Art of camouflage

Last Updated : 13 April 2018, 13:45 IST
Last Updated : 13 April 2018, 13:45 IST

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Camouflage make-up is a therapy for all skin types and conditions, that involves covering up and reducing skin imperfections while enhancing the natural beauty of the person. Camouflage make-up aims at correcting facial deformities and reducing the effects of skin trauma caused by congenital, accidental, dermatological, and surgical challenges, or environmental assault.

It is specially designed to conceal a variety of skin blemishes like stretch marks, scars, birthmarks, acne, sun spots, skin discoloration, etc. Camouflage make-up cannot be used on lesions arising from infections, acute-phase dermatitis, oozing skin lesions, erythrodermic and pustular psoriasis, and in cases of known hypersensitivity to any of the ingredients used in the make-up products.

Skin imperfections can cause mental distress, lack of confidence and uneasiness in the daily lives of those affected. In order to hide these scars or imperfections, modern cosmetology has developed special camouflage make-up with high coverage properties.

The benefits

Corrective camouflage make-up is essential for all skin types. While regular make-up enhances one's beauty and promotes self-esteem and well-being, camouflage make-up physically supports a healthier skin protecting it from aggressive environmental assaults.

However, in order to understand the value of camouflage make-up therapy, it is important to acknowledge how mankind has waged a war against the ageing face and sought out remedies for facial imperfections since the beginning of time.

Historical references provide us with a myriad of documentation that includes surgical remedies, holistic applications, skincare routines, make-up, and in the last few decades, camouflage compounds. Even in Biblical times, there are references that suggest cosmetic preparations were used to disguise imperfections. Camouflage products are designed by aestheticians, make-up artists, physicians, and other professionals.

The number of individuals who undergo cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries is increasing every year. The social and economic influence that emphasises on appearance is quite evident at both ends of the age spectrum. Younger people seek peer acceptance, while older ones face challenges in maintaining a positive attitude for an extended period of time; the facially challenged strive to seek normalcy.

Historically, the art of camouflage has been well utilised by the army to hide from the enemy. To match their faces to a jungle backdrop, soldiers have used camouflage cosmetics to paint their faces in blotchy patterns. Another camouflage cosmetic technique, which made use of plastic surgery and camouflage creams, was pioneered during World War II to help pilots who were badly scarred in action. These creams were used to hide prominent blemishes on the skin.

Stage by stage

The camouflage technique involves five sequential stages that are important for successful make-up; these include cleansing the skin, moisturising it with concentrated fluid, neutralising the discoloration, applying a foundation based on the complexion, and setting up the make-up.

There are a number of brands that manufacture camouflage make-up products. To determine the best-suited products, an accurate evaluation of a patient's skin type and disorder is a must. The best camouflage cosmetics are ones that are natural-looking, waterproof, easy-to-apply, long-lasting, non-irritable, and affordable. Patients may choose products based on availability, pricing, and shades, but it is best to consult a physician to know about the right ingredients and the ability of products to treat and cover without exacerbating the underlying condition. The main objective of camouflage make-up is to conceal imperfections while giving a natural effect and ensuring a long-lasting make-up hold.

It is important for dermatologists to provide the option of camouflage make-up to patients since it shows immediate results and can be good enough while the patient awaits medical treatment.

(The author is co-founder & director, Euro Chroma Institute of Cosmetology)

Published 13 April 2018, 05:28 IST

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