Ask Shirleen A Question – AHA Products & Enlarged Pores


Reader’s Questions

HI SHIRLEEN !!! For all my life this is the first time I’m using a AHA product (TDF revitalising cleanser) and it works wonders. It’s a 4 percent glycolic based cleanser. Though it’s said that BHA (salicylic acid) is best for oily skin, but my skin can never take BHA it’s like kyrptonite to superman.

So i figured why not give AHA a shot! And i have never ever regretted it, it has been 4 days since i’ve incorporated this into my regimen. So far no breakouts, skin seems more refined. By the way i’m 18 and my skin is generally on the combination to oily side.

My question is, when can i start incorporating more AHA products, and what are the kinds of products i should be incorporating into my regimen? Or should i even be incorporating other AHA products, prior to the current AHA cleanser that i am using ?? And i really suffer from open pores(bad extractions done by beautician) on my cheeks, what products can i use to solve this problem?

Cherice Tan

My Answers

Hi Cherice, thank you for allowing me to post your questions publicly on my blog. My readers will definitely benefit a lot from here.

It’s great that you have discovered this proven ingredient ‘AHA’ at such a young age and I personally love this ingredient very much too. It’s amazing that you are able to see result with just 4 percent AHA in your TDF cleanser. Normally, a minimal of 8 percent is required to see result.

I will not advise you to incorporate too much AHA products in your daily regimen. In my opinion, 2 the most for me. The other AHA product I will recommend is my favourite Paula’s Choice 8% Alpha Hydroxy Acid Gel. As you are already using the 4 percent TDF cleanser daily plus with your young age, I will advise you to only start using Paula’s Choice 8% AHA Gel twice a week for the first three months and then subsequently increase to alternate days. You may feel the tingling sensation but don’t worry it is alright.

Although there are many anti-aging products in the market that contains AHA but I would not consider these products as AHA products as the amount is miniscule to even see any result.

I believe in a long run, you will probably see superficial improvements on your pore sizes. AHA is scientific proven to help exfoliate the skin. It will help to remove the dead skin cells and thereby reduce the pore sizes and oiliness.

Oily skin is more prone to enlarged pores in the T-zone because oil and debris on the skin may increase pore size. In fact sun exposure is another major contributor to enlarged pores. Make sure you are well protected from the sun.

Good cleansing at night is one of the most important things you can do for your pores. If you do not intend to buy the Paula’s Choice AHA Gel, you can instead get a toner that contains AHA. After washing your face with your TDF cleanser, wipe your face with a cotton ball/pad soaked in a toner. Both the cleanser and the toner that contains AHA will help dissolves the ‘glue’ that holds the skin cells together, so surface cells dislodge and slide off. Typically, both cleanser and toner contains 4 percent or less AHA are not strong enough and consider mild, but as you are still young, it should be alright for you.

Other important skin care products for your daily regimen are :

Cleanser – make sure you thoroughly cleanse your skin properly every night

Hydrating toner – to act as a double cleansing that help cleanse the dirt and residue away that cleanser have missed and hydrate skin at the same time (make sure the toner contains NO alcohol)

Light-weight moisturizer – as you have combination to oily skin, you may skip moisturizer in the day but use the light weight moisturizer only at night to maintain hydration on the skin

Sunscreen – this is a MUST!!! It is especially important if you are using concentrated AHA products (AHA will increase sun sensitivity). Even if you are not using any AHA products, I will still strongly advise everyone to use it because without sufficient sun protection, skin will age faster and all the skin problems will start to surface. You probably will see the real effect in 10 years time.


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8 Comments on "Ask Shirleen A Question – AHA Products & Enlarged Pores"

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  4. Lulama says:


    The AHA skin products, do they have the same ingredients as the one sold in Israel? I am just mindfull of buying something that is not original and incur more skin problems than what I have. Uneven complexion and fine marks from acne.


  5. Shirleen says:

    Hi Lulama,

    I’m not too sure what you mean? Do you want to elaborate further?

  6. Jacy says:

    Hi Shirleen, I am currently using Neostrata 15% AHA every night, and occasionally in the morning. So far, I don’t have any problems. It doesn’t cause me any breakout, redness and while it does tingle upon application, the sensation subsides pretty quickly.

    I recently came across articles that cautioned against excessive use of AHA. I understand that the concentration i’m using is on the high side. Is this a problem, considering that I have yet to observe any problems? I do observe enlarged pores…I’m not sure if it is because my skin is finally clearing up or is it a sideffect of too much AHA.

    Sorry for the long wall of words.
    Hope i can get some advice from you on this.

    Thank you for your time!


    • Shirleen says:

      Hi Jacy,

      Yes 15% AHA is pretty high and you should refrain from using it in the morning or during the day cos it will make your skin more sensitive to sun-damage.

      You may want to cut down the usage to alternate days instead. Thanks to you, I’ve learned something shocking :

      Stripping off the upper layers and thinning the epidermis increases the size of the pore opening.

      Now I began to remember my pores do appear larger after constantly using AHA for a period of time. Thanks again! :D

  7. Saif says:

    Dear Ms.Shirleen

    i am just asking do have all products of beauty talk brand like oxysolotion oxymask oxyaqua . If have what about prices .

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