How To Do Healing In Lightroom

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1 of the most crucial aspects of portrait editing is also one of the virtually difficult. This is smoothing your model’s peel. Smoothing the skin is specially important for female portraits. It tin can also exist beneficial for some styles of male person portraiture.

In this article, we volition see how to smoothen skin in Lightroom. The latest texture adjustment slider is especially useful hither.

Why Should You Smooth Skin In Your Portraits?

Not everybody behind the camera is a fashion photographer. And not anybody in front end of the photographic camera is a way model. So why is polish peel important?

If yous piece of work in the fashion manufacture, then the reply is pretty obvious. Models must have perfect, smooth skin.

If you are not in the way industry, whether to smoothen the skin or not is upwards to y’all. Generally, your editing should include some smoothing. A lot of people will capeesh information technology if you remove obvious pimples and other marks.

Skin smoothing is of import also if y’all are into documentary photography. In this case, the smoothing will target simply specific areas and imperfections. You won’t remove freckles, historic period marks, and other features that add to the portrait character and bulletin.

As a general rule of thumb, blemishes, skin marks, and other skin imperfections should be removed, or tuned down. This is non only for aesthetic purposes but also because they will steal the viewer’s attending.

Smoothing your model’s peel does not have to turn him/her into a plastic-looking person. The problem, like with HDR in portraiture, is that these techniques have been abused and practical in a tasteless style.

Portrait photo of a woman with dark background
Smoothing the pare too heavily will result in a plastic expect.

The internet is full of over-saturated landscapes with halos around trees and plastic-looking models. Both techniques have gained a bad reputation as a result. The trick for successful editing is not overdoing things.

Shoot With Smoothen Pare In-Photographic camera for Faster Editing

Your model might have bad skin because of acne or scars. Take this into consideration when taking their portrait.

Inquire the model to pose. Photo them in such a way that the unwanted spots are hidden or their impact on the photo minimized. Of course, if your model is comfy showing their marks, you should respect this.

For example, if your model has a scarred cheek, y’all can photo them at an angle.

Light too has a prominent role. You can utilize slit light to proceed 1 side of your model’s face in the shadows.

A more frontal lighting scheme might exist best though. It smoothes the skin texture more.

Portrait photo of a woman with dark background

Angled light, instead, highlights skin texture.

Portrait photo of a woman with dark background

How to Smooth Peel in Lightroom

For targeting specific areas, you should utilize the local adjustments tools available in Lightroom. Don’t utilize global adjustments.

Local aligning tools are the:

  • Brush,
  • Clone Tool,
  • Graduated Filter,
  • Radial Filter.

For portraits, you lot will rely on the Castor and Clone tools to retouch your model’southward skin.

The Clone Tool allows you to clone (or heal) a targeted area with data coming from a unlike identify. This tool is useful to remove blemishes, small scratches, and pimples.

Illustrative photo of the clone tool in Lightroom
With the Clone tool, it is fast and easy to remove unwanted skin imperfections, such as pimples, skin marks, and blemishes.

The Brush Tool is used to soften skin texture. I should pay attention not to smoothen out all the texture. Don’t remove pores, wrinkles, and freckles.

To smooth the peel with the brush tool you can count on a gear up of useful aligning sliders, namely:

  • clarity,
  • texture,
  • sharpness,
  • noise.

All these sliders tin can exist given a value between -100 and +100. This means you tin use them to apply a negative or positive effect.

Positive and Negative Clarity

Illustrative photo of the clarity tool in Lightroom

The clarity slider targets larger and middle details. It likewise affects luminance and saturation. By reducing clarity, y’all tin give your model a plastic expect.

Positive and Negative Texture

Illustrative photo of the texture slider tool in Lightroom

The Texture slider is the latest addition to the set of adjustment sliders in Lightroom. It was introduced specifically to edit skin.

Texture will smoothen out or enhance finer details than those affected by the Clarity slider. It likewise affects the luminance and saturation of the skin less.

If you compare the effect of applying full negative Clarity vs Texture, you can run across that Texture leaves more details. In the aforementioned manner, total positive Texture gives a more natural look than full positive Clarity.

Positive and Negative Sharpening and Dissonance

Illustrative photo of the sharpness slider in Lightroom

Illustrative photo of the noise slider in Lightroom

The Sharpness and Racket sliders alone don’t do a keen job of smoothing the peel. These are more useful to fine-tune the results obtained by using Clarity and Texture sliders.

Combine the Adjustment Sliders and Tools for Amend Results

Every bit shown in the images above, a unmarried aligning slider will non produce the well-nigh natural-looking skin. To reach a more natural look, information technology is all-time to combine different adjustments and tools.

Illustrative photo of the smoothing tool in Lightroom

For the portrait higher up I used a brush tool to smooth the skin. Then I used the clone tool to remove modest imperfections. For the brush, I used the following settings:

Illustrative photo of Lightroom settings

When you lot smooth the skin on the face, you should avoid smoothing the eyes, eyelashes, eyebrows, and lips. Those areas should be as precipitous as possible. These will capture the viewer’s attention, specially the lips.

Employ the mask overlay part (cmd+o in Mac Bone or alt+o in Windows). This will display the areas of the photograph afflicted by your brush in red.

Illustrative photo of the overlay function in Lightroom

If your model has a bad form of acne or very prominent scars, yous should turn to Photoshop. While skilful, Lightroom is more limiting in the editing techniques y’all tin can use.

Tips For a Gentler Edit

Plumage, Density, and Menstruum are options used to control how the brush’southward issue is applied.

  • Feather
    affects how soft the castor is. The harder it is, the less polish the event effectually the brush edges volition be.
  • Density
    puts a cap on the effect of the brush.
  • Menstruation: At +100 the brush’s event is applied in full. With lower menstruation values, the effect is more than subtle. You tin build information technology up gradually by painting more times over the aforementioned area.

Not all the areas showing skin should have the same smoothness. These settings are very useful for this. When you change them, the changes are non practical to areas you take already painted.

Alternatively, you tin can use multiple brushes with different strengths.


Smoothing and softening the skin is a large function of retouching a photograph. Next time you edit a portrait in Lightroom, experiment with the brush tool and the unlike sliders to meliorate your model’s pare.