A facial prosthetic or facial prosthesis is an artificial device used to change or adapt the outward appearance of a person's face or head.
When used in the theatre, film or television industry, facial prosthetic makeup alters a person's normal face into something extraordinary. Facial prosthetics can be made from a wide range of materials - including galatine, foam latex, silicone, and cold foam. Effects can be as subtle as altering the curve of a cheek or nose, or making someone appear older or younger than they are. A facial prosthesis can also transform an actor into any creature, such as legendary creatures, animals and others.
To apply facial prosthetics, Pros-Aide, Beta Bond, Medical Adhesive or Liquid Latex is generally used. Pros-Aide is a water-based adhesive that has been the "industry standard" for over 30 years. It's completely waterproof and is formulated for use with sensitive skin. It is easily removed with Pros-Aide Remover. BetaBond is growing in popularity among Hollywood artists who say it's easier to remove. Medical Adhesive has the advantage that it's specifically designed not to cause allergies or skin irritation. Liquid Latex can only be used for a few hours, but can be used to create realistic blends from skin to prosthetics.
After application, cosmetics and/or paint is used to color the prosthetics and skin the desired colors, and achieve a realistic transition from skin to prosthetic. This can be done by the wearer, but is often done by a separate, trained artist.
At the end of its use, some prosthetics can be removed simply by being pulled off. Others need special solvents to help remove the prosthetics, such as Pros-Aide Remover (water based and completely safe) for Pros-Aide, Beta Solv for Beta Bond, and medical adhesive remover for medical adhesive.
Prosthetic make-up is becoming increasingly popular for everyday use. This kind of make-up is used by people who wish to significantly alter their features.
Being exposed to high temperatures can cause problems when wearing prosthetics. Glues that were sturdy at normal temperatures can become less effective under heat. This could lead to prosthetics falling apart or peeling from the skin.
Higher temperatures can cause sweating which can also affect the durability of the prosthetics. The negative effects of sweating can be prevented by cleaning the skin well with 99% alcohol before applying the adhesive. Another way to ensure that the facial prosthetics stay on once they have been applied is to treat the skin with an anti-perspirant beforehand.
- "Forget contouring, people are using prosthetic make-up to sculpt their faces". Metro. 2018-06-24. Retrieved 2019-06-27.