Cosmetic Camouflage

The use of creams, liquids, and/or powders to disguise color or contour irregularities or anomalies of the face or body is known as cosmetic camouflage. Plastic surgeons originally developed cosmetic camouflage treatments during World War II to hide the enormous burns suffered by fighter pilots. Cosmetic camouflage can now be used by men, women, and children to hide skin defects


How to use cosmetic camouflage

Traditionally, broadband UVB was utilized, but narrowband UVB phototherapy (311nm) is becoming more popular. Each exposure includes increasing UVB doses (three to five times weekly until the skin condition has cleared, has failed to respond, or a pre-determined maximum number of treatments). The goal is to tint the skin a faint shade of pink without burning it.


Concealers are often thicker and more opaque than basic foundation. They efficiently conceal healed surgical incision lines, scars, and/or bruises on the face and body. Concealers are often creamy products that available in a variety of colors to complement the skin’s natural color. To get a good color match, they are sometimes combined using color correctors. There are also liquid color-matched concealers that can nearly mimic normal skin


Color correctors are used to cover up a bruise’s yellowish hue or a burn’s overall redness. Colour correctors come in a variety of colours; a purple corrector mixed with concealer neutralizes yellow skin tones, while a green corrector neutralizes redness with a brown tone.


Contouring uses light and shadow to create dimension and repair uneven facial surface features. Swellings or protrusions appear to recede in dark colors, whereas surface depressions appear shallower in bright colors. You’ll need a highlighter that’s about 2 shades lighter than your concealer and a contour shadow that’s about 2 shades darker to contour. Contouring is best done with powdered blush-type products.

Every night before you go to bed, remove any camouflage makeup from your face and neck. Because of the waterproof nature of the makeup, an oily cleaning cream or lotion may be required to remove it. After that, clean your face with soap and water or with your regular facial washing procedure. Camouflage cosmetics and liquid camouflage treatments applied elsewhere on the body can be left on for 3 to 4 days before being removed and reapplied.

General advice for using cosmetic camouflage

To acquire a satisfactory final appearance, it may require some practice. In certain countries, cosmetic camouflage clinics are held by hospitals, charities, or society where individuals’ concealment needs are reviewed. Look Good Feel Better®, for example, is a philanthropic program funded by the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CFTA) and organized by the Cancer Society of New Zealand that holds cosmetic workshops across the country to improve the self-esteem of women struggling with cancer side effects. Similar programs can be found in the United States and many other nations.

It’s possible that your needs can be met with standard everyday makeup. The most important thing is to avoid using cosmetics that irritate your skin. Your dermatologist or doctor may advise you to use special cosmetic camouflage items available at pharmacies or specialty clinics.


Type Description Effectiveness
Make-up Dye Stains
  • Pigmented dyes safe for use on the skin
  • They come in a variety of shades to best match the patients skin
  • The lasting period of the dye depends upon the product
  • Some are meant to be washed off whenever the user desires, and some are meant to last for 4-7 days
  • Cosmetic and/or remedial procedure that involves implanting metabolically inert pigment granules beneath the epidermis
  • It is common to require two to four treatments
  • Micropigmentation can survive up to three years on the skin, though this varies depending on the individual
  • DHA is found in all effective sunless tanners
  • DHA is a colorless 3-carbon sugar that, when applied to the skin, induces a chemical reaction with amino acids in the skin’s surface cells, darkening the skin
    • There are very minimal risks with using dihydroxyacetone on skin
    • Pretty effective but can cause sensitivity 
    Waterproof Products
    • The purpose of waterproof vitiligo makeup is to allow the individual to apply the makeup once and go throughout the rest of their day without any fear of the makeup running or smudging
      • Waterproof makeup is designed to last all day and the best waterproof makeup will not come off until it is purposely removed

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