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What causes scars?
Scars are caused by damage to the dermis. To mend the damage, the body forms collagen fibers, which can result in a scar. The new scars can often have a different texture to the rest of the surrounding skin which can make it harder to find simple coverage solutions that will look natural both over the scar and on the surrounding skin. Scars manifest differently depending both on the cause and the individual. Many are either flat or indented; for example, acne scars, or some surgical scarring. Some people experience raised texture from hypertrophic or keloid scarring if the body has produced too much collagen. Stretched skin or stretch marks are also a very common form of scarring. Because of the many different types of scars, it can be confusing to figure out which products and techniques will work for you. At Dermablend, we firmly believe in helping people to feel comfortable in the skin they are in, if coverage is a part of that journey then we have a wide range of solutions at our fingertips. So let’s look at some of the most common questions about scar coverage.
What can I expect from scar coverage?
There is a lot to consider when covering scars which can affect the results of your make up application. You might be covering an area that has a difference in tone than the rest of the skin. Perhaps you are having trouble getting coverage to grip because of the difference in texture between the scar and surrounding skin. These are issues that can easily be targeted with the right makeup routine. However, it’s important to be mindful that, while there are techniques to diminish raised texture such as keloid or hypertrophic scars, it will still be visible post makeup application.
What is the best concealer for scars?
For smaller localized scarring, quick fix concealer is the best option. Cream formulas are often the preferred choice for make up artists when covering scar texture, particularly for indented texture like acne scars as they create a smooth opaque coverage where you need it and then sheer out easily into the surrounding skin for a seamless finish. The high density of pigments means you get maximum coverage in one swipe, this eliminates the need for color correction. The stick application means you can apply directly onto the skin, but quick fix concealer also works well with small flat brushes for precise application. Its creamy hydrating formula nourishes the skin, and it sets to a 16h smudge and transfer resistant wear, when set with loose setting powder. It also makes for a great coverage on the go or touch up product and is amazing for many other concerns like dark circles or discoloration so it will always have place in your make up routine.
What is the best foundation for scars?
Cover Crème Foundation is the best foundation choice for scars. Its combination of coverage, skin benefits and protection give it a huge advantage over other coverage choices. As with Quick Fix Concealer, the creamy formula is best for smoothing over indented texture and blending out in a natural, never cakey skin-like finish, while still offering maximum coverage where you need it. From the coverage perspective it has a whopping 40% high performance pigments, these pigments are packed into a formula that has 0% water which means you retain 100% of that coverage, so a little goes a long way and it lasts and lasts. Its skin barrier repair claim really sets it apart. It’s proven to help prevent trans epidermal water loss which is a key factor in skin barrier function and makes it ideal for compromised skin and concealing while you heal. Finally it also has a broad spectrum titanium dioxide SPF 30 that has zero flashback, so you are protected from sun damage. This is a major benefit in offsetting post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
What is the best coverage for body scarring?
For scarring on the body there are two possible options, targeted coverage (think of it like concealing but on the body) which is great for localized areas and allover coverage (like a body foundation) which is great for large areas. Quick Fix Body is perfect for targeting scars on the body, it’s a larger stick applicator, much like Quick Fix Concealer, so you can literally warm it slightly and swipe your coverage onto the skin and then set with a setting powder for 16h of smudge and transfer resistant wear. You can build your coverage in layers by letting it dry and then patting a second layer for maximum impact. This also doubles as a really effective coverage solution for tattoos or birthmarks on the body. Leg & Body is a buildable liquid body makeup that can cover large areas quickly. It’s perfect for stretch marks, and larger scarring texture. Leg & Body should be applied to completely bare skin (no lotions or sunscreens underneath, don’t worry is has SPF 25 built in). Smooth on with hands or a body applicator in long strokes, always working in the same direction as hair growth to get the smoothest possible finish. You can build it in layers if more coverage is needed, be sure to let each layer dry to the touch, once dry then press and roll or pat on additional coverage where needed. Set with Original Loose Setting Powder for that 16h smudge and transfer resistant wear. It’s important to let it set for at least 5 minutes on the body and the more layers you have used to achieve your coverage, the longer you should set for.
