Photoshop Tutorial: How to Smooth Skin and Remove Blemishes & Scars

- December 7, 2016


Photoshop CC 2014 tutorial showing how to retouch a face resulting in beautifully smooth, flawless, skin. Remove blemishes, scars, acne and wrinkles.

Click for the newest skin tutorial using Frequency Separation:

I’m going to show you how to create smooth, blemish-free skin from a photo. This isn’t update of a tutorial I did on an earlier version of Photoshop. Open a photo you’d like to retouch. I downloaded this one from The first step is to make a selection of your subject’s skin. There are many ways to do this, so choose the method that works best for you. For example, you could use your Quick Selection tool and drag over the skin to select it. To remove areas at the selection, press and hold Alt or Option as you drag over it. Go to Select and Refine Edge. I did an in-depth tutorial on Refine Edge, so I won’t be going over all the details here. Check Smart Radius and increase the Radius a little bit. Brush over the areas where the hair overlaps the skin and output it as a “New Layer with Layer Mask”. Click the box next to your original photo to make it visible and go to Filter, Blur and Surface Blur. For this image, I’ll make the Radius: 16 and the Threshold: 12 levels, however, you may want to adjust these amounts depending on the size and resolution of your photo. Choose a combination that smooths out the skin just enough to hide most blemishes and imperfections. Don’t be concerned about its texture yet. We’ll take care that in a minute. Next, we’ll restore back the areas of the face that we don’t want smoothed out, such as the eyes, eyebrows and lips. To do this, click the Layer Mask to make it active and open your Brush tool and your Brush Picker. We’ll take care of the size in a moment.

Make the Hardness: 0% and the Opacity and Flow: 100%. Then, press Enter or Return. To make your brush larger or smaller, press the right or left bracket key on your keyboard. Brush over any areas you want to reveal back the original unretouched photo and adjust the brush size accordingly. I’ll brush inside the eyebrows, eyes and eye lids lips and fine hair overlapping the forehead. If you have areas of the face where the skin pores didn’t smooth over, let’s blur them a bit, so they’ll blend into the face. Make the face layer active and open your Blur tool.

Make its Strength: 100% and adjust its size accordingly. Brush over those areas to blend them in. Next, we’ll remove any spots left on the face. Open your Spot Healing Brush. Make sure the Content Aware button is active. Adjust the size of your tool a bit larger than the blemish and brush over it. Continue until all the blemishes, scars and other imperfections are removed. When you’re done, go to Filter, Noise and “Add Noise”. Tick “Gaussian” and check “Monochromatic”. Drag the sider to an amount that results with the grain that matches the rest if your image. I’m using an amount of approximately one and a half percent, however, your image may require a different amount depending on its size and resolution.

Comments (248)

  • my brush tool does nothing when i brush over, is it supposed to delete the parts of the overlapping image? im not sure how to fix it exactly.

    Saiyanmupo M - 1 week ago

  • you are awesome

    SuB wOoFeRs - 2 weeks ago

  • Thanks sir, for all your video's. I learn so much here. I love it. Have a awesome day, sir.

    Valentino A - 2 weeks ago

  • Thank you so much for the quick helpful tutorial!

    Hitchcocklike (Lindsay) - 3 weeks ago

  • Awesome work pro (Y)
    Check my channel too (:

    DA Graphics - 1 month ago

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