- Best ResultsInstant
- Treatment RecoveryNA
- Procedure Time2-14 minutes
- Skin SpecialistMakeup artist
- Duration of Results1- 7 days
- Back to WorkNA
Vitiligo Camouflage Creams
One of the fastest ways to hide vitiligo is with camouflage creams, pens, & powder. Finding the right colour match is the tricky bit, but after that it is all about timing. Vitiligo camouflage encompasses fake tan through to cosmetic tattooing & everything in between.
FactsFacts on Vitiligo Camouflage
- One of the simplest camouflage techniques is to use fake tan
- The upside is that this last 4 days or longer
- For more accurate colour matching Dermablend & Dermacolour can be used
- Microfelt pens can be used for small areas on your lips, hands, eyelids
- Remember to take off any fake pigment if you are undergoing phototherapy
Skin camouflage products instantly mask vitiligo. Applied correctly, they are waterproof, which means you can get wet without it washing off. They also have sun screening properties, & can offer up to SPF 2-3 protection.
Camouflage can be applied over or under cosmetic foundation, make-up (which includes eyeshadow, blusher and lipstick) can be applied over the camouflage. It should stay in place for 6 to 14 hours before you need to reapply it.
What brands do dermatologists endorse for vitiligo patients?
These international brands will cover all skin types. Our advice is to see the colours on your skin to achieve a good skin match. Try before you buy.
- Vichy, Dermablend
How to integrate makeup & camouflage creams with your phototherapy sessions?
It is all about timing. For phototherapy to be effective you require light on your skin- without makeup or camouflage creams. Hence, you should time your sessions when your camouflage is wearing thin.
If you are using fake tan or DHA as your camouflage, be aware that this gives you an SPF of 2 (ish). Hence when you remove it, you will get twice the amount of UV on your skin. Most often this equated to a burn. Time it right.
How do I use fake tan?
Fake tans are great if you have a colour match. This chemical is known as dihydroxyacetone. The advantage is that it can give you a SPF of 2-3, meaning it can protect you skin for double to triple the time it takes for you to burn. These chemical changes the outer layer of skin.
Advantages of fake tan
- Doesn’t rub off easily.
- Last between 3 to 7 days
- Cheap to buy
- Can be applied to large areas of skin
- Gives some UV protection
Disadvantages of fake tan
- Smells weird (that’s the chemical DHA)
- Takes a while to apply
- Exact colour match is hard to achieve
View our Treatment Gallery
Can tattooing cover up vitiligo?
Micropigmentation is another description for medical tattooing. In most cases a good colour match can be achieved. Micropigmentation is best for smaller areas of vitiligo including the lips & perioral areas. Pigment is stable for 12 to 18 months before touch ups are required. The result is dependent on the artist.
For Brisbane patients I refer my patients to the tattoo artist servicing the Breast Surgery Unit at Wesley Hospital.
What are felt tip pens?
Magic Styl’o produces a semi-permanent pen which can be used for colouring small areas of skin. For example, on fingers, lips or eyebrows. The pens are easy to use, and, like fake tans, the colour does not rub off. There is a range of colours available, including three different shades of brown, but you are unlikely to get as good a colour match as you can with camouflage. These pens are available on Amazon & many more online stores.
What are some resources that you can look up?
When I worked in the NHS in England, we used several associations to help the dermatology unit for camouflage advice.
- The BASC or British Association of Skin Camouflage (cool name!) provides a skin matching service for the NHS. This organisation is an independent, non-profit making Charity that provides skin camouflage training for a range of professionals who use it. lifestyle, taught how to apply, manage and remove your skin camouflage. Contact details firstname.lastname@example.org Website is www.skin-camouflage.net
- Changing Faces. This organisation offers a skin camouflage consultation service. The volunteers select the best colour match for each person’s natural skin tone and then teach people how to apply the products. Contact details email@example.com website is www.changingfaces.org.uk
What are some tips for applying camouflage?
Go to vitiligosociety.org website & check them out. Plenty of useful tips and tricks. Do some research on their Instagram & YouTube videos.
Here are some tips, in no order.
- Storage. Camouflage, cosmetics and toiletries it is better to store them away from direct sunlight. This also applies to your prescribed medications.
- Fake Tans: are great for super quick application. They can last up to 6 days. The skin match is pretty crappy, but it is a quick fix. It gives you some sun protection.
- Application techniques: the easiest way to apply their camouflage is with their fingertips but you can use a brush or cosmetic sponge.
- The setting powder will create a matt finish. The use of a fixing spray will give a semi to full glow finish & make camouflage application more secure.
- For more tips & tricks, visit the vitiligo society.
Davin’s Viewpoint on Cosmetic Camouflage for Vitiligo
Disclaimer time! I know a whole lot about the physics of lasers, how to transplant melanocytes & the pharmacology of tacrolimus, prostaglandin analogues, 5FU & a whole lot more. I don’t know sh*t about camouflage. What I do know is that it is super important, especially in darker skin types.
I am grateful for the people who help support vitiligo patients. I did work closely with various societies when I was training with the NHS in the UK. Social Media can be an immensely powerful tool for education, networking & support. I encourage you to follow various support groups, as you will learn a lot from them.
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