3 Ways to Cover Vitiligo Patches with Makeup

Vitiligo is a condition that causes discoloration of the skin. You begin to lose natural pigmentation in blotches, causing light or white patches of skin throughout the body. It may also affect hair. While not life-threatening, vitiligo can be embarrassing.[1] You can use specialized make-up products to treat discoloration of the skin. You can use regular make-up to treat the whitening of your eyebrows. There are also surgical options if make-up fails to produce the desired results.

Choose a cover make-up or camouflage make-up. If you want to cover vitiligo patches, regular department store make-up won’t cut it. You’ll need to buy specialized make-up designed to cover discolorations caused by vitiligo, referred to as camouflage or cover make-up. Skim camouflage is typically used by both men and women. It does not look like you’re wearing make-up. It just smooths out discolored patches of skin.[2]

  • Skin camouflage usually must be ordered online. You may be able to purchase it from your dermatologist’s office. It does not require a prescription. You should select a shade that matches your regular skin tone. You may have to do some trial and error when purchasing camouflage products. It may take awhile to find a tone that best suits your skin.[3]
  • Skin camouflage is safe for adults and children. You can wear it safely all day as it tends to stay on very well.[4]
    Cleanse the skin. Once you’ve obtained your product, you should cleanse the skin in the areas where you plan on applying camouflage make-up. This simply means to wash your skin thoroughly, using an antibacterial soap. Pat dry with a clean rag when you’re finished.[5]

    • Keep in mind you should check your product’s instructions before starting. While most products suggest you cleanse your skin first, some products may have special instructions for use. Always read instructions before using a new skin camouflage product.[6]
    Moisturize, if necessary. Once you’ve cleansed your skin, it may be necessary to moisturize. You’ll be coating your skin in quite a few layers of skin camouflage, so if your skin is already dry or sensitive a moisturizer may help. However, some types of skin camouflage recommend you not moisturize, so check your product’s label first.[7]

    • Most people do well with a water-based moisturizer with a light feel. Greasy or oily moisturizers may irritate skin. However, if your skin is dry, oily, or otherwise sensitive, you may need a special moisturizer.[8]
    • If you have dry skin, go for an oil-based moisturizer as this will help rehydrate. If your skin is very dry or cracked, look for a petroleum-based product. If your skin is very sensitive, go for a moisturizer that contains soothing ingredients like chamomile or aloe vera.[9]
    • As oily skin is more prone to acne, look for a moisturizer that is labeled noncomedogenic if your skin is oily. This means it is less likely to clog pores.[10]
    Apply foundation in several thin coats. You usually apply skin camouflage products in several thin coats. The aim is to make the make-up look as natural as possible to cover up discolorations.

    • Start from the middle of the discolored patch of skin. Work outwards as you apply each coat. You can use your fingers if you wash your hands first. However, if you prefer you can also use make-up brushes or sponges.[11]
    • You should always spread the make-up a few millimeters beyond the white patch. Allow one coat to dry for about 5 minutes before applying a second coat. Add as many layers as needed to cover up to your liking.[12]
    • If you’re unsure of anything, there’s usually a number you can call on the bottle to ask questions. Many companies have video tutorials online you can watch to understand how to apply the product correctly.[13]
    Blend make-up as needed. As you start from the middle of a vitiligo patch, the make-up will deplete as you work outward. Blend your make-up into the surrounding skin as it depletes so it fades naturally into your normal skin tone. If you are wearing other make-up, apply it afterward. Apply your make-up as you normally would, placing it over the camouflage make-up.[14]

    • Blending will be more effective if you choose a brand of make-up that closely matches your skin tone. Remember, it can take quite a few tries before you find a brand of camouflage make-up that works for you. Prepare for some trial and error along the way.[15]