Camouflage Face Painting


Camouflage face painting falls into two main usages:

The First is the Military and Hunting type which is the most common usage. In this case the person wears the face paint in an attempt to make one blend into the environment one is found in.

The Second usage is the Paramedical Camouflage usage, which is used to hide blemishes, scars or discolorations on the skin. In this case the makeup has a higher than normal pigment concentration, so as to be able to effectively cover areas on the patients skin.

camouflage face painting (Paramedical)

Military face painting

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It is common in militaries all over the world for soldiers in combat scenarios to paint their faces and other exposed body parts (hands for example) in natural colors such as green, tan, and loam for camoflauge purposes military reasons (mainly as a method of camouflaging) or to scare ones enemy.

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Camouflage is the method which allows an otherwise visible organism or object to remain indiscernible from the surrounding environment. Examples include a tiger's stripes and the battledress of a modern soldier. Woodland camouflage is a form of deception. In nature, there is a strong evolutionary pressure for animals to blend into their environment or conceal their shape; for prey animals to avoid predators and for predators to be able to sneak up on prey. Some animals use mimicry, seeming to be something else, such as a leaf, a stone, a twig, or a similar but more dangerous/poisonous animal. Some mimics also simulate the natural movement, i.e. of a leaf in the wind, this is called procryptic behavior or habit. Other animals attach or attract natural materials to their body for concealment.

The term camouflage comes from the French word camoufler meaning to blind or veil. Camouflage, also called protective concealment, means to disguise an object, Camouflage, in plain sight, in order to conceal it from something or someone. From the early days of history to the present, camouflage has been recognized as a means of concealment. Armies, engineers and artists have all had a hand in devising the tools we use to hide, disguise and distract; tools like camouflage netting. By properly placing a camouflage net you can hide from an enemy, observe a shy animal or disguise unattractive equipment.

Exposed skin reflects light and may draw the enemy's attention. Even very dark skin, because of its natural oil, will reflect light. Camouflage face paint is used to camouflage the skin. When applying camouflage stick, soldiers work with a buddy in pairs to help each other. A two-color combination of camouflage stick is applied in an irregular pattern. Shiny areas (forehead, cheekbones, nose, ears, and chin) are painted with a dark color, and shadow areas (around the eyes, under the nose, and under the chin) are painted with a light color. In addition to the face, exposed skin on the back of the neck, arms, and hands are also painted. Palms of hands are not normally camouflaged if arm-and-hand signals are to be used. The three standard camouflage face paint sticks are: loam and light green for all troops in areas with green vegetation; sand and light green for all troops in areas lacking green vegetation; and loam and white for all troops in snow covered terrain.

All camouflage face paints have been designed not only to provide the desired camouflage protection, but also must meet soldier acceptability and safety criteria. Design criteria includes comfort in application and wearing, durability over time, appearance, resistance to perspiration, ease of application and removal, and compatibility to clothing and other equipment. The face paint will not reduce the natural sensing capabilities of the soldier, and is nearly odorless, and it will not cause any health hazards such as skin irritation or due to possible ingestion of material.

Logistic concerns such as capability of being used and stored in all climatic conditions without degrading, expendable item with no environmental hazard due to the disposal, and is designed such that it can be carried in the pockets of standard combat clothing.

Camouflage face paints in any form fall under the classification of a medical item due to the application to skin. Responsibility for the item therefore belongs to the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (AMEDD) at Fort Dietrick, Maryland. A long relationship has existed between AMEDD and the US Army Natick Research Development and Engineering Center (NRDEC) in the development of camouflage face paints. NRDEC's expertise in camouflage for the soldier and other soldier equipment has long reinforced the relationship as the developer of face paint items.

