5 Ways to Retouch Skin Using Lightroom and Photoshop

Skin retouching is a skill and there are various ways to go about it, with some requiring more time and effort to give more refined results. Here are five techniques broken down, using both Lightroom and Photoshop.

In this short video, Daniel from Mango Street runs you through five different methods for retouching skin, each one progressing in complexity and the amount of time and effort required.

The level of detail you want to apply when it comes to retouching skin will depend on your experience and the desired results. As someone who doesn’t shoot many portraits and never shoots beauty, I tend to stick to the basics in Lightroom and occasionally a little bit of Photoshop. As you shoot more, your needs will evolve and you might soon find that Lightroom’s clone stamp soon gives way to Photoshop’s frequently separation.

Keep in mind that knowing how to use these techniques is one thing, but understanding how to apply them to create good results is something that really comes about through practice and experience. What skin retouching tutorials can’t always tell you is how to decide which elements of a face to work on, and to what degree. 

What are you preferred methods for retouching skin? Let us know in the comments below.

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1 Comment

Kenneth Muhlestein's picture

If you're a complete beginner, this video is for you. However, only use the info to help teach you basic Photoshop concepts and tools. Gaussian blur on a frequency separation tone layer to "smooth" the skin is not a good practice. You will effectively blur all their features and contours. If you're gonna do freq sep, use the mixer brush to paint in like colors. It takes more skill cause you are controling where to paint and thus you need to learn how to follow contours etc.
But, the best of the best technique is dodge and burn, however nothing like the video shows. But it takes the most time and skill.