Plastic Surgery Makeup - Camouflage Cosmetic Information | MedStar Health

After cosmetic surgery, you may want to jump back into the swing of things. But it can be difficult to head back to work or engage in regular social activities when you still have visible swelling, bruising, or incision marks. These can last days, weeks, or even months. But you don’t need to sit at home and wait. Makeup products and techniques can be used by men and women to camouflage the temporary side effects of surgery and boost your confidence.

Your surgeon can introduce you to the kinds of products available and show you how to use them. Ask him or her when you can start applying makeup after your surgery. Most people can begin applying makeup as early as a day or two after surgery. Hiding incision lines may need to wait until the stitches are removed and the incision is completely closed.

Camouflage products

Special camouflage products can be recommended by your surgeon that are fragrance-free and less likely to cause adverse reactions when applied to your skin. But you may be able to use the same makeup you currently use — just be sure to buy fresh products with new applicators so they will be as clean as possible.

There are three basic types of camouflage makeup concepts:

  • Concealing helps hide bruises and incision lines. Concealers are thicker than regular foundation makeup. Try to find one that closely matches your skin tone and avoid using concealer near the eyes. Due to the thin, delicate skin near the eyes, a normal fluid foundation, color corrector, or eye makeup may work best.
  • Color correcting tones down the color of skin that appears more red or yellow than usual. A lavender-tinted color corrector helps with yellow tones while a green-tinted corrector helps cover up red.
  • Contouring helps hide swelling. It works by using foundation makeup that is lighter and darker than the foundation color you’d normally use. The lighter product will bring forward parts of your face, while the darker product will recede others. You’ll need to blend these colors together to create the illusion of angles without seeing stripes of makeup. This can take practice, but once you are skilled at it, you can easily minimize swollen parts of your face.

Because camouflage cosmetics tend to be thicker and more adherent than everyday makeup, it’s important that you remove them every night. Use a cleansing cream, alcohol-free toner, and moisturizer every night while using these cosmetics to maintain your skin’s health.

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MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Road NW,
BLES Building
1st. Floor
Washington, D.C., 20007


MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

106 Irving St. NW
POB North
Ste. 3400
Washington, D.C., 20010

MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

9105 Franklin Square Drive
Suite 214
Rosedale, MD 21237


MedStar Health: Plastic Surgery at McLean

6862 Elm Street
Suite 800
McLean, VA 22101