If you’re new to skincare and looking to build a simple, hassle-free skincare routine, look no further! As former amateurs who have now graduated to full-time skincare enthusiasts, we know how confusing (read: overwhelming) it can be to distinguish between products, learn how to layer them and finally–gauge if they are even working. And don’t get us started on scary-sounding terms like skincare ‘acids’ and exfoliating ‘peels’! (Trust us, they’re actually great for your skin)
But more on that later! For now, let’s dive into CTMP–a simple and basic skincare routine that is easy to build, follow, and most importantly, stick to.
What is CTM... P?
You may have heard of CTM–a routine that’s a must for healthy skin. While we love the CTM routine ourselves, we also believe in an additional (but essential) step – P. Altogether, CTMP stands for Cleanse-Tone-Moisturize-Protect.
The first step is to cleanse your skin, preferably with a gentle face wash to get rid of dirt, impurities, remnants of makeup and excess sebum (oil). Cleansing your skin thoroughly will help prepare it for the next steps of the routine.
- 1. In your night routine, make sure to go in with a cleansing balm or micellar cleansing water before washing your face to get rid of makeup and/or sunscreen.
- 2. It's best to stay away from very cold or very hot water as both can strip your skin of essential moisture and leave it feeling tight and dry. Use lukewarm water instead.
- 3. An ideal face wash will feel gentle and non-stripping while leaving your skin squeaky clean. If you are looking for recommendations, you could try our Green Tea Pore Cleansing Face Wash. (for oily skin)
A toner is just a water-based liquid that is used to help reduce the appearance of enlarged pores as well as hydrate and prep the skin for the next steps. Another important function of a toner is to balance the skin’s pH level which tends to get thrown off a little after cleansing. Depending on the toner you choose, you can either pour some on a cotton pad and dab it across your face or spray it directly onto your skin.
- 1. Always choose toners that are alcohol-free as alcohol as an ingredient can be extremely drying on the skin
- 2. For your first-ever purchase, we recommend picking a soothing toner that calms and hydrates the skin, like our Bulgarian Valley Rose Water Toner.
The next step is to moisturize which helps strengthen your skin’s barrier, protects it from dryness and seals in moisture to keep your skin looking supple and healthy. When it comes to moisturizers, it is important to pick one based on your skin type. Don’t know yours? Keep reading because we’re sharing a little experiment you can conduct to find out what your skin type is below.
- 1. Remember to put on moisturizer when your skin is damp for better absorption and moisture retention. An easy way to do this is to apply your moisturizer right after your toner, before it can dry down.
- 2. To ensure an even application, dot the moisturizer all over your face and then gently massage it in.
- 3. If you'd like to start with a moisturizer that's lightweight, you might enjoy our Green Tea Oil-Free Moisturizer.
Protect (AM only)
The last step is to protect your skin with sunscreen during the day. And we mean every single day, irrespective of whether you are staying indoors or stepping out. Sunscreen is THE most crucial step in a morning skincare routine because it protects the skin from harmful UV rays that cause signs of premature ageing, tanning and burns. One of the biggest misconceptions about sunscreen is that it is to be used only in the summer. However, UV rays are present throughout the year, even if there are clouds or rain blocking the sunshine. These rays can also penetrate glass windows, which is why we recommend using sunscreen even if you are spending the day at home, especially if you’re near a window.
- 1. To make sure you are applying the right amount of sunscreen, use the three-finger rule wherein you squeeze out sunscreen along the lengths of three fingers (starting with your index finger). You then dot the sunscreen all over your face and neck, and blend it in.
- 2. Apply sunscreen 15-20 minutes before you step out into the sun.
- 3. Always reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours to maximize protection.
- 4. You could start with a gel-textured sunscreen like our Green Tea Day-Light Sunscreen.
How to find your skin type
Once you get used to following this 4-step routine and decide to experiment with products, you will need to observe and learn about your skin type, which you can do with this simple experiment:
- 1. To start, cleanse your skin, pat lightly and let it dry.
- 2. Wait for 30 minutes to 1 hour and observe what's going on with your skin.
- 3. If it gets irritated, parched, and flaky, you have dry skin.
- 4. If it appears glossy and shiny, you've got oily skin.
- 5. If it feels neither dry nor oily, then you have normal skin.
- 6. If your T-zone is shiny and your cheeks feel dry or normal, then you have combination skin.
When you identify your skin type, it becomes easier to choose skincare products that are tailored to your specific needs.
Q1. How many times do I have to follow the CTMP routine?
You can follow the CTMP routine in the day, and CTM routine at night.
Q2. Is it ok if I skip toner?
We do not recommend skipping toner as it lends the skin a much-needed burst of hydration after the cleansing step.
Q3. Will CTMP help with acne?
Following the CTMP routine will help maintain the health of your skin. If you are dealing with a specific skin condition like acne, you will need to pick a cleanser, toner and moisturizer that targets it.