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Skin Smoothing in Photoshop

by Adam Smith. 22 Feb 2012

Retouch with colour adjustments and keep pores visible

Retouching skin in Photoshop is popular, but over egging this effect will damage pore structure.

Overly blurred examples show how your retouch in Photoshop can look synthetic. But there are other ways to achieve sophisticated looks.

Throwing aside skin smoothing techniques that rely on bluring processeses, here we show you how to achieve professional results with color adjustments in Photoshop.

You may like to remove spots and other artefacts first, for this skin smoothing technique to look its best.

Applying Curves

Make a selection of your models skin with the Rectangle Marquee tool, then select Curves from your Adjustments options. Increaseyour curve to highlight the skin.

The effect may look exagerrated but don’t panic. Just raise that curve until shadows and highlights equalise.

Skin Smoothing in Photoshop

Blending Options

Select Blending Options from your Layer Styles drop options. In the Blend If options hold Alt, then click, drag and split your Underlying Layer slider all the way to the left.

Holding Alt, do the same for your This Layer slider, but this time drag it a third of the way to the left (190/255).

Skin Smoothing in Photoshop


Layer Mask

Select the Paint Bucket tool set to black and fill in your selection, once more hiding this effect. Select a 50% brush set to 0% Hardness, painting in your effect.

Use a black brush to erase effects that overlap model face edges.

Skin Smoothing in Photoshop

Selective Color

Skin blotching may disrupt the effect but is easily remedied with a Selective Color adjustment layer.

Apply this like you did with your Curves layer, firstly through a test selection. Decrease Magenta, Yellow and Black sliders in your Red options to get suitable effects.

Lastly, apply the Paint Bucket as in step 3, then paint in your effect with a 30% brush set to 0% Hardness.

Skin Smoothing in Photoshop

Skin Smoothing in Photoshop

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    • Psdshop

      Nyc tutorial we will use it….

    • Adriana

      Very simple. I will have to give this a shoot. Can I download the photo to work on?