Current camouflage face paints in compact form provide passive camouflage protection in the visible and near infrared regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. The camouflage face paint is used on all exposed skin to provide non-glossy colors and to tone down highlights and skin shine minimizing contrast to various backgrounds. The compact is suitable for all climatic categories from Arctic to Desert, where face paint camouflage is required. It is used by active duty military personnel in field units and will not present any physical hazards to the soldier. The compact is a olive green cosmetic-like container with an acrylic mirror to assist in self application. The four compartments contain a different color of pigmented formulations of green, loam, sand and white that will provide protection against visible and near infrared detection.

Current camouflage face paints in stick form only provide protection in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The sticks consist of two cylinders dispensers of grease paint material, each of different colors, joined end-to-end forming one continuous stick. They are furnished in green and loam (Woodland), green and sand (Desert), and white and loam (Arctic). Application of a color is made by pushing the stick through the dispenser from the opposite end.

The Force Projection Army of the twenty first century, envisions small, self-sufficient, highly mobile forces that can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world and be able to operate with little or no re-supply for as long as three weeks. If the theater of operations is located in Asia, Africa, Latin America, or other developing countries or geographical areas there will be high casualties due to diseases carried by insects. Such casualties will begin to occur a week or so after the operation is initiated and, depending upon the environment and the condition of the troops, could accumulate to such numbers as to cripple the operation within three weeks if no replacements were available.

Insect repellent (NSN 6840-00-753-4963) cannot be used with currently issued camouflage face paint due to the solvent properties of the repellent that causes the paint to run. The proposed combination camouflage face paint insect repellent will replace two items with one, thus saving space, reducing weight of individual survival kit and saving time in dual application. Moreover, it will provide visible indication of application to exposed skin.

The camouflage face paint-repellent formulation provides extended protection against insect/arthropod bites and does not interfere with the infrared signature. The proposed camouflage face paint insect repellent formulation is formulated using a patented state-of-the-art technology to trap the active ingredient (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) in a delivery mechanism consisting of a polymer matrix on the skin surface. As the polymer matrix breaks down, insect repellent vapors are slowly released at a predetermined rate to repel insects/arthropods.

A preliminary laboratory study indicates that the visual and near infrared spectrum were within the acceptable range. The results of laboratory and small scale field study also indicated that this type of camouflage face paint insect repellent combination can provide extended repellence against mosquitoes and other arthropods under field environment.

Camouflage Face Painted by Grimas

Paramedical Camouflage Systems

Kryolan Dermacolor System

Dermacolor Camouflage System is the Paramedical Line developed by Kryolan. The Camouflage System is designed to correct skin disfigurements or discolorations whether they are of accidental, dermatological, surgical or congenital origin. Dermacolor Camouflage System is especially effective in minimising post surgical conditions - either aesthetic or medical. Its effectiveness and quality are proven in intensive and long-term use under clinical supervision .

The intermixable skin tones allow for a natural appearance when applied as directed. With proper use of the Dermacolor Camouflage System skin abnormalities in both color and texture can be easily corrected, resulting in both weatherproof and long-lasting effects. With the most advanced Camouflage System, the stress and psychological factors arising from such skin problems are lessened and the user will feel greater confidence.

Kryolan examples camouflage face painting

The program is effective for men, women and children. Toxic or allergic reaction has never been observed with the Dermacolor Camouflage System.

Use of the Dermacolor Camouflage System should be supervised by a Paramedical Consultant for Dermacolor. However, if this is not possible, one can begin the program by carefully following the instructions enclosed in each package of Dermacolor Camouflage Cream.

Kryolan logo

Extract of a Test Approval

To begin with, a total of 100 patients were subjected to epicutaneous testing of the skin of their backs for periods of time ranging from 48 to 72 hours. These tests were performed by applying dermacolor D4 to an adhesive test bandage and then applying the bandage to the skin for the periods stated above.

All these tests were carried out on inpatients who were observed at different phases of the test. No skin intolerance reaction to Dermacolor D4 was observed.

In a second series of tests, Dermacolor D4 was applied to the skin of the face, neck, and ear regions. These tests were administered to patients who were known to exhibit sensitivity in these skin regions.

