How To Smooth Lips In Photoshop

By | 13/10/2022

In this tutorial, I’ll show y’all how to improve your portraits by giving your subject beautifully smooth pare with Photoshop! Nosotros’ll offset by learning how to remove pimples and other minor skin blemishes using Photoshop’southward Spot Healing Castor. So, subsequently the initial make clean-upwardly, we’ll learn step-by-step how to smooth and soften pare without blurring important details, like the person’s optics, pilus and and then on, and while keeping as much good skin texture equally possible.

To follow along, you tin can use any portrait photo. I’ll use this image that I downloaded from Adobe Stock:

The original, untouched photo

The original image. Photo credit: Adobe Stock.

Here’s a close-up of what the young woman’s skin looks like initially:

A close up of the woman's skin before smoothing and retouching

A close-up of the original.

And here’s what she’ll expect like after smoothing and softening her skin:

How to smooth skin in Photoshop

The final skin-softened result.

Permit’s get started!

How to Smooth Pare in Photoshop

I used Photoshop CC but this tutorial is fully uniform any recent version upwardly to Photoshop 2022, plus older versions like Photoshop CS6. Y’all can become the latest Photoshop version hither.

Step 1: Make A Copy Of The Image

With the epitome newly-opened in Photoshop, the Layers panel shows the photo on the Background layer. Earlier smoothing the skin, start by removing any unwanted blemishes. To protect the original image, you’ll want to work on a split layer.

Brand a copy of the Groundwork layer by pressing and holding the
(Win) /
(Mac) key on your keyboard, clicking on the Background layer, and dragging information technology downwardly onto the
New Layer
icon at the bottom of the Layers console:

Duplicating the Background layer in the Layers panel in Photoshop

Duplicating the Background layer.

In the Duplicate Layer dialog box, proper name the layer “Spot Healing” and so click OK:

Naming the duplicate layer 'Spot Healing'

Naming the layer “Spot Healing”.

A copy of the image appears on a new layer named “Spot Healing” above the original:

The image has been copied onto a new layer named Spot Healing

The initial peel cleanup will now be done on a split up layer.

Pace 2: Select The Spot Healing Brush

Select the
Spot Healing Brush
from the Toolbar:

Selecting the Spot Healing Brush from the Toolbar in Photoshop

Selecting the Spot Healing Brush.

Footstep 3: Set The Spot Healing Brush To “Content-Aware”

Make certain the
pick in the Options Bar is set to

Setting the Spot Healing Brush to Content-Aware in the Options Bar

Content-Enlightened should be selected by default.

Step 4: Click On The Skin Blemishes To Remove Them

Click on any unwanted skin blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush to remove them. Photoshop will instantly “heal” the blemishes by replacing the problem texture with good skin texture from the surrounding area. For all-time results, make your brush slightly larger than the blemish. To change your brush size, press the
correct bracket key
) on your keyboard to make the castor larger or the
left bracket key
) to make it smaller. If the blotch hasn’t completely gone abroad on the first try, undo your click by pressing
(Win) /
(Mac) on your keyboard, then resize your brush if needed and click on the same blemish to try again.

Example: Removing Peel Blemishes With The Spot Healing Brush

If nosotros look at the adult female’southward forehead in my image, we see what looks like a large pimple just to the right of center. I’ll position the Spot Healing Brush over it, and I’ll brand my brush slightly larger than the pimple itself:

Positioning the Spot Healing Brush over a skin blemish to remove it

Positioning the Spot Healing Brush over a skin blemish.

To remove the blemish, I’ll click on information technology with the Spot Healing Brush. Photoshop analyzes the area I clicked on, finds adept pare texture from the area surrounding it, so blends the expert texture in with the trouble area’s original tone and color. Similar magic, the blotch is gone:

Clicking with the Spot Healing Brush to remove the skin blemish

Clicking to heal the blemish.

I’ll do the same thing with another blemish on her brow, keeping the Spot Healing Brush just a bit larger than the area I need to heal:

Positioning the Spot Healing Brush over a second skin blemish to heal it

Positioning the Spot Healing Brush over a second blemish.

I’ll click on the blemish, and once over again, Photoshop instantly removes it:

The second skin blemish is gone after clicking with the Spot Haling Brush

The 2nd blemish is gone.

Afterward a few more clicks with the Spot Healing Castor to clean upwards the remaining blemishes on her forehead, her peel is already looking much smoother:

The blemishes on her forehead and have been removed with the Spot Healing Brush

The blemishes accept been removed from her brow.

