Mar 22, 2016

How to Fix Baby Skin Color in Photoshop

How to Fix Baby Skin Color in Photoshop

Sometimes babies and newborns will have too much red or blue in their skin, which doesn’t look great in photos. Learn how to use a reference image to analyze skin tone and apply those changes to correct skin tone!

Use a reference image to compare color

It helps to have a reference image to judge ‘good’ skin tone. To find a reference image, search on stock websites like Adobe Stock or just browse through google images. You will only be using the reference image to analyze color, so you don’t need to find the ‘perfect’ photo—just one with good skin color.

To properly analyze skin tone it helps to have a large area of ‘averaged’ color. To get the average color of an area of skin first make a selection around the skin using the marquee tool. Then go to Filter – Blur – Average. This will take all of the color in the selection and average them into one color – perfect for analyzing average skin tones.

Do this for both the sample image and the image you wish to edit.

How to color match with a Hue/Saturation layer

After creating ‘average’ skin tone blocks in Photoshop, click on the color picker and use the eyedropper to analyze the color. Look for differences in HSL (Hue, Saturation and Lightness). In this case the Hue was different by 17degrees.

To correct skin color, create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and click on ‘reds’. Next change the values to match the target skin tone. In this example we change the hue by 17 degrees, saturation +2 and Value by -5.


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  • user image

    This is exactly what I was looking for and found it (like so much quality no BS stuff) on PHLEARN!

  • user image

    That is very cool and I can see it would be useful in many other operations.
    Thank you, Aaron!

  • user image
    Gene Barringer

    This was outstanding. I am a photographer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and I am always struggling with skin color. This is a great technique.

    Thank You!!!!

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    David Found

    Hi Aaron, I have been following you for quite a while and have learned a great deal of very useful ways to retouch images, even though, I thought I already knew a lot about ps and image editing. However, you have helped me realise, that there are actually many shorter ways of doing simple edits and I can say that you have made my life much easier and this tutorial is one of them, by using your techniques I can now spend a loss less time in front of my computer and more time taking pictures. I therefore want to express my most sincere thanks to you, for sharing your knowledge and helping out so many photographers and image retouchers alike. Cheers from Dave

  • user image

    Hi Aaron!
    I am a very new to a Photoshop. Before to ask my question, I want to say thank you for your grate videos. In spite of my main Russian language, I choose your tutorials as most helpful and clear.
    I saw your both videos about skin color and how to get a tan color and my question is May I use a baby skin color technics to get a tan on the skin?

    Thank you.

  • user image

    Hi Aaron,
    There is no real reason to stick to baby skin – this would work with any colour matching… Great Tutorial Aaron – Thanks

  • user image

    Thank you for this fantastic tutorial! As a beginner, I still struggle with getting correct color tones in my images. This image in particular had the wrong skin tones but the leaves were the correct color. I followed your tutorial to sample a correct skin tone from the same child in another picture and match it in the new picture. I am pleased with the results!

  • user image

    Brilliant my 3 week old grandson has jaundice but I’m sure I can now alter his skin tone. But can I do it with his eyes, I’m assuming yes

  • user image

    THIS WAS FANTASTIC! Quick, super easy. Love love love!! Thank you!!

  • user image

    I was wondering if you have to put in the difference of the two averages for the photo you are trying to correct? Couldn’t you just put in the exact numbers of the reference images skin tone HSL?

  • user image

    I love this thank you so much for making it so easy to understand I just love Phlearn

  • user image

    Thank you very much that was very useful I’d even go as far as to say brilliant thank you

  • user image

    You say lets load up the other image but how do you do that in the same window and make it a layer?

  • user image

    when the Hue is like 350° in the first picture, and 9° in the other one,
    It is 19° so? because when i do that, its not match perfectly
    my best