Aspiring beauty photographers, it’s time to take your skin editing skills to the next level. The best editing software makes your photos look their absolute best, and with the right tools at your disposal you are sure to impress clients and friends alike. Find out what the fuss is about by checking out some of our top picks for skin editing software below!
In this guide, we review the details of Skin Editing Software, how to edit skin in videos, How can I fix my skin in a picture, and What software do professional retoucher use?
Skin Editing Software
You’ve heard the buzz about skin editing software and you’re ready to see what it’s all about. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options available today.
Adob Photoshop is a raster graphics editor developed by Adobe Systems for macOS and Windows. Photoshop was created in 1988 by Thomas and John Knoll, who sold it to Adobe Systems in 1988.
It’s commonly used by graphic designers, photographers, digital artists, web designers and photo manipulators to edit images (including raster graphics), draw artworks and shape designs.
Photoshop has many features like:
- Ability to create raster images from scratch using brushes or existing images as templates;
- Automates color correction so users can change colors of an entire image without manually adjusting each pixel;
- Can be used for scanning physical objects such as paintings or photographs onto your computer;
Portrait Pro is a photo editing app that can be used to edit photos. It has a variety of features that can be used to make your photos look better. You can add filters, adjust the lighting, and add effects to your photos.
Airbrush is a tool that allows you to retouch skin imperfections, such as blemishes, freckles and sunspots. The airbrush can be used on other parts of the body as well.
Airbrush allows you to change the size of your brush so it can be used for large areas or small details. This creates an artificial glow on the skin which will make people look younger and more attractive. You also have complete control over how much makeup is applied by using this feature as well.
You can use an “airbrush” technique with any layer mask or duplicate layer that has been filled with color (black).
Enlight is a photo editor for Mac and Windows. It has a lot of features, including:
- A wide color gamut that can reproduce the full range of colors visible to the human eye.
- Automatic tone mapping (auto-exposure adjustment). When you take photos in extreme conditions, as with high speed or low light settings, Enlight will automatically adjust your image to make it look more natural.
- An automatic white balance feature so your pictures look correct without having to adjust them manually.
Enlight is free for both Mac and Windows users! If you’re looking for an easy way to edit your photos on either platform, this would be a great choice!
FaceTune is a photo editor available for both iOS and Android devices. It has a lot of different features, including a skin smoothing tool that will help you look flawless in every picture! There are also tools that can change your eye color or add blush to your cheeks. If you want to change your hair color or style, there are options for that too.
FaceTune is great because it makes it easy to edit selfies without having to do any complicated math or calculations. Just upload an image and start playing with the settings until you find something that looks good!
how to edit skin in videos
While their styles and subjects may be different, fashion and travel photographer Brian Siambi and fashion and beauty photographer Zoë Noble have one thing in common: their beautiful skin tones. We spoke to them about how lighting and the right photo editing software make their subjects shine and make editing skin tones easier than ever.
How do you use lighting in your shoots to achieve beautiful skin tones?
Brian Siambi: All my shoots involve natural light. I just love how natural light falls on dark skin and the different moods it gives at different times of the day. For example, if I want a dramatic mood I’ll shoot at midday, which allows me to create amazing shine and shadows when editing. If I want soft light, I’ll wait until clouds are overcast.
Zoë Noble: I use both studio and natural lighting. I love the simplicity and rawness of natural light and how it can really disarm your subject. With no big lights or waiting around for the perfect lighting set up, your subject can really relax and connect. On the other hand, I love the endless possibilities for creating a story with light and color that you get with studio lighting.
Should I use hard light or soft light? Should I add gels for some color? Maybe add a flag to create some dynamic shadows? You have so many tools at your disposal and I love that.
Generally, the concept of the shoot will dictate the lighting so it’s great for me to understand how to use both natural and studio light and choose the one that best fits the story or subject.
You both do amazing work with skin tones and color grading. How do you get those colors?
