We started with Skincare in my first blog, by identifying and understanding the fundamentals, figuring out the basic necessities, before starting any Skincare regime. Taking forward the same topic, today I am delving into the beliefs, myths and facts that one associate with Skincare and also the significance of CTM ( Cleansing , Toning , Moisturizing ) routine.
HOW MUCH SKINCARE IS TOO MUCH ?
This is a very common thought and I personally has been asked this question very frequently. And my answer to this is that Skincare can't be generalized. At the same time, one thing that we all can follow religiously in Skincare, irrespective of other factors, is CTM, on which I will be sharing my inputs in later part. But apart from CTM, the Skincare solely depends on the requirements of each individual's skin conditions. As there's a saying "To each his/her own". Elaborating this further I will say as individuals we all are born with mind, body and soul, uniformly, but at the same time we all are different and function in our own ways, based on our family background and conditioning etc. We might be having same kind of issues in life, but not necessarily the same kind of solutions. What works for one person might not be applicable to another because of various factors, and we seek solutions depending on where we are at that point of time. The same goes for our skin and Skincare. We might be having same kind of skin issues, say for eg. pigmentation, freckles, blemishes, acne, parched and dry skin etc. but the underlying factors causing these conditions can be different from person to person. Therefore, a proper diagnosis is of utmost importance, i.e. to analyze, identify and understand our skin types and skin conditions. Then comes, to measure the intensity of the problem, which leads us to go further and deeper into our health, lifestyle, food habits and what products we are using. In my opinion, once the diagnosis is done, the first and prime step towards Skincare is the "ACCEPTANCE", which means accepting our skin and it's issue, the way we are as I strongly feel EVERYTHING STARTS WITH MIND. Once we are comfortable in our skin, we will be in a better state to find solutions for our skin related issues. The reason I feel why acceptance is important is because it's human nature to learn and acquire things primarily by seeing ( visuals ) and at times through hearsay ( hearing, and note that I am not saying listening, there's a difference in both ). And in my experience till now, I have witnessed a great amount of impulsive buying when it comes to beauty and skincare, based on influence ( media, social circle etc.) and unfortunately all of us must have fallen into this trap, at one or the other point of time, purchasing unconsciously without knowing the ingredients, or mixing of various brands, unaware about the genuine requirements of our skin. One important factor that plays an important role is AGE. Any skincare regime should be applied based on a person's age. For eg. For a young person's skin CTM is sufficient, wherein the moment one crosses 35 years of age, one tends to encounter multiple skin issues, which needs to be diagnosed and catered to, at the right time. I believe that if we take proper care in our 30's, we will definitely be blessed and witness positive and healthy results in our 40's. Our age also decides whether the skin is capable of taking in active or chemical ingredients on it, therefore guiding us to choose the right product for ourselves.
Another question that I have been asked many a times is
HOW MUCH TIME IT TAKES TO SHOW RESULTS
For this I will say SKINCARE is a proper RITUAL, and the magic doesn't happen in one night. To explain it further, like we pray to god or any form of energy, with complete faith and expect miracles to happen, and it happens after complete devotion, same way one need to follow a regime religiously and expect the miracle happening, with patience. Any new product requires a minimum of 30 days time to show it's effects. One needs to invest time, let your skin acclaimtize (2-8 weeks), TRUST THE PRODUCT and let it work on you. According to me, this funda of getting a clear skin in a week or 10 days, which many ads proclaim, is a MYTH and completely misguiding. Along with CTM, other factors also affect the quality of skin. The kind of sunscreen one is using, diet, water intake, use of soaps (if it is harsh or suitable) etc. I have experienced quite often, specially with younger people having skin related issues, that they expect visible results overnight from a product, and not considering the lifestyle, food and hygiene, which plays an equal role for one's skin conditions that they are facing. Also one needs to examine one's Skincare Kit, the combinations and ingredients that are present in products, and the moment some negative effects start showing up, one should immediately stop the use and analyse what and how a product they have been using on their skin. Having an in-depth product knowledge helps to choose the right thing for one's skin and goes a long way in maintaining a beautiful and healthy skin.
Now I will come to Basic Skin Regime that is CTM. CTM stands for CLEANSING, TONIG & MOISTURIZING. There are different kind of skin types, which are as follows : Normal, Dry, Oily, Combination and Sensitive. These days we have high-tech machines to analyze our skin type, and if one feels the need, it's very convenient to get it tested and know one's actual skin type. Before explaining about CTM, it's important to know a little about our skin and it's functioning. Our skin has two layers, Epidermis and Dermis. The top layer is epidermis, and below this is dermis, which contains collagen, elastin, blood vessels and hair follicles. The nerve endings in the dermal layer are responsible for the sense of touch in our body and we have sweat glands, which produces sweat that helps to flush out toxins from our body, and keep it cool. The top layer of our skin turns over every two weeks, and it takes 2-4 weeks for us to have new skin that doesn't require moisturization. Anything which obstructs or hinders this natural process of skin functioning will show it's negative effects on the quality of our skin. It can be internal (health) or external (lifestyle, pollution etc.) To maintain the proper skin functioning, CTM is highly recommended, universally.
Now the next question is WHAT IS THE CORRECT METHOD OF CTM ?
As I have already mentioned it's very important to identify the skin type, and once it's done, we should choose the products accordingly, for our skincare regime. Once we have the products, we can straightaway start with cleansing, toning and moisturizing everyday, religiously. First, start off with cleansing. Here I would like to put stress on DOUBLE CLEANSING, which means first to clean the face with your choice of oil, massage this oil on skin, leave for 3-5 minutes, let it loosen the entire residues of the products that you have applied on face, especially sunscreen, then wipe it off with cotton or washcloth. Follow up with washing the face with a face-wash suiting best to your skin type. Then comes the TONING part. Choosing a toner according to your skin type, and applying on face after cleansing is definitely going to show positive impact on your appearance. Toner not only removes the last traces of dirt, grime and impurities from skin but also tightens the pores, helping in maintaining the ph balance of skin. Therefore, highly beneficial. Finally one should complete the regime with MOISTURIZING. Every skin type needs moisturization, and one should choose the products according to their skin type. The right kind moisturizer will not only provide adequate hydration but also maintain the elasticity of skin, keeping it supple and healthier. Moisturization will provide nourishment to skin and helps in keeping fine lines, wrinkles, dryness at bay, making the skin look fresh, younger and happier. So, this is about CTM routine, and I strongly believe that if one follows this everyday, one can manage to have a healthy and beautiful skin, using the right kind of products that are meant for your skin type. Proper diagnosis of any underlying health or lifestyle condition will further help in curing any skin issue with further guidance. And finally I can't stop myself from mentioning the most important tip that is "LET YOUR SKIN BREATHE". Leave it just the way it is for sometime everyday. Try to learn ways and means to manage yourself better in stressing times, and most of all don't take stress for your skin concerns at all, because that's the beginning of Skincare. Now start your CTM routine and flaunt your skin with all it's flaws and virtues. Because it's you, part of your being and precious to you.