A skin camouflage practitioner applying skin camouflage to a service-user

What is skin camouflage and how can it help people with a visible difference?

We explain what skin camouflage is and what happens in a Skin Camouflage Service appointment, as well as how to register your interest in the service.

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.

We offer appointments with trained skin camouflage practitioners across England and Scotland. In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we are now offering appointments online and over the phone, as well as face-to-face. We have also made changes to our face-to-face service to make it COVID-safe.

On this page we cover what skin camouflage is, who it is suitable for and what happens during a Skin Camouflage Service appointment. We also explain the changes we have made in response to COVID-19, how the pandemic has impacted our service and what you need to know before registering your interest in an appointment.

The lady was so kind and a great listener with a great sense of humour. She was so lovely and put me at ease straight away. I cannot wait to go out with my camouflage on. Massive thank you for all your advice.

Skin Camouflage Service client

What is skin camouflage?

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.

Is skin camouflage suitable for me?

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).
  • Birthmarks.
  • 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.

I have had a lot of people asking me what I have done to my face which has knocked my confidence. Because of the lady helping me, with not only matching my colour but also showing me how to apply, I feel much better about myself.

Skin Camouflage Service client

About the Changing Faces Skin Camouflage Service

We offer face-to-face appointments with trained practitioners at clinics across England and Scotland. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now also offering appointments online or over the phone. 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?

The video below, which was created thanks to a generous grant from the British Association of Dermatologists, talks you through what happens during an appointment. It was made prior to the pandemic and some of the information relates specifically to face-to-face appointments. However, it is useful for clients interested in both face-to-face and online appointments.

Face-to-face appointments

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.

We have made some changes to face-to-face appointments to make them COVID-safe. You can read about these changes in the section below called “What has changed during the pandemic?”

You can read more about the products that our practitioners use as well as prescriptions on our dedicated page.

Online and phone appointments

As in a face-to-face appointment, you will speak to an experienced practitioner to talk about your individual skin camouflage needs. Your confidential session will last about 30 minutes.

While it’s not possible to receive a colour match online, there are other ways your practitioner will support you. You might want to know whether skin camouflage is for you, which application techniques might work best, or how to make products last longer.

After the session, your practitioner will email you a summary of what was discussed plus additional advice and support which may be helpful.

Where is the service available?

We offer appointments in England and Scotland. Unfortunately, we can’t currently 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.

After my first application I felt confidence that I have not felt in years.

Skin Camouflage Service client

What has changed during the pandemic?

We have recently reopened our Skin Camouflage Service following an extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our face-to-face appointments have changed in line with NHS and government guidance, to help keep you safe and stop COVID-19 from spreading. You can read about these changes below.

As well as the changes we have made to our face-to-face appointments, we are now offering clients the choice and flexibility of having an appointment online or over the phone.

Our Skin Camouflage Service is in much higher demand than usual. In some areas of England, we have a significant waiting list due to the service being shut during lockdown. Waiting times are shorter in Scotland. We are prioritising appointments for those who are already waiting, however, we still want to hear from you if you are interested in having a face-to-face or online appointment and you can register your interest on our form.

Changes to face-to-face appointments

Your health and safety are our absolute priority at this time, so to protect you and your practitioner we have introduced enhanced hygiene and safety protocols for our Skin Camouflage Service.

We will be following updated guidance on a daily basis and will continue to develop our working practices as appropriate.

Do clients and practitioners have to wear a face covering?

  • Your practitioner will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) and have received full training in how to deliver clinics hygienically and safely.
  • Clients will be required to wear a face-covering, including when moving around the venue, for example, when visiting the toilet.
  • There are also scenarios when clients might be asked, and will be permitted, to remove a face-covering, such as when the area to be camouflaged is on your face.
  • Clients don’t need to wear a face-covering if they have a medical condition exempting them.
  • Children under the age of 11 don’t need to wear a face-covering.

What can I expect during my appointment?

  • Your practitioner will wash their hands and forearms thoroughly before and after the service. They also use hand-sanitiser gel and will wear gloves when touching your skin.
  • We call clients and practitioners before clinics to check they are not displaying any symptoms.
  • We may ask you to wait outside until the time of your appointment. Every piece of equipment will be fully sanitised before your visit.
  • Each clinic area will be thoroughly sanitised between appointments. We will be using 70% alcohol cleaning wipes on all surfaces to keep everyone as safe as possible.

What other support are we offering during the pandemic?

We offer a range of other support which may be of particular use to you during the pandemic, whilst you wait for an appointment or to supplement your face-to-face or online appointments. You can:

  • 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.
  • Browse our other wellbeing services, which are available online or over the phone.
  • View our self-help guides which provide advice and guidance across a wide range of topics, from mental health and confidence to coping with other people’s reactions and working with a visible difference.
  • Visit our dedicated COVID-19 page which provides information about the support available to you during the pandemic as well as guidance on the additional challenges people with a visible difference may face due to COVID-19.

How to register for an appointment

For now, we will be prioritising face-to-face and online appointments for people on our waiting list. However, we still want to hear from you if you are interested in having a face-to-face or online appointment.

Follow the link below to register for a Skin Camouflage Service appointment. If you are a healthcare professional, please visit our dedicated page to find out how to refer a patient.

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.

Skin camouflage products laid out on a table

Register your interest in a Skin Camouflage Service appointment

Register your interest if you live in England or Scotland so we can get in touch as soon as appointments become available in your area.

Register your interest