Removing Blemishes, Not Features

As yous’re retouching the skin, keep in mind that while it’s okay to remove temporary problems similar acne or other minor peel issues, it’southward usually
okay to remove permanent features like moles or even certain scars, as these are part of what makes someone who they are. After all, the goal of image retouching is to assist people look their best, not to brand them look similar someone else.

Completing The Initial Skin Cleanup

Continue working your way around the person’due south face to remove whatsoever remaining blemishes. Here’s a side-by-side comparing of what the woman’s skin looked like originally (left) and after some quick retouching with the Spot Healing Brush (correct). With most photos, this initial skin cleanup should accept no more a few minutes. I covered the Spot Healing Brush quickly here, but you can learn more about information technology in my Removing Acne, Skin Blemishes With The Spot Healing Brush tutorial:

A before and after comparison of the skin cleanup with the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop

A before (left) and after (right) comparison of the initial skin retouching.

Step 5: Make A Re-create Of The “Spot Healing” Layer

With the blemishes removed, we’re set up to smooth and soften the peel, and again, information technology’s best to work on a divide layer. Back in the Layers panel, brand a copy of the “Spot Healing” layer past pressing and holding the
(Win) /
(Mac) key on your keyboard, clicking on the “Spot Healing” layer, and dragging it down onto the
New Layer

Making a copy of the Spot Healing layer in the Layers panel in Photoshop

Duplicating the “Spot Healing” layer.

In the Indistinguishable Layer dialog box, proper noun the layer “Smooth Skin” and then click OK:

Naming the new layer 'Smooth Skin' in Photoshop

Naming the duplicate layer “Shine Pare”.

We now accept the original prototype on the Background layer, the initial skin cleanup on the “Spot Healing” layer, and a new “Polish Skin” layer above them:

The original image, the Spot Healing layer and the Smooth Skin layer in the Layers panel in Photoshop

The “Smoothen Skin” layer appears above the “Spot Healing” layer.

Footstep 6: Apply The High Laissez passer Filter

To smooth the peel, we’ll use Photoshop’s High Laissez passer filter. Go upward to the
carte in the Carte du jour Bar, cull
Other, and and so choose
High Pass:

Selecting the High Pass filter from under the Filter menu in Photoshop

Going to Filter > Other > High Pass.

Why The High Pass Filter Is Cracking For Smoothing Skin

If you’re familiar with the High Pass filter, it’s most likely because yous’ve used information technology to acuminate images in Photoshop. Even though we’ll be using High Pass to
skin, not acuminate information technology, many of the steps are the same. The High Pass filter looks for edges in the image and highlights them. An
is an area where in that location’s a big, sudden change in brightness or color between neighboring pixels. With portrait photos, the edges are usually along the person’s pilus, around the eyes, the mouth, and so on. Skin texture, on the other hand, has relatively depression amounts of detail with much smoother transitions. These areas are not considered an edge, so rather than highlighting them, the High Pass filter fills these areas with neutral gray.

If we were sharpening the image, the High Pass filter would allow united states of america to acuminate the edges (the details) without affecting the skin. Simply for smoothing skin, we utilise High Pass for the opposite reason. We’ll detect the edges not so we can sharpen them merely so nosotros tin can smooth and soften everything
the edges. Permit’southward see how it works.

The Radius Value

The High Laissez passer filter detects edges and highlights them, and the
pick at the bottom of the High Pass dialog box controls the “thickness” of the border highlighting. In other words, once Photoshop has detected an edge, the Radius value tells information technology how many pixels on either side of information technology to include as part of the border. Depression Radius values will highlight but the finest details in the image. But to make sure nosotros don’t end up softening these of import details, we need to highlight the areas around them likewise, which ways we need a larger Radius value. For a typical portrait shot, a radius of
24 pixels
works well:

Setting the High Pass filter Radius value to 24 pixels in Photoshop

Setting the Radius value to 24 pixels.

If your subject is further back in the photo, or you’re working on a lower resolution image, a smaller Radius value of
xviii pixels
or even
12 pixels
might work amend. Why these specific values? It’s considering it’due south important for the side by side footstep that you lot choose a Radius value that’south easily divisible by three. For case, 24 divided past 3 is 8, eighteen divided past three is 6, and 12 divided by three is 4. Squeamish, easy numbers. Again, we’ll see why in the next stride.

Click OK to close the Loftier Pass dialog box. Your image volition plough generally gray. Solid areas of gray are the non-edge areas with piddling to no detail, like the skin, while big, loftier contrast halos highlight the edges:

The image after applying Photoshop's High Pass filter to detect the edges

The result subsequently applying the High Pass filter.