BS: For me, color grading starts when I plan the shoot and my vision for the final image. I switched to Capture One because I felt I wasn’t quite getting the correct tones for darker skin in Lightroom that I needed to take my work to the next level.
For skin tones, I mostly use the Color Balance tool and Color Editor tools. I separate a specific color I want to edit. For dark skin, I mostly play with brown, reds and oranges and combine them with the Temperature tool to balance the blue and orange in order to get the correct toning for dark skin.
ZN: A very important part of my color grading is to ensure I have a great base to start with. I’ll always use the Skin Tone tool to unify colors and correct any discoloration on the skin. When I take my beauty photos into Photoshop for more intensive retouching, I can work on further correcting colors, using Curves adjustments or using a blank layer set to Color.
I take a “less is more approach” to color grading, so I’ll use adjustments like Curves and the Color Balance tool to add a wash of color. I often like complementary colors so if I cool down the shadows I will then warm up the highlights.
I generally like cooler images, but I will always match the color grading to the concept of the shoot. If I shot in bright sunlight, my color grading will complement this, so I’ll add warmer tones. This way my color grading feels cohesive with what’s already happening in the photo.
What is your Capture One editing process?
BS: I use Capture One for most of my editing process. Once I’ve shortlisted the images I want to work with, I start with correcting the exposure, color temperature, high dynamic range and clarity. Then I move to the Color Editor where I separate the colours and get the rich dark skin that I want.
The Skin Tone tool is great because I sample the skin of the subject then I play with the HSL. Then I will play with contrast to just get the punch of the whole image.
I have customized my Capture One workspace by organizing the tools I use into different tabs and I get to edit images in different stages – this feature is FREAKIN AWESOME. I have also created my own custom Styles for dark skin tones which has made my work easier. I can set the tone with a Style and develop the image further from there.
ZN: It will always depend on the type of shoot I’m working on. If it’s a client shoot and I will be doing more intensive skin or hair retouching later in Photoshop, I will ensure my files have good dynamic range and are relatively “clean.” I will color correct the files using the White Balance and the Skin Tone Tool, correct exposure and lift my shadows to add more detail into those darker areas. I’ll also ensure no highlights are blown out.
Then I can do my intensive retouching in Photoshop and add contrast and color grading at the end, so if a client would like changes, these can be easily made.
If I’m working on my own images I usually “bake in” things like color grading or contrast into the RAW file. I try to do as much as I can in Capture One to save time. So I’ll use tools like the Color Balance tool for color grading as this is really quick and simple to use.
What are your favorite Capture One tools for portraits?
BS: I have a few. The Color Editor and Color Balance tools – they make it so much easier to split color and edit my images separately and get the exact grade I want. The Luma Range tool gives an extra punch to my images, especially with dark skin and bright surroundings.
I also love the High Dynamic Range tool to give my images a finer look.
ZN: I LOVE the Skin Tone Tool because it saves me so much time on color correcting and is super easy to use! I also love the Color Balance Tool because it’s very intuitive and you can quickly add a color grade to your images or create multiple “looks” to offer options to your clients.
How do you incorporate Photoshop into your Capture One workflow?
ZN: After I’ve made my adjustments in Capture One, I will use the “Edit with” option and create a 16-bit PSD file using the Adobe RGB color profile and then open in Photoshop to make more intensive changes like hair/skin retouching or compositing.
After I’ve finished my editing in Photoshop, I’ll save the file and then go back into Capture One to add grain as my final editing step. This way I have full control over the final look and I can change the grain size easily, rather than baking it in with Photoshop.
I then use Capture One’s Export Recipes to export my photos in various formats for web and print. I’ll also export a high-res version directly to my Dropbox folder, so I have another back-up copy of all my final photos.
Your number one tip for aspiring photographers in your fields?
BS: You will find your way, so take your time.
