Posted on 10. May, 2009 by in Photo Editing


bomb-funkIn this tutorial we are going to use The Spot Healing Brush to removing blemishes. We can greatly improve a portrait by removing skin imperfections which are rarely a desirable feature in a photograph.
In previous versions of Photoshop, you could use the Clone Stamp tool or the Patch tool for this task. Photoshop CS introduced the Healing Brush, which is even better for repairing certain skin imperfections. The Spot Healing Brush can be found in the fourth row on the toolbar, and looks like a plaster. The Spot Healing Brush is now the simplest tool to use for removing blemishes. The key to using the Spot Healing Brush is to choose a brush size that is just slightly larger than the blemish and to work in stages on separate layers.

Roll Over Image


1With the image open, drag the Background layer over the New Layer icon to duplicate it.

greenA Background copy layer is added, but the screen does not change.

2Click the Zoom tool.

3Click Resize Windows To Fit.

4Click and drag over the blemish areas to zoom in.

greenThe image is enlarged and fills the screen.

5Click the New Layer icon to add a new blank layer.

orangeA new layer is added in the Layers palette, but the screen does not change.

6Click the Spot Healing Brush.

7Click Sample All Layers.

8Click here to open the Brush Picker.


9Click and drag the Diameter slider to adjust the brush size.

greenNote: The brush size should be just larger than the blemish that you want to remove.

10Click each of the worst blemishes of a similar size first.

greenPhotoshop removes the blemishes and blends the surrounding skin area.

11Click the New Layer icon to add another blank layer.

12Repeat steps 8 to 10, clicking the other blemishes.

orangeLayer 2 should be highlighted in the Layers palette.

13Click here and drag the Opacity slider for Layer 2 to the left until the skin looks natural.


14Press the ALT key and click the New Layer icon.

greenThe New Layer dialog box appears.

15Type a name such as Skin Tone in the Name field.

16Click here and select Overlay for the mode.

17Click Fill with Overlay-Neutral Color (50% Gray).

18Click OK.

greenA gray layer in Overlay mode appears in the Layers palette.

19Click the Brush tool.

20Click here and select a small soft-edged brush.

21Click here and reduce the brush opacity to about 5%.

22Click here to reset the default colors to black and white.


23Click here to reverse the colors, making white the foreground color.

24Paint over any dark spots in the image to smooth the skin.

greenThe skin tone appears smoother. Continue painting over any dark areas, adjusting the size of the brush tool as necessary.

25Click here and drag the Layer Opacity slider to the left to reduce the effect for a more natural look.

26Click the Visibility icon for the gray layer off and on to compare the image before and after the adjustment.

greenThe skin tone is smoothed and appears natural rather than over-corrected.


27Select all the layers except the original layer by holding down The Shift Key and clicking on all the layers, than go to Layers Merge Visibles or hit CTRL-E.

28Now click and drag the Merged layers to the Create New Layer button to make a copy of the layer.

29Select the copied layer and go to Filter-Blur-Gaussian Blur enter 1 pixel for the radius.

30Click OK.


31Select the Eraser Tool.

32In the brush option select a soft edge brush.

33Start erasing the important areas of the images so the viewer’s attention is drawn to the spots.

34Lower the opacity to 30% now the image looks more natural.

35Click the Levels Button.

36Play with the settings until you get the desired result.


bomb-funkThat’s it guys for this tutorial try experimenting with the settings and see what works best with your images.
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  1. Eric

    10. May, 2009

    Thanks for this easy to follow tutorial, keep up the very well done work

  2. JessicaGag

    10. May, 2009

    Great! Thank you very much! I always wanted to write in my blog something like that. Can I take part of your post to my site? Of course, I will add backlink? Regards

  3. damsuy™

    11. May, 2009


  4. Ghada

    11. May, 2009

    Great tutorial, I love photo retouching. Thank you pretty much.

  5. barbara

    11. May, 2009

    The best I have seen so far!!! Thank you :)

  6. Tanya

    11. May, 2009

    Thank you I’ve always wondered about natural looking skin retouching this was great

  7. Narcarsiss

    12. May, 2009

  8. Olson Mino

    12. May, 2009

    thanks guys for you kind words, they keep me motivated all time :)

  9. Tania van Hoof

    22. Jun, 2009

    Great Stuff!!!
    I need some exercises though on this tutorial to perfect it!

    Thank you!

  10. ain

    05. Jul, 2009


  11. izalin

    15. Jul, 2009

    good tutorial!

  12. Daniel

    22. Jul, 2009

    bloody hell so easy to follow, the best tutorial on how to REMOVE BLEMISHES….thanx buddy 4 sharing..

  13. Andreia

    31. Jul, 2009

    Hi, what’s your photoshop version? In my version I try but I can’t do this :\

  14. Olson

    23. Aug, 2009

    @Andreia For this tutorial we are using Photoshop cs4…

    The good news is that in the next couple of days we are going to publish a new tutorial which uses a more traditional way to accomplish this effect and of course it can be done in older photoshop versions as well..

  15. Bosarame

    31. Aug, 2009

    Good, but you forgot to tell how to go to Blur-Gaussian Blur.

  16. Kurniawan

    16. Dec, 2009

    fantastic.thanks!!! that give a new inspirations.

  17. Rohit Rajput

    23. Dec, 2009

    It is a great Tutorial of Photo Retuning. I have never ever seen like this tutorial. it’s very simple way to retouching photos. Thanks buddy.

  18. Shereen

    19. Feb, 2010

    This is awesome!! I’m so glad you shared this with us! Its great for professional portraits…THANKS A MILLION :)

  19. Good to see someone advocating fresh layers for healing. I’ve seen so many blogs advising straight to background pixel destruction I want to eat my wacom :)


  20. [...] Removable Blemishes in Photoshop [...]

  21. Sais

    15. May, 2010

    Thank you so much. its 1 am in NY and I just finished retouching an image thanks to you

  22. tadios

    23. Jan, 2011

    that is nice men keep it up

  23. AnaXaver

    24. Jan, 2011

    i really found this helpful, by far the easiest to follow !

  24. jovaika

    29. Jan, 2011

    Nice. Thanks.

  25. Rana

    11. Feb, 2011

    Very Good Tutorials

  26. ajitbarman

    18. May, 2011

    Good tutorials.

  27. faisya

    01. Jun, 2011

    i’m still new in using photoshop cs5. i cant do it coz didnt see the Type: proximity match ;(
    help me pls

  28. Lei

    02. Sep, 2011

    Awesome. Love it most! :)

  29. dnyanehswar

    03. Oct, 2011

    nice tutorial. i am newly working in photo shop. your tutorial also help. Thanks !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  30. Ghulam Abas

    12. Oct, 2011

    very nice tutorial.
    i am newly working in photo shop. your tutorial also help.
    I need some exercises though on this tutorial to perfect it!

  31. smorph

    10. Dec, 2011

    you know the skill is great, but the natural face of the girl looked amazing though blemishes!! :)

  32. AP

    23. May, 2012

    thanks for the easy explaination..

  33. Ranjit

    24. Jun, 2012

    Thanks for the effort taken in Presenting the tutorial so nicely!!!

  34. SCott

    25. Jun, 2012

    Thank you!

  35. Yahir30

    29. Jul, 2012

    Komawo :D

    Nice Tutorial..

  36. bablu

    27. Aug, 2012

    very nice.
    step by step is very helpful for us.

  37. kousar

    26. Jul, 2013

    very very nice.
    this tutorial is helpful for us.

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