Step 7: Apply The Gaussian Blur Filter

We need to blur the High Pass filter effect. It may seem counterintuitive, simply the blurring volition actually help to bring out more good texture in the pare. Go up to the
menu, choose
Blur, and then choose
Gaussian Blur:

Choosing the Gaussian Blur filter from under the Filter menu

Going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.

In the Gaussian Blur dialog box, set the
value to exactly 1 third of the value you used for the Loftier Pass filter. In my case, I set the High Pass radius to 24 pixels, so I’ll gear up the Gaussian Blur radius to ane third of that, which is eight pixels. Click OK to shut the dialog box:

The Gaussian Blur dialog box

Setting the Gaussian Mistiness radius to ane third of the High Pass radius.

With the blurring practical, the High Pass issue now looks softer and less detailed:

The result after applying the Gaussian Blur filter

The result after applying the Gaussian Blur filter.

Pace viii: Change The Layer Blend Way To Linear Low-cal

In the Layers console, alter the
alloy mode
of the “Smooth Skin” layer from Normal to
Linear Low-cal:

Changing the blend mode of the Smooth Skin layer to Linear Light

Changing the layer alloy mode.

This blends the High Pass result in with the image, creating a high contrast, over-sharpened upshot. It may expect terrible, just don’t worry. It will look even worse in a moment:

The image after changing the Smooth Skin layer blend mode to Linear Light

The image after changing the Smooth Skin layer’s blend mode to Linear Light.

Related: Photoshop’south 5 Essential Blend Modes For Photo Editing

Footstep 9: Invert The Layer

Go upwardly to the
menu, choose
Adjustments, and then choose

Choosing the Invert comand from under the Image menu.

Going to Image > Adjustments > Invert.

With the layer inverted, the paradigm goes from being over-sharpened to looking like a weird, blurry mess with big ugly halos around everything:

The image after inverting the Smooth Skin layer

The result later inverting the “Polish Skin” layer.

Stride ten: Open The Blending Options

To reduce the halo issue, click the
Layer Styles
icon at the bottom of the Layers panel:

Clicking the Layer Styles icon in the Layers panel in Photoshop

Clicking the Layer Styles icon.

Blending Options
from the top of the list:

Opening the Blending Options in Photoshop

Opening the Blending Options.

Stride eleven: Drag The “Blend If” Sliders

In the Layer Way dialog box, look for the
Alloy If
sliders at the bottom. At that place are two sets of sliders, one labeled “This Layer” and one below it labeled “Underlying Layer”. We need the top sliders (the ones labeled “This Layer”):

The Blend If sliders in the Photoshop Blending Options

The Blend If sliders.

Observe the slider below each end of the slope bar. These sliders control how the “Smooth Skin” layer blends with the image below it based on the brightness levels of the layer. The slider on the left is used to alloy the darker areas of the layer and the slider on the right blends the lighter areas:

Photoshop Blend If sliders.

The dark (left) and calorie-free (right) sliders.

Reducing The Lite Halos

Get-go by reducing the lighter halos. Press and hold the
(Win) /
(Mac) fundamental on your keyboard, click the slider on the
and brainstorm dragging it towards the left. Holding the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key tells Photoshop to split the slider in half so that every bit you lot’re dragging, just the left side of the slider moves while the right side stays in place. Sentry your image as you elevate the slider and you’ll run across the lighter halos fading away. Drag the slider near all the mode to the left to reduce them as much as possible:

Blending the lighter areas of the Smooth Skin layer with the Blend If sliders

Dragging the left half of the slider on the correct.

Here’s the result subsequently dragging the starting time slider. Most of the lighter halos are now gone, or at least, they’re much less noticeable. But the darker halos remain:

The image after reducing the lighter halos with the Blend If sliders

The lighter halos are gone afterward dragging the slider on the right.

Reducing The Dark Halos

To reduce the darker halos, press and hold your
(Win) /
(Mac) cardinal, click the slider on the
and drag the right half of information technology towards the right. Over again, you lot’ll need to drag virtually all the mode to the right for about of the dark halos to disappear. Click OK when you’re done to close the Layer Mode dialog box:

Blending the darker areas of the Smooth Skin layer with the Blend If sliders

Dragging the correct half of the slider on the left.

And here’southward my image afterward dragging both sliders. Her skin is looking very smooth, only and so is everything else in the image. Nosotros’ll fix that adjacent:

The skin smoothing effect in Photoshop after dragging the Blend If sliders

The darker halos are gone afterward dragging the slider on the left.