What are the pro tips for a scar coverage make up routine?
Step 1: Prime
Primers will make a huge difference in how effective your overall application will be. They will either have smoothing or gripping benefits so depending on the type of texture you are trying to cover you can choose between either silicone based or sticky textured primers. Poresaver Matte Makeup Primer is a silicone based primer that smooths pore texture without clogging and absorbs oil without drying. It also helps lock in your coverage for up to 24 hours. This is great for general smoothing of indented texture, visible pores & acne scarring. Smooth on a pea sized amount from the center of the face and blend out in a downward motion to minimize texture. Insta-Grip Jelly Primer is the best choice for either smooth textured surface that has trouble gripping or holding onto coverage and for dry and dehydrated scar texture. Its signature sticky texture grips onto coverage for up to 24h wear, while vegetable glycerin helps to hydrate and attract moisture. Generally when applying Insta-Grip Jelly Primer we recommend wait for it to be dry to the touch before applying your foundation. When covering scar texture you can start to apply your coverage when the primer is still sticky as this will help overcome the “slip” you can experience when you try to cover smoother areas. 1 – 2 pumps smoothed onto the skin is a good start, feel free to add more for dry or dehydrated skin.
Step 2: Cover
For foundation and concealer cream textures like cover crème and quick fix concealer are the best choices as they combine smoothing texture with maximum coverage, and in the case of cover crème, you get the added benefit of protection with SPF 30. Depending on the difference in tone from the area with scarring to the rest of the complexion you may benefit from using two shades to color correct and create the most balanced natural finish. Check out our color correction question for more on this technique. Cover crème is easy to apply, simply decant a small amount of cover crème, warm it on the back of your hand until it’s easy to blend and then smooth in onto the skin in long downward strokes towards the jawline. These downward strokes will not only distribute the coverage easily but will also smooth down any other visible pore or follicle texture for a smooth even complexion. Quick Fix Concealer can be applied either on underneath (when color correcting) or on top of (when adding coverage) your foundation by swiping directly on the skin and patting to blend.
Step 3: Set
Setting with Original Loose Setting Powder is a must as it locks in the coverage for up to 16 hours of smudge and transfer resistant wear. It also creates a natural matte finish which is better at diminishing texture. Luminous or shiny finishes will highlight visible texture on the skin so are best avoided. Apply a generous amount, wait 2 minutes & buff off.
Do I need to color correct for scarring?
When using coverage options that have a very high density of coverage you will usually not need traditional color correction. You often see green, red, orange, yellow and even purple based correcting pigments on the market. These are great for neutralizing visible discoloration when paired with regular coverage formulas. With a foundation like cover crème, which has 40% high performance pigments, this type of correction isn’t needed. However depending on the difference in tone from the area with scarring and the rest of the complexion it can be helpful to have two shades of foundation. Or a corrective tone of Quick Fix Concealer that can be paired with a Cover Crème Foundation that matches the overall complexion. If you are covering a scar with a significant amount of redness, the most common mistake is to over correct with a green tone. This eliminates all red tones in the skin (including natural blood flow) and so the area can look flat or lifeless. This is especially apparent in fair to medium skin-tones. It’s much better to correct with a neutral or yellow toned concealer and then follow with your natural foundation match for an overall look that still has the vibrancy of your overall complexion. If you do notice your coverage looking flat, while it may seem counter-intuitive, adding a small amount of pink or red tones to your coverage will bring it back to a more natural tone. If you are covering an area where there is a significant jump in tone it can be helpful to use a second shade to bridge the gap between both tones. For a tan to deep toned complexion with fair to medium tone area its best to balance the complexion by using orange/red toned concealer or foundation over the fair area which adds depth and then overlay a natural foundation match to bring balance to the complexion. This makes it much easier to achieve an even coverage, and also improves how the color correction photographs. For a fair to medium toned complexion with a tan to deep area its best to balance with a peach/orange tone concealer or foundation to neutralize the depth of color before applying a natural foundation match. This will stop the foundation choice looking ashy over the deeper areas.