Cam Cream picture by Nathan Tanuku

Camouflage Cream: Ever Wondered How It's Made?

Video: Take a look inside the factory which produces camo paint

Cam Cream picture by Nathan Tanuku

Camouflage has been used to conceal soldiers and military equipment from the enemy for centuries.

The slang terms cam, camo or camouflage used by the British is borrowed from the French word ‘camoufler’ (to veil, disguise).

But have you ever wondered how ‘cam cream’ is made?

Watch below: Inside the factory that makes cam cream

BCB are the current suppliers of the three-colour compact camouflage cream issued to the British Armed Forces across the world.

This version of cam cream is non-irritant and is also Infra Red Reflective (IRR). It comes supplied in a strong ABS plastic case, with an integral acrylic mirror inside of the lid ensuring easy application.

BCB’s camouflage face paint was first worn by British Soldiers during the Falklands conflict in 1982.

BCB produce over half a million units of camouflage face paint each year and is standard issue to many armed forces worldwide.

Its camouflage face paint is currently in service with the UK, Canada, Norway and many other European and NATO countries.

Cam Cream: How It’s Made?

Using an industrial mixer, solidified vegetable oil is added and mixed with a surfactant.

A preservative is then added, so that the mixture has a longer shelf life for field use.

Hydrophobic thickener is then added to help achieve the correct consistency.

All these ingredients are then heated at a high temperature until thoroughly mixed.

Pre-made plastic camouflage cream packs are added to an automated carousel, then the heated mix is then injected evenly into each pack.

The finished product is then added to a vibrating conveyor belt. This helps remove any air bubbles from the paint and evenly distributes the mix.

Each pack is visually inspected before being labelled, boxed, then shipped to the customer.

Arctic 3-colour camouflage cream: Picture Mod/Crown Copyright
Arctic three-colour camouflage cream: Picture Mod/Crown Copyright

Why Do Soldiers Use Camouflage Face Paint?

Due to natural oils within the surface of the skin, combined with sweating, the sun’s shine can become reflected upon your face, and in turn this means you could be spotted by the enemy.

Camouflage cream is used to prevent reflection from the surface of the skin and it also helps break up the shape of the face.

Some also suggest it has a psychological effect that helps to unsettle the enemy.

How Do You Apply Camouflage Face Paint?

Use the correct colours of camouflage paint for the area that you will be operating in.

Using a small amount of lighter-coloured camo paint, rub evenly into the hands and apply a thin layer to your face, neck, ears, back of the hands and any other exposed areas of skin not covered by uniform.

Then, using medium-coloured paint, apply to the shiny areas of your face – around the eyes, side of nose, forehead and creases of the ears.

With a dark colour, add irregular patterns to help break the shape around the jaw-line, nose, mouth and ears.

Title Picture: nathan_tanuku_photography