Step 12: Add A Layer Mask

To limit the smoothing effect to but the skin, add a layer mask. Back in the Layers panel, press and hold the
(Win) /
(Mac) key on your keyboard and click the
Add Layer Mask

Clicking the Add Layer Mask icon in the Layers panel in Photoshop

Adding a layer mask while holding Alt (Win) / Option (Mac).

A black-filled
layer mask thumbnail
appears on the “Smooth Skin” layer. This hides the smoothing consequence from view and then we can paint it back in only where we need information technology:

A black-filled layer mask has been added to the Smooth Skin layer

A black-filled layer mask has been added to the “Smoothen Skin” layer.

Related: Understanding Layer Masks in Photoshop

Step xiii: Select The Brush Tool

Select the
Brush Tool
from the Toolbar:

A black-filled layer mask has been added to the Smooth Skin layer.

Selecting the Brush Tool.

Step 14: Set Your Brush Color To White

Brand sure your
Foreground colour
(the castor colour) is set to
white. You can see your electric current Foreground and Background colors in the
color swatches
near the bottom of the Toolbar. The swatch in the upper left is the Foreground colour. If information technology’south not gear up to white, printing the letter
on your keyboard to quickly reset the colors to their defaults:

Setting the brush color to white

The Foreground color (the brush color) should exist white.

Step xv: Paint Over The Skin

Before y’all begin painting, bank check your brush options in the Options Bar. Brand sure that
(brusk for Blend Mode) is set to
is at
is also at

The Mode, Opacity and Fill options for the Brush Tool.

Making sure the Manner, Opacity and Fill options are all gear up to their defaults.

Then paint over the skin to reveal the smoothing result. A soft-border brush will work best. We already know that we can change the brush size from the keyboard using the left and right bracket keys. Add the Shift key to change the castor hardness. Press
and the
left bracket key
to brand the brush softer, or
and the
right bracket key
to make the brush harder.

Example: Painting To Reveal The Smoothen Skin

I’ll outset by painting over her forehead. Since we’re painting on the layer mask, not on the layer itself, nosotros don’t run into the brush color equally we paint. Instead, we reveal the smoothing issue in the areas where we’ve painted:

Painting to reveal the smooth skin in the woman's forehead in Photoshop

Bringing back the polish peel in the woman’s forehead.

Side by side, I’ll pigment over her olfactory organ, her cheeks, and around her eyes to reveal the peel smoothing in those areas. Conform your brush size as you go to avert painting over details that should remain sharp. If you do sideslip and pigment over the wrong area, press the letter
on your keyboard to ready your brush color to
black, and and then paint over the mistake to hibernate the smoothing effect. Press
again to set your brush colour back to
and continue painting to smooth and soften the peel:

Revealing the smooth skin in the woman's nose, cheeks, and around her eyes

Revealing more of the smoothing effect, just just over the skin.

Finally, I’ll pigment around her oral fissure and over her mentum to shine and soften those areas, while at the aforementioned fourth dimension being careful to avoid her lips:

Smoothing the skin in the lower areas of the woman's face in Photoshop

Revealing the polish skin in the lower areas of her face.

Viewing The Layer Mask

To see exactly where you’ve painted, press and hold your
(Win) /
(Mac) fundamental and click on the
layer mask thumbnail
in the Layers panel:

Switching to the layer mask view in Photoshop

Holding Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) and clicking the layer mask thumbnail.

This switches your view from the image to the layer mask. The white areas in the mask are where you’ve painted to restore the pare smoothing. Blackness areas are when the smoothing outcome remains hidden. Information technology looks a bit creepy, but viewing the mask is a bang-up way to make sure you oasis’t missed any spots, and you lot can paint straight on the mask if needed. To switch back to your paradigm, once once again press and hold Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) and click on the layer mask thumbnail:

Viewing the layer mask in Photoshop to see where the skin smoothing is visible

Utilise the mask view to expect for any areas you missed.

Footstep 16: Lower The Layer Opacity

At this indicate, nosotros’ve smoothed and softened the skin, but the outcome is too intense. To reduce information technology, lower the
of the “Smooth Pare” layer. In general, an opacity value of between 40% and threescore% works best, but it will depend on your epitome. I’ll gear up mine to 50%:

Lowering the opacity of the Smooth Skin layer in Photoshop

Lowering the opacity of the skin softening effect to 50%.

And with that, we’re done! Here, after lowering the layer opacity, is my terminal result with her pare now looking great:

The final retouched image with smooth skin in Photoshop

The concluding pare smoothing result.

And at that place we accept it! For more than portrait retouching tutorials, learn how to reduce wrinkles, how to change eye colour or how to whiten teeth with Photoshop! Or visit our Photo Retouching section for more tutorials!