Skin Enhancement Photoshop Tutorial

There are many actions available to enhance your photographs, but sometimes a little extra work is required. This tutorial uses Photoshop’s blur filter and healing brush tool, along with a free action. You need to begin with a good quality image – repairing a poor quality image is a whole other tutorial. We will be improving the complexion, improving the skin tone and brightening the eyes.

Skin Enhancement Before & After

Click on the image to view full size enhanced image

Resources:

Photograph from sxc.hu

Skin Glow Enhancement Action by iscarlett from deviantart.com

________________________________________________________

Step 1

Open the photograph – either the one I have used or your own.

Make sure it is 72ppi resolution.

Duplicate the background layer

Name this layer ‘repair’

Step 2

Zoom right into the image – 200% – 300%

Select the Healing Brush Tool and apply the following settings:

Healing Brush Settings

Place the brush right next to the area you want to ‘heal’

Hold down the Alt key and click the left mouse button

Move the brush over the imperfection and click once

Continue in this way all over the face and neck

I chose to only remove the imperfections – not the freckles, but it is up to you how much or how little repairing you carry out.

Step 3

When you are happy with the results – and don’t worry if you can see slight colour differences on your photo, that will be corrected in the next step

Duplicate the layer

Name this layer ‘blur’

Step 4

Turn off the visibility of all layers except the blur layer

Apply a layer mask by clicking on the icon at the bottom of the layers palette

Using a large, soft, round brush and with black as the foreground colour, mask out everything except the face and neck – mask out the eyes and mouth also.

Create a new, empty layer and merge the blur layer and empty layer together

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur – for my image I set the blur to 3, but you may have to play around to find the best setting for the image you are working on.

Set the layer opacity to 60%

Merge the blur layer and the repair layer together

Step 5

Image>Duplicate – rename the document if you wish, click OK

Open the Actions palette and Skin Glow Enhancement action – this will either have to be loaded from wherever you have stored it on your computer, or added from the list of actions if you have installed it into the Photoshop actions folder.

Click on the small arrowhead to the right of the action in the palette and then click on the first item (action1byiscarlett)

Click on the run button – the arrowhead at the bottom of the actions palette – and the action will run through

You should now be left with just a background layer

Select>All

Edit>Copy

Step 6

Back to the original canvas

Edit>Paste – make sure this new layer is at the top of the layers palette

Reduce the layer opacity to around 45% – or whatever looks best on your image

Rename this layer ‘enhanced’

Duplicate the layer

Step 7

Restore the opacity of the duplicated layer to 100%

Select the Pen tool and make a path around one of the eyes as shown below:

Path

Right click within the path and click Make Selection

Do the same with the other eye

In the Make Selection dialogue box, check Add to Selection:

Make Selection Settings

Select>Inverse

Hit the delete key

Step 8

Using the Eraser tool and a round, soft, brush around 100px

Erase the area around the eyeball so it blends in with the image perfectly

Skin Enhancement

Click on the image for full size view


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5 Responses to “Skin Enhancement Photoshop Tutorial”

  1. Thanks, this one went well.

  2. Good work ! Nice tutorial. Well done. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Photoshop Clipping Path (US) Says:

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful post

  4. Nice skin enhancement tutorial. Well explained. Nice technique used which is very easy to learn. Thanks for sharing this wonderful tutorial. :)

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