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Using Makeup to Conceal Birthmarks

There are plenty of specialized concealers on the market designed to hide any number of skin imperfections, including rosacea, hyperpigmentation, scars, freckles and birthmarks.
There are plenty of specialized concealers on the market designed to hide any number of skin imperfections, including rosacea, hyperpigmentation, scars, freckles and birthmarks.
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Most birthmarks appear at birth or shortly thereafter (hence the name), and most types of them are benign and eventually disappear or fade with age. But some birthmarks stick around -- and even though they don't cause physical harm or pose any threat to your health, they can cause embarrassment and psychological stress, especially if they're on your face.

These days, there are a number of treatments that can lighten, diminish or even totally fade birthmarks. But if medical treatments aren't feasible, makeup is obviously the next best way to go. It isn't easy to find the perfect product, though; you might've been struggling for years trying to find a seamless, long-lasting solution. Because every birthmark and skin type is different, we can't offer a one-size-fits-all answer, but we can help steer you in the right direction.

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If your birthmark is large or deeply pigmented, you most likely realized long ago that garden-variety concealer doesn't cut it. Even expensive department-store brands probably won't provide enough coverage. But there are plenty of specialized concealers on the market that are designed to hide any number of skin imperfections, including rosacea, hyperpigmentation, scars, freckles and birthmarks.

Again, we can't tell you what product is best for you, but just know that the solution is out there. With a little research and our tips on how to select the best fit, you'll be on your way to a flawless face in no time.

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When you're trying to find the correct concealer for your specific birthmark, you need to consider the color of your skin, the shade and pigmentation level of the birthmark and your skin type.

Heavy-duty concealers come in a number of forms -- most of them are thick cream foundations, although there are some liquid products out there now. Regardless of the exact formulation of the makeup, the basic rules are always the same. You should always clean and moisturize your face before applying the concealer, and you shouldn't blend the product beyond the birthmark. Stay within its lines to avoid creating discolored patches on the surrounding areas of skin. Depending on the product, you can apply and blend with a brush or your fingers, and setting with powder is always a good idea.

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Hitting upon exactly the right shade can be a major stumbling block -- even though you'll be able to find plenty of concealers online, you shouldn't select your shade on the computer. If it's at all possible, find a brick-and-mortar retailer where you can actually test them out yourself and get a lesson on application. But before you start out, here are a few guidelines for getting a good color match.

  • If you have a reddish-purple port-wine birthmark, you might want to try a concealer with a greenish tint, which offsets the redness. Another option is going one shade lighter than your skin tone.
  • If your birthmark is very dark, try a yellowish concealer or one that's two shades lighter than your skin.
  • If it's light pink, just match your skin tone.
  • Yellow tints are also good for bluish and purplish birthmarks.

These are just starting-off tips, but hopefully with this background information you'll be able to narrow down your search and find the perfect match!

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Sources

  • Dermablend. "Birthmarks." (May 10, 2012) http://www.dermablend.com/skinconditions/birthmarks.aspx
  • Monroe, Valerie. "The Best Way to Cover Up Birthmarks." Oprah.com, February 2008. (May 8, 2012) http://www.oprah.com/style/The-Best-Way-to-Cover-Up-and-Conceal-Birthmarks
  • Skin Care Guide. "5 Tips for Concealing Your Birthmarks." (May 8, 2012) http://www.skincareguide.com/article/5-tips-for-concealing-your-birthmarks.html
  • Vibrant Beauty. "How to Find the Perfect Birthmark Concealer." (May 10, 2012) http://www.vibrantbeautynetwork.com/518/birthmark-concealer/
  • Web MD. "Birthmarks: Treatment Overview." January 2011. (May 8, 2012) http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/tc/birthmarks-treatment-overview

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