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Result On How To Skin Smooth In Photoshop

3 Effortless Ways How To Smooth Skin in Photoshop

3 Effortless Ways How To Smooth Skin in Photoshop

Creating flawless, smooth skin in Photoshop can seem like a daunting task. Especially if you’re new to the software or haven’t done much retouching before.

No need to worry. This guide is here to help.

We’ll walk you through three effortless ways to achieve smooth skin in Photoshop.

Each method is made for different levels of skill and different needs.

From quick and simple techniques to more advanced methods, we’ve got you covered. You’ll also learn about the Portraiture plugin, a tool that automates the skin smoothing process.

So, whether you’re a professional photographer or a Photoshop enthusiast, this guide is for you. Let’s dive in and start enhancing your portrait photos.

smiling woman with freckles on her face

Basics of How To Smooth Skin In Photoshop

Before we dive into the methods, let’s cover some basics. Skin smoothing in Photoshop is all about enhancing the texture of the skin. It’s about removing blemishes and uneven tones while preserving the natural look.

Non-destructive editing is key here. This means we’ll be working with layers and masks to keep the original image intact. This way, you can always revert to the original if needed.

Understanding the tools and techniques is also crucial.

Every tool has a job in the process, like the Healing Brush and Gaussian Blur filter.

Lastly, remember that practice makes perfect. The more you experiment with these techniques, the better you’ll get at achieving that flawless skin look.

Tools You’ll Need Before Skin Smoothing

There are several tools in Photoshop that are essential for skin smoothing. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush: These tools are perfect for removing minor blemishes.
  • Patch Tool: This tool is suited for large blemishes
  • Remove Tool: It’s used to remove better than content-aware fill.

To master skin smoothing in Photoshop, you need to understand how the tools work together.

Before applying skin smoothing, you need to retouch the blemishes first.

blemish removal using remove tool in photoshop









Apply the remove tool to the blemishes and hit the ‘Enter’ key.

blemish removed after using object removal tool in photoshop

Now that blemishes are gone, you are now ready to move to skin smoothing step.

Method 1: Quick and Simple Skin Smoothing

The first method we’ll explore is a quick and simple approach. It’s perfect for beginners or when you’re short on time. This method uses layers, Gaussian Blur, and layer masks.

The aim is to make the skin look smooth and show it in certain parts. This way, you can smooth the skin while keeping the details in the rest of the image sharp.

Let’s break it down into steps.

Step 1: Duplicate Layer and Apply Gaussian Blur

Start by duplicating the background layer. This will be our smooth skin layer.

Next, apply the Gaussian Blur filter to this layer. This will blur the entire image, but don’t worry, we’ll fix that in the next step.

step 1 of gaussian blur skin smoothing

Step 2: Add Layer Mask and Reveal Smooth Skin

Now, add a layer mask to the blurred layer. Initially, hide the entire layer by filling the mask with black.

Then, using a white brush, paint over the skin areas. This will reveal the smooth skin from the blurred layer.

step 2 of gaussian blur skin smoothing

Step 3: Adjust Opacity

The final step is to fine-tune the effect. You can adjust the layer’s opacity to control the level of smoothing.

Remember, the goal is to achieve a natural look. So, avoid going too high with the opacity.

skin smooth result using gaussian blur

Method 2: Advanced Skin Smoothing with Frequency Separation

The second method is a bit more advanced. It’s called Frequency Separation. This technique separates the texture of the skin from the color and tone.

The advantage of this method is that it allows you to work on the skin’s texture and color separately. This gives you more control and can lead to more professional results.

Let’s dive into the steps.

Step 1: Create High and Low Frequency Layers

First, duplicate your background layer twice.

The first copy is your Low Frequency layer. The second copy is your High Frequency layer.

The Low Frequency layer will handle the color and tone of the skin. The High Frequency layer will handle the texture.

step 1 of frequency separation skin smoothing

Step 2: Smooth Skin on Low Frequency Layer

Next, apply a Gaussian Blur to the Low Frequency layer. This will smooth out the color and tone of the skin.

The amount of blur will depend on the size of your image. You want to blur enough to hide the skin texture, but not so much that the features wont fade.

step 2 of frequency separation skin smoothing

Step 3: Apply Layer Mask To Skin

Now, merge the two layers add a layer mask.

Then, using a white brush, paint over the skin areas. This will reveal the smooth skin from the frequency layer

smooth skin result of frequency separation

Method 3: Automated Skin Smoothing with Portraiture Plugin and Photoshop Actions

The third method involves using a plugin called Portraiture.

This tool makes skin smoother automatically.

Portraiture is great for those who want to save time or are new to Photoshop. It’s easy to use and can produce excellent results.

Step 1: Install and Apply Portraiture Plugin

First, you’ll need to install the Portraiture plugin. Once installed, you can find it under the Filter menu in Photoshop.

To apply the plugin, simply select the layer you want to smooth and choose Portraiture from the Filter menu.

window installing portraiture

Step 2: Adjust Skin Tones and Texture

Portraiture automatically identifies skin tones in your image. However, you can fine-tune the skin tone selection if needed.

You can also adjust the smoothing intensity and skin texture. Play around with the settings until you’re happy with the result.

step 2 of portraiture skin smoothing

Step 3: Final Touches and Saving Your Work

Once you’re satisfied with the skin smoothing, click OK to apply the changes.

Don’t forget you can save the skin smoothing process as a photoshop actions by recording it.

You can save your image in different formats depending on your needs. For web use, JPEG is a common choice. For printing, consider TIFF or PSD.

smooth skin result of portraiture


result on how to smooth skin in photoshop

As you can see, the final results are better.

Best Practices for Skin Smoothing

It’s important to keep photos looking natural while also making them better.

Remember, the goal is not to create a plastic, unrealistic appearance.

Try to make the skin look better without changing it too much.

Each image is unique, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Experiment with different tools and techniques to find what works best for you.


When smoothing skin, it’s important to consider that over-editing can lead to unrealistic photos.

Always strive to maintain the subject’s unique features. Avoid altering their appearance drastically. Remember, every wrinkle and freckle tells a story.

In the end, the best images are those that capture the subject’s true essence. They reflect their personality and individuality, not an artificial, airbrushed version.


Photoshop is a powerful tool with endless possibilities. To master skin smoothing, continuous learning and practice are key.

It’s okay to make errors. They’re part of the learning process. With each image you edit, you’ll gain more experience and improve your skills.

Stay updated with the latest Photoshop updates and retouching techniques. Join online communities, learn from tutorials, and learn from other Photoshop enthusiasts. Your journey to mastering skin smoothing in Photoshop has just begun.


Joshua is a seasoned photo editor, content writer and creative enthusiast at Photo Editing Company. Over the years of experience in the industry, Joshua specializes in transforming ordinary photos into extraordinary visual masterpieces and documenting it through content writing. His deep understanding of advanced editing techniques, combined with artistic flair, enables him to bring out the best in every image.

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