Sep 02, 2014

How to Remove Wrinkles in Photoshop

How to Remove Wrinkles in Photoshop

Retouching wrinkles on someone’s face can be a very *touchy* matter! Today we show you how to both completely remove wrinkles as well as reduce them in a more subtle way.

Complete Removal

The healing brush tool is our best friend in terms of removing wrinkles! Be sure to use a brush size that is slightly larger than the wrinkle, and then sample a color right below the wrinkle to paint over it (Alt/Opt + Click). Make sure to select “Current & Below” for the sampling.

This technique must be used very carefully, as it is easy to make an elderly face look too smooth.

A More Subtle Approach

For a more natural approach, we can use the clone stamp tool. Duplicate the background layer (Cmd + J) to work on a layer with pixels. If you are on a new layer rather than a duplicated one, this technique will not work. Also, be sure to select the “Lighten” Mode; this paints over the wrinkle in a less obvious manner to conceal the lines.

This tends to be a quicker process than using the healing brush tool, because it simply lightens to darkest parts of the wrinkles and does not pull skin texture from other parts of the face.


user image You
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  • user image

    Could you use the two methods together – i.e. a lower opacity version of the healing brush method over the lighten/clone tool method to get both texture and softness?

  • user image

    Why not put the layer in “lighten” blending mode?
    Should that not be the same effect? Or just reduce the opacity of the layer you did first? 🙂

  • user image

    I haven’t seen this video yet but I know a good way to do this.
    Copying Yellow channel
    Pasting it into a layer
    inverting the layer
    And setting the blend mode of the layer to Soft Light
    It gives a pretty sloppy result.. but I usually use a layer mask on the layer (which we have created)
    And for the colors and stuff I usually use the previous layers stamp invisible (Layers before creating the inverted soft light layer) set to Color blend mode above the soft light inverted one (I guess desaturating the Inverted soft light layer will help too)
    Sorry for bad language, Just wanted to share.

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    Tom Grimes

    Could you just do an episode about using the Blend If mode. Explaining in details of using the Underlying Layer sliders. Can’t get my head around that.

  • user image

    Love this technique! The best part is we don’t have to tell Nana that she was ‘shopped 🙂

  • user image

    Hi Aaron,

    Would love an episode on what photoshop tools you could use to improve a photo taken through glass. Objects in a display case in a museum, minimising reflections taking through an aircraft window, that kind of thing.

  • user image

    Hi! Great tutorial I love it. For your next tutorial can you show us how to pop up a rainbow picture ? Thanks 😉 you phlearn it !

  • user image

    Would like to see an episode on how to change a sunny image into a overcast day, by removing shadows and highlights – other than using the clone stamp tool.

  • user image

    If your layer (empty) is set to Lighten instead of the clone stamp tool I think it does a similar effect.

  • user image

    The clone stamp tool can definitely be used on a new empty layer. Set the new layer to normal, then select the clone stamp and change the mode to Lighten. Flow really low, like 5-7%, at least in this instance. Sample: Current and Below.

    The top screenshot shows what I did quickly from the preview image above. It easily removed any indication of wrinkles, so I had to back it down to 71% to get that hint of detail back.

    Below that, with the foreheads, it shows one that I am currently working on. I think I over-smoothed, but I’m not a pro YET! Thanks to Phlearn I might be. Anyway, clone stamp on lighten is a great way to get rid of all the random hair, divots, wrinkles and pimples on a new empty layer, without much work. I used the clone stamp to get rid of all the major bits. I then D&B’d, frequency separation and did some other minor things after…

    Anyway, that was all done on its own empty layer. I just started doing this, so I’m not perfect yet, but it does seem like a quick and powerful way to remove hair and pimples easily and without much texture relocation or blurring that the healing brush might do.

    After all this writing, it would suck if the image didn’t come through. haha

  • user image

    Hi.. I really enjoy watching your tutorials and learn a lot from it. I was wondering if you could do a segment on putting on clothes or altering a very revealing neckline that still looks natural and not edited. Thank you.

  • user image

    Hey there. Would you please make a tutorial on photo manipulations? PLEAseeeeeee.. I want to see the techniques

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    Wagner Zorzi

    Hello! I’m from Brazil. I wold like so much you guys make a tutorial of how to create water drops in bottles or cans!
    I love your work guys! Congratulations!!

  • user image

    Hey great article,
    I found great natural cure for aging and it reduced wrinkles,Decrease age spots,Reduce brown spots under eyes,Reduce frown lines on your forehead in a few short weeks. my skin firmness is also increased.
    i hope it will help you too.
    Good Luck

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    Denis Galipeau

    Wow! Using the Clone Stamp Tool in Lighten Mode is the most awesome technic of reducing wrinkles I’ve ever heard about. I’m going to use this method for now on. Thanks Aaron.