First developed during World War II to treat soldiers who had received severe burns; camouflage cosmetics can cover up a variety of disfiguring skin problems that include conditions like vitiligo, port-wine stains, or surgical scars. There are two main types of camouflage cosmetics: those that use color theory to make a scar or blemish less obvious and those that cover it up completely.
How does Color Theory Work?
According to color theory, you can tone down a color by covering it with its opposite shade. Thus, blue or purple bruises caused by surgery or cancer treatments can be covered by a yellow concealer, while a green concealer would be used to cover red discolorations like that associated with some scars. A white concealer would be used for brown discolorations.
Concealers can also be used to hide a blemish by creating shadows and highlights. For example, a concealer that is darker than the surrounding skin can make a raised scar seem less prominent. A lighter concealer will make a spot in the skin appear smaller.
What do Foundations Do?
While a color theory cosmetic hides discolored skin, a foundation makes the skin look smooth and even. There are four types: oil-based, oil-free, water-based and water-free.
- Oil-based foundations: work best for people with dry skin.
- Oil-free foundations: people with oily skin benefit from it.
- Water-based foundations: designed to be long-lasting, good for covering up numerous blemishes, and it can work for anyone.
- Water-free foundations: have a waxy base and need to be warmed up in the hand to soften them before they can be used.
How Should Camouflage Cosmetics be Used?
A foundation needs to match the patient’s skin tone. Trying to use it as a concealer could backfire and make the blemish look more prominent. The most effective way to apply the foundation is through the “dab and blend” technique.
The patient dabs dots of foundation on their forehead, nose, cheekbones, and chin and then rubs it into their skin with circular motion. Foundation should be rubbed all the way up to the hairline and an inch below the jaw line. There should not be visible lines of demarcation anywhere if done properly.
The patient should then wipe their face downward with a sponge to even out streaks and flatten facial hairs. They should then give the foundation five minutes to set.
Camouflage cosmetics needs to be removed from the face and neck every night before the patient goes to bed. Camouflage cosmetics used elsewhere can be left on for three or four days. Since it is waterproof, the patient will need to use an oily cream or lotion to wipe off the make-up. They should then wash the area with regular soap and water.
If you are uncomfortable with your acne or any other skin problems, you may be a candidate for camouflage cosmetics. To find out if you are, contact Hanemann Plastic Surgery. In our extensive experience, we have helped many patients longing to eliminate skin problems that have negatively impacted their lives. During the consultation, we will be happy to review your goals and tailor a treatment plan beneficial for you. Contact us today to get started.