Watch a series of video guides to help you apply skin camouflage cream or makeup at home, as well as tips on making the products last as long as possible.
Many people with a visible difference struggle with social anxiety and low confidence, especially as they may experience staring, comments, or unwanted attention.
Our specialist Skin Camouflage Service gives people living with a visible difference a choice over their appearance and a sense of control over how they want to look day to day. This builds confidence and self-esteem so that people feel empowered to lead the lives they want.
On this page we cover what skin camouflage is and who it is suitable for. We also explain what happens during a Skin Camouflage Service appointment, how the service has been impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and what support is available to you now.
Skin camouflage is the use of specialist, highly pigmented creams and powders that can be used to reduce the appearance of a mark, scar or skin condition.
Creams and powders come in a vast array of shades and colours so they can be matched to an individual’s skin tone. They can be applied to both the face and the body.
Can I swim or play sports while wearing skin camouflage?
Skin camouflage products are longer lasting and more waterproof than normal high-street makeup brands. Lots of people play sports, swim and shower while wearing them.
Skin camouflage is suitable for such a wide range of marks, scars or skin conditions that it isn’t possible to list them all here. The following are just a small number of the conditions that people use it for:
- Vitiligo or loss of skin colour.
- Healed scars, including acne scarring and self-harm scars.
- Hyperpigmentation, for example, from melasma (also called chloasma).
- Healed burns.
Products can’t be applied to infected, inflamed or broken skin. It also cannot level out raised scars, fill in indented scars or alter the skin’s texture – it’s a tool for covering an area of skin with a colour that matches the surrounding area.
If you’re not sure if our service is suitable for you, then please do get in touch by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 012 0276.
We offer appointments with trained volunteer practitioners at clinics across England and Scotland. We’ve provided information below about what happens in a skin camouflage appointment and where the service is available.
What happens in a skin camouflage appointment?
This video, which was created thanks to a generous grant from the British Association of Dermatologists, talks you through what happens during an appointment:
During an appointment, the practitioner will firstly ask how they can help you and listen to your needs. After that, they will show you the range of products and ask to look at your skin.
With your input, the practitioner will then carry out a colour match. This is when the camouflage creams are applied to the skin in small amounts to see which shades match the skin. When you have found a match that you’re happy with, the practitioner will apply this cream and then apply a powder.
Throughout this time, the practitioner will demonstrate how to apply the creams and powders. You’ll also have the opportunity to have a go yourself so that you know how to apply the products.
You’ll leave the appointment with a list of recommended products to either request a prescription from your GP or buy the products yourself.
You can read more about the products that our practitioners use as well as prescriptions on our dedicated page.
Where is the service available?
We offer appointments in England and Scotland. Unfortunately, we can’t offer appointments to people living in Wales and Northern Ireland.
Is the service suitable for under 16s?
Yes! Children and young people under 16 years can have an appointment, we just require a parent or guardian to come along too. However, we don’t offer skin camouflage appointments to children under 5 years old.
Following Government and NHS guidance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we took the difficult decision to pause all of our skin camouflage clinics from the start of the first national lockdown in March 2020.
Our primary concern has always been the wellbeing and health of our clients, volunteers, and staff. Appointments involve one of our trained volunteers working very closely with you to apply products directly to your skin.
Although we already had very stringent hygiene procedures in place, the COVID-19 pandemic means that we need to adapt the way we deliver the service to keep everyone safe. We are working very hard to make these changes as soon as we can, without compromising the high-quality care you expect from us.
What we offer during the pandemic
Whilst the service is paused you can still:
- Access our resources including a series of video tutorials to help you to apply cream or makeup at home. The videos cover preparing your skin, tools and application techniques and how to set your skin camouflage products.
- Register your interest in the service, so that we can get in touch when our clinics resume. We will also keep you informed about new resources that you might find useful whilst you wait for an appointment.
We also continue to offer all of our wellbeing services – either online or by phone – and have a wide range of self-help guides, so that people with a visible difference and their families can get the help they need. Visit our dedicated page about the support available to you during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Follow the link below to register your interest in our Skin Camouflage Service. If you have any questions about the service, including whether it is suitable for you, then you can get in touch with the team by emailing [email protected] or calling 0300 012 0276.