ZN: Try and stand out from the crowd and be unique. There are so many photographers out there and lots of them are producing similar work. Clients want to see something new, so try and find out what makes you YOU. What are you passionate about? What do you have to say as a photographer that is different from anyone else? Clients want to work with people who have their own unique vision. This takes time and is not an overnight thing so shoot, shoot and shoot until you discover what makes you special and where you truly shine!
What do you wish you knew at the start of your careers that you know now?
BS: That success doesn’t come overnight and that I should trust my process and I’ll get there. Also, that gear is a tool and that it does not define how good a photographer you are. I used to be obsessed and envious of other people who had better gear than me at the time and now I know better!
ZN: That’s it’s OK to break the “rules” of photography. Because I didn’t assist anyone, I taught myself through books and online tutorials and sometimes you’d hear lots of rules like “never use wide angle lenses for portraits because of distortion,” “Never shoot outside at midday because of hard shadows,” or “shooting macro must be done at a high aperture.”
But as soon as I let go of these and started experimenting and following my gut, I realized that some of the most interesting photos can come from breaking those rules. Shooting at midday is completely possible if you understand how to work with the light or how to position your subject. Hard shadows can be really cool for the right concept! Some of my favorite beauty shots are macro photos which utilize a really wide aperture. When you think of beauty photography, you think of using a beauty dish, and this is the modifier I used a lot at the beginning.
Now I shoot with all types of modifiers, even the sun! Anything is possible!
If you don’t already have Capture One Pro, download a 30 day trial and try it out.
Eager to learn? Access webinars, tutorials and expert help in the Learning Hub – completely free.
Zoë Noble is an English beauty and still life photographer, retoucher and educator, based between London and Berlin. Her commercial and editorial clients include Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Oréal Paris, Etsy, and Ogily. Passionate about beautiful lighting and natural retouching, her work showcases women as strong, authentic and wonderfully unique. An advocate for female empowerment, Zoë founded We are Childfree, a storytelling platform and community centred on the childfree choice, as featured in the New York Times.
How can I fix my skin in a picture
How to Smooth Skin in Photoshop
I used Photoshop CC but this tutorial is fully compatible any recent version up to Photoshop 2023, plus older versions like Photoshop CS6. You can get the latest Photoshop version here.
Step 1: Make A Copy Of The Image
With the image newly-opened in Photoshop, the Layers panel shows the photo on the Background layer. Before smoothing the skin, start by removing any unwanted blemishes. To protect the original image, you’ll want to work on a separate layer.
Make a copy of the Background layer by pressing and holding the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key on your keyboard, clicking on the Background layer, and dragging it down onto the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel:
In the Duplicate Layer dialog box, name the layer “Spot Healing” and then click OK:
A copy of the image appears on a new layer named “Spot Healing” above the original:
Step 2: Select The Spot Healing Brush
Step 3: Set The Spot Healing Brush To “Content-Aware”
Make sure the Type option in the Options Bar is set to Content-Aware:
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 best results, make your brush slightly larger than the blemish. To change your brush size, press the right bracket key ( ] ) on your keyboard to make the brush larger or the left bracket key ( [ ) to make it smaller. If the blemish hasn’t completely gone away on the first try, undo your click by pressing Ctrl+Z (Win) / Command+Z (Mac) on your keyboard, then resize your brush if needed and click on the same blemish to try again.
Example: Removing Skin Blemishes With The Spot Healing Brush
If we look at the woman’s 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 make my brush slightly larger than the pimple itself:
To remove the blemish, I’ll click on it with the Spot Healing Brush. Photoshop analyzes the area I clicked on, finds good skin texture from the area surrounding it, and then blends the good texture in with the problem area’s original tone and color. Like magic, the blemish is gone:
I’ll do the same thing with another blemish on her forehead, keeping the Spot Healing Brush just a bit larger than the area I need to heal:
I’ll click on the blemish, and once again, Photoshop instantly removes it:
After a few more clicks with the Spot Healing Brush to clean up the remaining blemishes on her forehead, her skin is already looking much smoother:
Removing Blemishes, Not Features
As you’re retouching the skin, keep in mind that while it’s okay to remove temporary problems like acne or other minor skin issues, it’s usually not 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 help people look their best, not to make them look like someone else.
