and Hyaluronic Acid.
I love how it is a thin oil which doesn't feel too heavy and makes my skin SO SOFT. I still use squalane oil even though i dont have Fungal Acne anymore! It is my favourite oil and i love it so much i am in the midst of bringing in one for Fickle Beauty which i hope will be ready in 2020!
And that is it!