Vitiligo can be approached a few ways. The condition is inherently alluring, magnetic, and mesmerizing, on one hand—but on the other, it doesn’t fit the traditional, mainstream molds of an aesthetically pleasing exterior. Conventional beauty standards need not apply, though—just take a look at some of the supermodels that grace the covers and pages of fashion magazines like Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, W, InStyle, Vanity Fair, and countless others. In the late 2010s, classic beauties are by and large dead and gone.
Nevertheless, adhering to society’s (unfair) ideals of attractiveness is still widely sought after by men and women alike. In particular, many of those who struggle with vitiligo strive to conceal their blotches of discolored irregularities. Notice, we didn’t employ the term ‘flaws’ here, that’s because there’s loveliness in extraordinary imperfection.
After an obligatory explanation of the condition, we’ll delve into what to look for in makeup to cover vitiligo, as well as the top trademarks in the industry, and we’ll discuss choosing the best concealer for vitiligo. Finally, we’ll offer some information on topical therapies.
What Is the Definition of Vitiligo?
Vitiligo is a persistent, incurable condition of the skin that produces patches that are totally devoid of pigment.
When the cells that are responsible for generating melanin die, a depigmentation process ensues. Once the mechanism of vitiligo is induced, spreading only occurs for a short while.
There are two kinds of vitiligo—segmental and non-. With the segmental version (AKA unilateral or localized), the loss of pigment occurs in just one area of the body. Segmental vitiligo appears more often in children but overall is less frequently seen.
Non-segmental vitiligo, also dubbed generalized or bilateral vitiligo, is more commonly occurring and often materializes in symmetrical patterns. 90% of vitiligo patients are diagnosed with this variety of disorder.
Although vitiligo is benign and painless, it’s still a photosensitive condition and the affected areas are more vulnerable to the increasing harshness of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Since these patches are more fragile, it’s important to protect them from sunburn with sunblock, suntan, or tanning lotion bearing a sun protection factor (SPF) greater than 30.
Effectively Hiding the Signs of Vitiligo
Going beyond general UV safeguarding measures, there’s a myriad of vitiligo makeup options on the market specially designed to effectively camouflage and hide patchy markings of depigmented skin. Most of these products will have some level of UVA and/or UVB protection included in their recipe.
Additionally, there are a few topical therapies that can also be applied that could be helpful in allowing the destroyed melanocytes to regrow.
Makeup to Cover Vitiligo
Totally, and here we’ll take a quick dive into the world of vitiligo cosmetics and explore some of the most celebrated brand names.
Offering medium to heavy coverage, Covermark’s topical skin care and cosmetic lines are extensive enough for anyone to find something suitable to their needs. Their makeup choices include foundations, powders, and concealers all helpful to achieve flawless, glowing, satiny smooth skin with precision color matching.
This renowned mainstay is not merely makeup to cover vitiligo, it also provides comprehensive corrective coverage for tattoos, scars, burns, and various other skin abnormalities. From L’Oreal, Dermablend has been marketed since the early 80s and this popular vitiligo concealer isn’t going anywhere.
Other upmarket names that could be found in the likes of Sephora and similar premium retailers, include Laura Mercier, Bare Minerals, and COVER FX. Women with vitiligo entrust the products from these cosmetic professionals to help camouflage their lightened skin patches, even though these brands aren’t designed specifically for extra heavy coverage.
The best concealer for vitiligo is the one that suits your skin coloration, texture, and preference for coverage level the most.
Topical Therapies for Vitiligo
There are a couple of immunomodulators vitiligo sufferers can also turn to. These work by suppressing the immune system in a targeted zone, allowing for the temporary reproduction of melanin.
Protopic (Tacrolimus) Ointment: Originally formulated for the dermatologic treatment of eczema, Protopic is an immunosuppressant. Its base is similar to petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
Elidel (Pimecrolimus) Cream: Elidel is prescribed to atopic dermatitis patients who don’t respond to other treatments. It’s an immunomodulating agent that reverses the immune system’s attempts to halt production of melanocytes.
Both of these topical treatment options require a prescription and should not be abused, particularly on highly sensitive areas of the skin. They have both proven to work well on the face, and less so in the hands, feet, and other areas below the neck.
If you’re on the lookout for an effective way of hiding your vitiligo, there are several avenues of camouflaging your condition from the public. Consider, though, embracing your markings and falling in love with what makes your appearance so uniquely special.
There are many famous models with vitiligo who’ve found success on the back of their imperfection. Just take a look at Winnie Harlow, the stunning, yet humble, Canadian woman with incredibly prominent vitiligo facial markings who rose to Victoria’s Secret runway Angel fame, making her the most captivating model on the stage to gaze upon. She doesn’t need anything more than a nude lip and a few strokes of mascara.
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