Completing The Initial Skin Cleanup
Continue working your way around the person’s face to remove any remaining blemishes. Here’s a side-by-side comparison of what the woman’s skin looked like originally (left) and after some quick retouching with the Spot Healing Brush (right). With most photos, this initial skin cleanup should take no more than a few minutes. I covered the Spot Healing Brush quickly here, but you can learn more about it in my Removing Acne, Skin Blemishes With The Spot Healing Brush tutorial:
Step 5: Make A Copy Of The “Spot Healing” Layer
With the blemishes removed, we’re ready to smooth and soften the skin, and again, it’s best to work on a separate layer. Back in the Layers panel, make a copy of the “Spot Healing” layer by pressing and holding the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key on your keyboard, clicking on the “Spot Healing” layer, and dragging it down onto the New Layer icon:
In the Duplicate Layer dialog box, name the layer “Smooth Skin” and then click OK:
We now have the original image on the Background layer, the initial skin cleanup on the “Spot Healing” layer, and a new “Smooth Skin” layer above them:
Step 6: Apply The High Pass Filter
To smooth the skin, we’ll use Photoshop’s High Pass filter. Go up to the Filter menu in the Menu Bar, choose Other, and then choose High Pass:
Why The High Pass Filter Is Great For Smoothing Skin
If you’re familiar with the High Pass filter, it’s most likely because you’ve used it to sharpen images in Photoshop. Even though we’ll be using High Pass to smooth skin, not sharpen it, many of the steps are the same. The High Pass filter looks for edges in the image and highlights them. An edge is an area where there’s a big, sudden change in brightness or color between neighboring pixels. With portrait photos, the edges are usually along the person’s hair, around the eyes, the mouth, and so on. Skin texture, on the other hand, has relatively low 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 us to sharpen the edges (the details) without affecting the skin. But for smoothing skin, we use High Pass for the opposite reason. We’ll detect the edges not so we can sharpen them but so we can smooth and soften everything except the edges. Let’s see how it works.
The Radius Value
The High Pass filter detects edges and highlights them, and the Radius option at the bottom of the High Pass dialog box controls the “thickness” of the edge highlighting. In other words, once Photoshop has detected an edge, the Radius value tells it how many pixels on either side of it to include as part of the edge. Low Radius values will highlight only the finest details in the image. But to make sure we don’t end up softening these important details, we need to highlight the areas around them as well, which means we need a larger Radius value. For a typical portrait shot, a radius of 24 pixels works well:
If your subject is further back in the photo, or you’re working on a lower resolution image, a smaller Radius value of 18 pixels or even 12 pixels might work better. Why these specific values? It’s because it’s important for the next step that you choose a Radius value that’s easily divisible by 3. For example, 24 divided by 3 is 8, 18 divided by 3 is 6, and 12 divided by 3 is 4. Nice, easy numbers. Again, we’ll see why in the next step.
