Photoshop tutorial: Wrinkle reduction

Working with portraits for clients can be very stressful because clients’ expectations of what they want to see as a final result is not always matching with photographer’s views and possibilities. The toughest is usually working with women clients, where they want to see themselves fresh, glamorous, perfect. According to that, as a rule, no woman wants to see wrinkles on her face, no matter how old she is. So to help get rid of that unwanted problem that is can be such a pain for photographers-beginners, here is a small tutorial of “Wrinkle reduction” in Photoshop.


Photo retrieved from:

Wrinkle Reduction

Photo retrieved from:

Time to Complete

Less than 5 minutes

Step 1

Open your chosen image in Photoshop. In the Layers panel, duplicate your image (Cmd/Ctrl + J) and rename the new layer ‘Wrinkles’.


 Step 2

Select the Healing Brush (not the Spot Healing Brush) and make sure your brush’s Hardness is set to 100%. As we don’t need to be too precise with our editing on this layer. Select a larger brush for faster editing.

Step 3

Whilst holding down Alt, use the target symbol that appears to select your sample area, which should be on an area of unblemished skin. Left click with your mouse (or tap with your pen on your tablet) to confirm the selection.
This sample area can be from any point in your image, although you’ll want to choose an area of skin that matches the texture you want to apply. Here, I have sampled from the cheekbone, where the area has even colour and texture.


Step 4

With your sample area now selected, brush over all of the wrinkles, lines and marks so that they disappear. Don’t worry at this point if there are any visible defects in your editing – they won’t be visible later.


Step 5

In the Layers panel, hide the ‘Wrinkles’ layer by clicking on the eye symbol. Go to the Channels menu and Cmd + Click on the Red Channel, which will bring up the ‘marching ants’ of a selection around certain areas of your image.


Step 6

Back in the Layers panel, make your ‘Wrinkes’ layer visible again and click on the Add Layer Mask button to apply this selection to your layer. You should notice that sections of your editing layer will now have disappeared, and you’ll be left with a much smoother looking image.


Step 7

Depending on your image, lower the opacity of your editing layer for a more natural effect. As my model had quite dark lines, I’ve only lowered the opacity to 80%.


Step 8

Now you’ve learnt how to reduce wrinkles, why not try teaming this up with last month’s tutorial on eye brightening? Here we used a very similar process on the model’s lips, but increased the output rather than decreasing to darken the color.


Video Tutorial:



by Hanna Dimitrova




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