Like a tattoo, a scar can represent a memory or a map of our life’s journey and no one should be forced to cover up if they don’t feel like it.
Yet, in the same way as a tattoo, some of us may occasionally want to hide a scar – especially if it is new and we are in the process of getting used to it. If you don’t feel comfortable or ready yet to display any scarring - or just prefer the aesthetic of camouflaging it - there are several products available to help.
Before you start to apply make-up, prep is key, as International Make Up Artist Ruby Hammer advises. “Cleanse and hydrate the skin or area that needs covering but not leaving an oily or greasy feel. Apply the product in thin layers, blending well and in good light. Camouflage products are best applied with a sponge and maybe fine tune with your fingers to soften edges and allow it appear natural. Don’t be heavy handed - if in doubt go to a pro to see and learn how its done.”
For more severe facial scarring, charity Changing Faces run a specialist skin camouflage service, where trained practitioners provide a consultation and a colour match, while teaching various coverage techniques (changingfaces.org.uk). While make-up brand Kryolan are hosting a workshop Cosmetic Skin Camouflage on September 23rd at their Covent Garden store.
So if you’re looking to hide a scar and your normal make-up quite literally won’t cover it, here are the key products that go the extra mile.
See our favourites
Best camouflage full coverage makeup to cover scarsâ
Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation
Designed to be used on the face and body, this packs a powerful, pigmented punch that is deceptively light on the skin. Drying to a semi-matte finish, its staying power is impressive, working wonders not just on scars, but also redness and the odd bruise too. (Although for some it may be slightly drying, so you might want to wear a hydrating primer underneath.)
£27.20 | Boots | Buy it now
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage
“For light scars or blemishes, I love using this concealer,” notes Hammer. “You can choose from eight duos, it’s the right texture and won’t rub off.” The oil-free formula gives it superb staying power, while the easy-to-blend colours allow you to create your own custom shade to closely match your skin tone.
£28.50 | Space NK | Buy it now
Vichy Dermablend Corrective Fluid Foundation
Another product rated by Hammer, it comes complete with sun protection so vulnerable scars aren’t exacerbated by those harmful UVs. Created especially for blemish-prone skin, it’s ideal for mild to moderate scarring (such as the odd acne scar or razor nick), the coverage is buildable to avoid a ‘mask-like’ appearance, plus it works to hydrate the skin as well as camouflage it.
£14.99 | Superdrug | Buy it now
Kryolan Dermacolor Camouflage Cream
Highly pigmented, this has been designed specifically for scars and other visible differences. Suitable for more severe scarring, the formula is waterproof and protects skin in the sun.
It’s housed in a handy mini pot and comes in a range of shades you can mix and match, depending on your colouring. And as Hammer notes when talking about general skin camouflage “you may need more than one shade to match your skin tone.”
£11.50 | Kryolan | Buy it now
Indeed Laboratories Nanoblur Colour Corrector - Green
The green tones in this are designed to cancel out redness, which makes it good for use on C-Section scars or other types of scars that are red and raised (like a general cut or a graze). With hydrating squalene, it can help condition the skin as well as cover it. Apply to the area you want to camouflage and follow up with foundation if required.
£16.99 | Boots | Buy it now
Benefit The POREfessional
“It’s a good idea to use a blurring primer before you camouflage acne scars,” Hammer advises. Benefit’s bestseller is especially good for covering marks left by acne (which can give the skin a pitted texture) as this works to even the skin tone by creating a smooth finish and help foundation stay on for longer in the bargain.
Packed with nourishing Vitamin E, it’s oil free hence less likely to encourage future breakouts. It works wonders disguising visible pores and fine lines too.
£23.80 | Look Fantastic | Buy it now
Milk Makeup Flex Concealer
“Once you’ve applied your primer over your acne scars, apply a thin layer of foundation and then a concealer dotted on to the areas that need filling up,” says Hammer. This new offering from Milk Makeup is a worthy investment – containing marshmallow root extract to give the formula flexibility, so it’s less likely to crack or crease.
£23.75 | Cult Beauty | Buy it now
Oxygenetix Oxygenating Breathable Foundation
Designed for use after cosmetic procedures, this is particularly good for covering new scars, or if the skin that has recently suffered trauma (such as a burn or acne) and is vulnerable to scarring.
Starring a special patented ingredient Ceravitae, the formula works to oxygenate skin cells, which together with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, helps encourage healthy skin healing so eventual scarring is minimal. It won’t exacerbate sensitive skin types or conditions such as rosacea, eczema or acne either.
£45 | Face the Future | Buy it now
Glo Skin Beauty Redness Relief Powder
After applying concealer or foundation to a scar, Hammer recommends finishing with a setting powder “so the make up stays put and doesn't transfer.” This one works to counterbalance and soothe redness, making it great for red, angry scars or skin that’s prone to irritation, with soothing ingredients like zinc oxide and honey suckle.
£26.95 | Glo Skin Beauty | Buy it now
Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation is comfortable to wear and easy to blend, doubling up as a regular everyday foundation as well as a camouflage product – plus it’s available in a diverse range of shades, so everyone can find their hue.
And for (currently) less than a fiver, Revolution Pro Full Coverage Camouflage Foundation wins our vote when it comes getting the most bang for your buck.