Click OK to close the High Pass dialog box. Your image will turn mostly gray. Solid areas of gray are the non-edge areas with little to no detail, like the skin, while large, high contrast halos highlight the edges:
Step 7: Apply The Gaussian Blur Filter
We need to blur the High Pass filter effect. It may seem counterintuitive, but the blurring will actually help to bring out more good texture in the skin. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and then choose Gaussian Blur:
In the Gaussian Blur dialog box, set the Radius value to exactly one third of the value you used for the High Pass filter. In my case, I set the High Pass radius to 24 pixels, so I’ll set the Gaussian Blur radius to one third of that, which is 8 pixels. Click OK to close the dialog box:
With the blurring applied, the High Pass effect now looks softer and less detailed:
Step 8: Change The Layer Blend Mode To Linear Light
In the Layers panel, change the blend mode of the “Smooth Skin” layer from Normal to Linear Light:
This blends the High Pass result in with the image, creating a high contrast, over-sharpened effect. It may look terrible, but don’t worry. It will look even worse in a moment:
Step 9: Invert The Layer
Go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and then choose Invert:
With the layer inverted, the image goes from being over-sharpened to looking like a weird, blurry mess with big ugly halos around everything:
Step 10: Open The Blending Options
To reduce the halo effect, click the Layer Styles icon at the bottom of the Layers panel:
Choose Blending Options from the top of the list:
Step 11: Drag The “Blend If” Sliders
In the Layer Style dialog box, look for the Blend If sliders at the bottom. There 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”):
Notice the slider below each end of the gradient 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 blend the darker areas of the layer and the slider on the right blends the lighter areas:
Reducing The Light Halos
Start by reducing the lighter halos. Press and hold the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key on your keyboard, click the slider on the right and begin dragging it towards the left. Holding the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key tells Photoshop to split the slider in half so that as you’re dragging, only the left side of the slider moves while the right side stays in place. Watch your image as you drag the slider and you’ll see the lighter halos fading away. Drag the slider almost all the way to the left to reduce them as much as possible:
Here’s the result after dragging the first slider. Most of the lighter halos are now gone, or at least, they’re much less noticeable. Only the darker halos remain:
What software do professional retoucher use?
Photo retouching is an art that everyone doesn’t possess, right? Even though we use image editing tools to edit our selfies and smartphone photography on a regular basis, professional photo editing is altogether different. If you are a layman with no photo retouching know-how, the output of your photo retouching and a pro photo retoucher will differ considerably.
But it’s not a big deal if you as a layman don’t have the knack for image retouching. You can surely get your photography touched up through a pro photo retouching service provider or by an online photo retouching tool.
However, if you are a pro photographer, you may wish to enhance your photography of any genre yourself, if not always, sometimes. This is where you have to be familiar with photo retouching software. For top-notch image enhancement, you have to avail yourself of top-quality photo retouching software.
To familiarize photographers with the top-rated image editing software, we have rounded up the 8 best photo editing software for photographers. Needless to say, all the photographers don’t belong to the same level. Some are beginners, some belong to the intermediate level while others fall under the advanced level.
But from this collection, every type of photographer can get their preferred photo editing software. This collection is even suitable for photographers of any genre. No matter whether you are a product photographer, fashion photographer, wedding photographer, or any other type of photographer, the blog has substance to cater to you.
Top 8 Image Editing Software You Should Know
If you explore online, you will find legions of image editing software. Some of them are online tools while others are offline tools. You have to deploy them downloading and then installing your device. But all these image editing tools don’t promise premium quality.
From this write-up, you will get to know which software exactly you should leverage to get desired output. Without further ado, let’s check the top 8 photo retouching software for photographers that you should rely on-
1. Adobe Photoshop
Spotting Photoshop right at the top, you aren’t stunned surely as it deserves the no.1 position. This is because Photoshop enables you to perform an array of photo retouching tasks. If you are a photographer, you can’t but skip Photoshop.
Photoshop lets you execute tasks, right from simple to advanced levels. Whether it’s a selection, masking, or any other action, Photoshop is unmatched by its peers. Earlier, all the Photoshop editing tasks were manually performed but lately, Photoshop has integrated many AI-based features into its latest versions.
Some of these killer features deserve to be mentioned like sky replacement, neural filters, select and mask, version history, quick actions, live shapes, and pattern preview. Due to its wide range of features, Photoshop is still the no.1 choice for photo editors, designers, and artists.
