How to Camouflage Scars Left by Acne

Written by b.t. alo
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How to Camouflage Scars Left by Acne
A few simple make-up tools can help camouflage acne scars. (Face powder. image by Monika 3 Steps Ahead from

Acne is a skin condition that causes blemishes to appear on the skin and can sometimes be so severe as to cause pain to the sufferer on a physical and psychological level. Acne often leaves scarring as well, which shows up as either pock marks or red spots or both. While the treatments for acne vary widely, most acne scar treatment involves camouflaging the scars using make-up.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Mirror
  • Primer
  • Concealer, green, flesh-toned
  • Foundation
  • Foundation brush/sponge
  • Setting powder
  • Powder brush

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    For Women

  1. 1

    Apply a primer to your entire face. This helps to prepare the skin for receiving the concealer and foundation, as well as filling in any pock marks and evening out the surface of the skin.

  2. 2

    Dab green concealer on your primed face, but only over any red parts of acne scars on the face. The green tone may look strange at this stage, but it counteracts the red colour, meaning better camouflage, with less product.

  3. 3

    Apply foundation to the entire face and neck with the foundation brush or sponge in long, smooth strokes. Avoid going back and forth, as this will simply move the foundation about on the face, rather than apply new foundation. Don't worry if there is a little green still showing through.

  4. 4

    Dab flesh-toned concealer on top of the areas covered in green, over the foundation. Blend with a finger for the best results, this will erase any of the green showing, and give the face an even-toned look.

  5. 5

    Powder your face with a light layer of setting powder, using a large powder brush.

    For Men

  1. 1

    Apply primer to the whole face, or just over the scars, however you are most comfortable--the majority of primers are clear, so it won't show up if you apply to the whole face.

  2. 2

    Dab a very small amount of green concealer only over the red parts of the scars.

  3. 3

    Apply the flesh-toned concealer over the scarred area, covering up the green, and blending into the surrounding skin. Make sure to choose a concealer with a good match to your skin tone--most staff in make-up stores or pharmacies can help you with colour matching.

  4. 4

    Dip the make-up sponge in the setting powder, shaking off any excess. Press the powder into the camouflaged area, rolling it over the skin--don't worry, this will not make you look like you have powder on, but will take away any shine from the concealer, and make the final effect both camouflaging the scars, and the fact that you have used make-up.

Tips and warnings

  • Instead of regular foundation, airbrush foundation is an excellent way of giving good coverage to acne scars. Use the concealer as described and spray on the airbrush foundation in place of the regular foundation.
  • If you still have active acne as well as scarring, apply your acne cream before any make-up products.
  • For men who feel a bit uncomfortable applying make-up, a sister, mom, girlfriend or wife can help you with the first-time application--once you see that it doesn't look like you are wearing make-up, you will be more comfortable with applying it yourself.
  • Avoid satin-finish foundations and dewy finish foundations, as these generally attract attention to scarring by making the area shiny. A matt finish foundation works best.

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