You've probably heard the terms "CTM" or "CTMP" being tossed around by skin care advisors. But there are few resources that capture this essential skin care routine in a simple, easy-to-understand, practical way. So we brought together all the key points in one short article - challenging, but we managed it! Here's the Plum take on CTMP - make it fun, keep it natural, keep it simple.
What is CTMP?
C is for Cleansing
T is for Toning
M is for Moisturization
P is Protection
Together, the CTMP routine is a must-follow for anyone who's even half-serious about their skin and the way they look. Are all the steps necessary? Which ones should I follow? Read on...
The Fun part - Cleansing
Must, must-do, twice a day. Things to keep in mind:
1. If you're wearing makeup, use a mild cleansing lotion before washing your face. Logic: cleanser removes makeup, facewash cleanses face. Don't mix them up!
2. Never, never use soap on face. Soap has a pH of 10.5, skin has a pH of 5.5. Acid + base = chemical reaction. Simple. Use facewash. Please.
3. It's a good idea to use facewashes with scrubs in them - but not continuously. Alternate them with plain facewashes. Choosing the right scrub - read this post.
4. Ingredients to avoid in facewash: soap, SLS, parabens, phthalates. Why? See this, this and this.
The Boring, but Essential part - Toning
Why tone? Simple - pH balance, shrink pores, deliver nutrients to skin. We won't go in depth into toning, here, since it's been covered in our previous post on toners. Suffice it to say: don't skip this step, and keep away from alcohol toners unless you're suffering from seriously enlarged pores and severely oily skin.
The Must-Do part: Moisturizing
Remember that the moisture from the skin is constantly depleted - especially if you're in an AC environment (low humidity), dry weather or in general have tendency for dry skin. Moisturization is a vast topic but here are 5 quick tips on how to choose a moisturizer:
1. Pick mild, natural ones. Avoid smearing chemicals on your face everyday. Remember that the skin absorbs more than half of what's applied on it.
2. If you go out in the sun during the day, or work in a glass facade office, pick a moisturizer with SPF. More in the "P" section.
3. Start using night creams. They are an excellent way to deliver essential nutrition to your skin in an undisturbed manner.
4. If you have oily skin, don't skip moisturizers. Choose a light, oil-free or non-comedogenic moisturizer. Read about comedogenic ingredients here.
5. Stay away from get-white-quick schemes, they aren't going to help you or your skin. Take our word. We get a lot of requests for fairness creams - we don't make one, and will never make one. For sound reasons. Read why here.
The Forgotten part: Protection
Considering how sunny the weather generally is, it's amazing to see people still skip using SPF in India. Here's why you should use SPF:
1. UV rays penetrate cloud, clothing and windows.
2. UV rays are a leading cause of dark spots, ageing and more seriously, skin cancer.
3. If you prevent your skin from getting darker, you probably don't need a fairness cream!
How to choose an SPF cream? Already covered in our post here, so we won't get into the details here again.
Follow the CTMP rules well, choose the right products with the right ingredients, and don't try to be what you are not. Remember, healthy, naturally radiant skin is also the most beautiful!