Price: Free Trial available for 1st 7 days. The yearly plan costs $20.99/month (For Yearly Plan)
2. Adobe Lightroom
In our ranking, the 2nd spot is claimed by another Adobe product, Adobe Lightroom. Compared to Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom is more beginner-friendly, giving photographers more flexibility. It has a super-simple interface with a clean and easy workspace, letting you focus on your image.
Lightroom comes with a whole lot of editing features that photographers can utilize to get optimum results. It boasts a number of filters and effects to get you started if you are unsure of what to do. With Lightroom, you can make localized adjustments to your images along with editing raw files.
Due to Lightroom’s tons of photo editing tools and wide range of image editing abilities, other image enhancement tools are failing to match its standard. If you are a pro photographer, you should hone your Lightroom photo editing skills.
Pricing: Free Trial available for 1st 7 days. Yearly plan costs $9.99/month (For Yearly Plan)
3. Skylum Luminar AI
If you are more eager about the final result of your raw images instead of the process, Luminar AI is the go-to tool for you. Skylum’s Luminar AI is an AI-powered photo editing tool that has everything that you would normally crave for editing your photography.
Luminar AI is a very simple and intuitive image retouching tool that you can leverage without any hassle. You don’t have to learn scores of things to work on it. All you have to do is import the image you want to edit and that’s it! AI-powered templates will suggest edits depending on the content of your image.
Additionally, you can do further AI-powered edits or take complete control with regular tools. You can also get a masking option to add or remove effects. This photo retouching will let you slim a subject’s torso, modify eye color, add fog to landscape, etc. with just a few clicks of a mouse.
Pricing: Free Trial available for 1st 7 days. Regular price- $79 for a lifetime (For 1 Computer). Currently on offer costing $47 bundled with other tools.
4. Corel PaintShop Pro
Known as Photoshop’s alternative, Corel PaintShop Pro has everything to take your photography to the next level without breaking the bank. If you are looking for a simple and straightforward photo retouching tool to upgrade your photos, PaintShop Pro is the answer for you.
Corel PaintShop Pro doesn’t feature a monthly subscription fee, but rather asks you to pay a one-time fee. It’s inexpensive and gives you access to dozens of textures, backgrounds, and brushes. The latest version of PaintShop pro contains a photography workspace, designed for photographers.
This simple workspace improves your edit workflow providing the best photo editing tools in a simple format. The tool is touch-ready, letting you edit your photography on a tablet. Overall, PaintShop Pro is a cracking option for basic but effective image editing.
Pricing: Free trial available for 30 days. The full version costs $99.99 for a lifetime.
5. ON1 Photo Raw
ON1 Photo Raw is offered both as a standalone photo editing tool and a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom, and Apple photos. The latest version of this image editing tool incorporates various AI-powered features, making your edits easy and smooth.
Some of these AI-powered features include Sky Swap AI, Time-Lapse Creation, Integration of ON1 NoNoise AI, Photoshop Plugin Support, Line Mask Tool, Backup and Restore, Favorites in Browse, Customizable Thumbnails, etc.
Like Photoshop and Luminar, ON1 Photo Raw comes with layers, blending modes, and masking. Other features include full integration with Apple Photos, the ability to add text to an image, HDR, panorama photo merging, and so on.
Pricing: Costs $99.99 for lifetime (Full License + Bonuses). Currently, it’s on offer costing $79.99 for a lifetime (Full License + Bonuses).
6. DxO PhotoLab
DxO PhotoLab is best known for its raw image conversion to JPG image smoothly. But it can also carry out noise reduction and sharpening with full of perfection. The photo editor is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems.
DxO PhotoLab comes with customizable interface options, presets, color protection, and multiple export formats to let you accomplish all your tasks in one place. Once you import your images into the software, you can take advantage of its advanced rating system, add keywords, and search for other files that you deem fit.
This image editor no doubt is a cracking one for photographers. With this tool, photographers can turn a nice landscape image into an extraordinary landscape image. The interface is like a lab as the name suggests and contains tons of real-time adjustments.