Realistic Skin Smoothing Using Photoshop

On this  video photographer Glyn Dewis takes a look at a great technique for realistic skin smoothing that maintains skin texture and gives the user total control of the final result in Photoshop.

Skin smoothing is an important part in many retouches however it is something that can go wrong quickly. Dewis demonstrates his workflow which start with a duplicate layer and change the blend mode to vivid light. Next we go to the image menu and invert the image and in the filter>other>high-pass menu and if you are using a high res image go to about 20 pixel radius – if the image is lower res use a lower number.

Now we add a small amount of gussian blur. The next step is to go to the fx icon and choose “blending options” and go to “blend if” and in the “this layer” and play with the markers just like Dewis shows in the video. Next using a black layer mask we use a soft edge brush and paint on the areas of the skin you want to smooth – Dewis does that with a 100% brush (but you can always reduce the opacity of the layer). Finally you can add a little bit more contrast – select all and than edit>copy merged and than edit>paste and using filter>sharpen>unsharp mask of about radius of about 10 (for this specific high res image).

We have looked at this topic several times in the past including “How to Smooth Skin (Correctly) in Photoshop“, “How to Quickly Smooth Skin and Remove Blemishes & Scars Using Photoshop” by Marty Geller from Blue Lightning TV, If you want a more delicate technique – check out Aaron Nace’s “How to Remove Acne in Photoshop” video we published here a few months ago.

You can find many more Photoshop video tutorials on LensVid’s Photoshop section. You can also find more of Dewis’ videos on LensVid on this link.

Iddo Genuth
Iddo Genuth is the founder and chief editor of He has been a technology reporter working for international publications since the late 1990's and covering photography since 2009. Iddo is also a co-founder of a production company specializing in commercial food and product visual content.

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