This Dermacolor D4 testing was performed on 22 patients with skin sensitivity, on areas of skin which had already exhibited changes. No irritation of the skin was observed with these patients. The conclusion is that Dermacolor D4 is satisfactorily tolerated by the skin and no sensitive reactions were observed even in test persons who were known to have extreme sensitivity to various medications and preservatives.

It must also be noted that a second series of tests was performed on a group of 32 patients with Dermacolor D4, with repeated application to the skin four weeks after primary exposure. Even after the secondary exposure, no skin reaction could be seen.


For psychological and aesthetic reasons, Dermacolor is recommended as a comouflage for skin problems especially Naevus flammeus multilateralis, and other simpler skin blemishes, like Vitiligo, Haemangioma, Rosacea, Chloasma, Teleangiectasien, Epheliden, scars and tattoos.

The DermaColor Camouflage System consists of:

Camouflage Cream
Cleansing Lotion
Body Cover
Moisturizer Cream
Camouflage Palettes
Collagen Cream
Fixing Powder
Skin Plastic
Fixing Spray
Powder Puff
Cleansing Cream
Powder Brush
Cleansing Milk
Applicator Sponge


Have ready

1 sponge for application, 1 powder puff,1 natural goat hair blending brush, Demacolor applicator brush.

Preparation of skin

1 Apply Dermacolor Cleansing Lotion (Toner) with cotton pads. Use of Cleansing Lotion is a must to ensure waterproofing. 2 If required moisturize the skin with Cream Effective No.2

Colour choice

From the 24 colours available in your Dermacolor Artist Palette, choose a shade or shades (remember, all colours are intermixable and mixing may be necessary). Due to the influence of the sun, or the change of seasons, the colour tone of your skin will change from time to time and you will need to choose 2 - 3 different shades. Occasionally check which shade is most appropriate.


Apply Dermacolor Camouflage Cream thin and evenly with a sponge or fingers until 2 cm past the edge of the condition. Fade away the edges with a dry sponge or brush. It may be necessary to dampen the sponge during the application.


To achieve a natural camouflage effect, proper highlighting and shading (or the application or rouge) is necessary, D32 are your rouge colours. Apply gently and blend in the choice of Dermacolor Rouge from the cheekbone fading away at the temple. Eyebrows and the male beard and moustache areas can be shaded with D40 or other comparable dark colours in your palette.


Once satisfied that the Dermacolor Camouflage Cream has been applied correctly, apply Dermacolor Fixing Powder with your powder puff so that all the corrected areas are covered. Application of the powder liberally is a must for weatherproofing.


Allow the powder to set for approximately 5-10 mintues, (timelapse depends on severity of area covered). After this period, the Camouflage Cream is fixed. Excess Fixing Powder is then gently brushed off with the soft natural goat hair blending brush, taking care not to dislodge or damage the prepared areas. Mist the face with mineral water or aloe facial mist to soften the effects of the powder. After this fixing process, the treated areas are rub-resistant and waterproof.

Uneven skin

Under special circumstances, should the skin have scares or uneven surfaces, these can be smoothed over with Dermacolor Skin Plastic. Additional Makeup If desired, a dry makeup may be applied over the treated areas. Touching up Touch up should not be necessary as the Dermacolor preparations are waterproof and should last for the whole day. In special circumstances, a touch up or reapplication, including the use of Fixing Powder, might be desired. Removal Use Dermacolor Cleansing Cream, or in the case of very sensitive skin, Dermacolor Cleansing Milk. Apply Dermacolor cleansing preparation gently onto the made up skin areas, until the camouflage is gently lifted from skin. Remove with a warm damp cloth or damp cotton pads. A second application may be required. Final cleansing For the final cleanse apply Dermacolor Cleansing Lotion (Toner) with cotton pads.

For the milder application of the Toner, you may wish to dilute your product with distilled water.

Dermacolor preparations are clinically tested for skin sensitivity and no toxic or allergic reaction has been observed yet.

Dermacolor Global Site

Dermacolor Camouflage paramedical make-up

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