Cleansing, Toning and Moisturizing (CTM) Routine and Why It is Important

Hi ladies! Most of us know about CTM and what it stands for but very few of us actually follow all the steps one by one in the required order for the routine to benefit our skin. We end up skipping one step or the other – for instance, I never used a toner, I didn’t know what purpose it served and I didn’t think it was important.

And in the summer months, even after washing my face I don’t feel like applying moisturizer! But here is a breakdown of each step and also why you should follow the complete CTM routine religiously :)


Cleansing is the step that is quite commonly followed by all women. Most of us cleanse our skin before going to bed or after getting back from work. This step involves complete removal of all makeup – foundation, blush, kohl, mascara, lipstick, everything! The key is to also focus on your problem areas like around the nose if you get breakouts or have a tendency to develop blackheads. For this purpose you can use any cleanser – you can choose a mild or a strong one.

My go to cleanser all these years has been the Ayur Deep Pore Cleansing Milk, and I can vouch for this. Another decent pick is the Lakmé Deep Pore Cleanser, which I have reviewed on MABH.

Don’t forget to exfoliate your skin by using a gentle scrub once or twice a week! I recommend the VLCC Indian Berberry Facial Scrub :)


Toning is the step that most people miss out on. While the need for toner has been debated by cosmetologists in past, it is considered necessary by many since toning helps reduce the pore size and get rid of dead skin cells that contribute to dullness. Hence toning clears the skin from within and at the same time it also reduces the possibility of breakouts and further blackheads from developing. Good toners include rosewater such as the Dabur Gulabari and Banjaras rose water for normal to dry skin. Oily skinned beauties could also try tea tree oil as a toner.


Cleansing and toning leave the skin bare and the pores open, and so, especially in the drier months, skin tends to lose moisture. If you don’t properly moisturize your skin, it could look sallow and patchy and may even wrinkle faster. So a good moisturizer is crucial. Be absolutely sure to pick one that suits your skin. If you have dry skin, opt for a heavy moisturizer that is specially formulated for dry skin. If you have oily skin, look for an oil free moisturizer that hydrates your skin without making it greasy. Do NOT skip moisturizer even in the summer months. If it’s too hot, use a light moisturizer that doesn’t feel heavy on your skin.

Why the entire CTM Routine is important for your skin?:

More often than not, cleansing doesn’t remove all the impurities in our skin. That is why it is followed up with toning. Toning focuses more on dead cells – the fact that it removes the leftover impurities is like a bonus – it’s not the main job of toning. So if suppose you cleanse your skin, but don’t tone – some impurities will be leftover. Or instead you tone, but you’ve applied very light makeup so you don’t cleanse – toner alone won’t be able to get rid of all the impurities and it won’t even be able to reach the dead cells. Similarly, after toning, if you don’t moisturize, your open skin pores tend to lose more moisture leading to dry skin. And we all know that dry skin ages faster! So all three steps are required and they are required in conjunction :)

Remember, the CTM routine is an investment for your skin 20 years from now :) Even if you are blessed with beautiful, blemish-free skin, put in a bit of effort starting today to ensure that your skin still looks fabulous years later. Your skin will thank you :)

Hope you girls found this post helpful. Cheers to flawless skin! :)


    • Adi A.S. says

      It works for me, Dharu.. and it removes even the most persistent makeup without irritating my skin :) plus it’s herbal :)

    • Lancy says

      Removes all makeup? That’s superb na? How much does it cost Adi??? I heard ayur products are dead cheap!

  1. Makeupholicworld says

    nice post dearie!! I also never skip CTM !! I use Forest Essentials products right now and I am loving it!!! I have tried Ayur sometime back during college days!! I love it!!!

    • Adi A.S. says

      Thank you :) I’ve heard so much about Forest Essentials products.. really want to try them out 😀

  2. Harini Senthil says

    Great post Adi !!! I’m trying to follow CTM regularly.. but there are few cheat days too 😛

  3. Venetha says

    really nice write up adi :) i love my fabindia tea trea facewash meant for oily skin..:) and how do u find the clean & clear moisturizer ?

    • Adi A.S. says

      I’ve just bought it Venetha.. so far I really like it, it’s very light on the skin and not greasy or oily at all and yet it moisturizes my skin. I think you’ll really love it – give it a try :)

    • Venetha says

      Tat seems to be a good product :) ll be sure to pick t up the next tym.. Plus it is cheap too… Wont do any harm to try it 😛

    • Adi A.S. says

      Lol yes exactly!! I have combination skin that tends to dry in winters so I really didn’t need to pick up an ‘oil-free’ moisturizer but I decided to just try it out 😀

  4. sneha says

    Great post Adi:) Let me tell you I am new to this CTM process. I am always confused with Cleasing method, I have oily skin and once I come from office, I remove my eye make up with Ayur Cleansing milk and after tht wash face with a facewash. When do I have to use face wash if I have to follow CTM? Because I feel after coming from office, I just cant use cleansing milk as it will make my face more oily..and sorry for such long question..

    • Adi A.S. says

      Thanks Sneha and no problem at all, I’m glad you asked. :) I think the present routine you follow is fine because the cleanser removes the makeup and then you can wash your face to get that squeaky clean feeling :) the only change you could make is – since you have oily skin, go for a cleanser that is oil-free so that your skin doesn’t feel oily after using it. I think Neutrogena has an oil free cleanser, I’m sure other other brands do too.

      Also, use a face wash that is oil-free like the Clean n Clear morning energy face washes – the green apple one is meant for purifying oily skin. :) I’ve tried the brightening berry one and it was a bit drying for me, which means it is probably decent for oily skin. But go specifically for oil-free formulations and steer clear of cream based ones – they’ll make your skin very greasy!

      I hope I helped :) please feel free to ask if you have any more questions or if these suggestions don’t work for you :)

  5. aradhana says

    i want to know that Ayur Deep Pore Cleansing Milk can be use for everyday? after using the cleansing milk there is necessary to rinse face and then followed to dabur gulabary as tone?

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