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Tips & Tricks

How To Remove Wrinkles For A Realistic, Younger, & Cleaner Look

By Kishore Sawh on September 7th 2014


A wrinkle here, a wrinkle there, is no big deal. We should welcome them since they add character, right? Or am I alone here? Well, maybe I will be if I let crows feet take over my face. 
As is typical with photographs, any imperfection in the skin or otherwise, tends to stand out more in the picture than it would in the flesh.

With today’s modern camera and lens pairings offering up such high resolution and that often leading to high magnification, wrinkles can appear to be far more prominent than you’d like, and may detract from the person wearing them, so it’s natural they are a target for eradication in Photoshop. As such, it’s good to have a grip on doing it well, and Aaron Nace shows you two ways to deal with wrinkles so you achieve the look you’re going for. One method shows you how to quickly remove the wrinkles altogether, and the other, to reduce their appearance.



One thing I’m glad Aaron touched upon in this tutorial is the idea that everyone has wrinkles. Really, until recently, I had the face of a 14 year old and I have some wrinkles which I welcome, though to be fair, men tend to, more than women. Removing wrinkles entirely from someone’s face typically leaves it looking very unnatural. That’s not to say some shouldn’t be removed, after all it’s individual preference, but toning down the presence of the wrinkle generally accomplishes a much more believable, realistic look, whilst still maintaining a much ‘cleaner’ appearance.

I tend to do most of this a much more complicated way involving frequency separation layers and using a combination of the patch tool, healing brush, and healing brush, but I’ve got to say, this method is so much more straightforward, and seems extremely effective. Worth a go.

Source: Phlearn

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A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    great article

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    Thanks so much for providing this wonderful article. This makes the learning so much easier with so many different topics to learn and practice. Thanks!

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  3. Mark Iuzzolino

    Doc, I agree with you. This was definitely done to slaphappy. But he at least gets people feel like PS is approachable. But you are correct, there are better ways.

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    • Doc Pixel

      Thanks Mark.

      I actually didn’t feel good writing my critique, because I agree that his approach to teaching is so very successful at getting those learning PS motivated to keep on trying. However, I think we can all agree, to use PS professionally is often times time consuming. Learning bad habits in the beginning (at least most YouTubers use a duplicate copy now days!)… or thinking you’re doing it right due to a popular guru, leads to problems that other teachers and trainers have to iron out later. I think everyone has encountered the young assistant, “… well he/she on YT said this is the best way… blah, blah, blah”.

      That’s not to say all YTers are bad, far from it. Although the “cuter” and “this is easy” ones just happen to have 10 times the following than the pros like Michael Woloszynowicz (as an example), because he’s honest and says, “professional retouching takes time”, amoung other far more beneficial tips to good retouching HABITS to get into.

      Disclaimer: I neither know or am affiliated with Michael Woloszynowicz, nor Natalia Taffarel, Julia Kuzmenko, or Amy Dresser. My personal short-list of top pros to emulate and learn from.

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  4. Doc Pixel

    I like Aaron, I really do. He seems like such a sincerely friendly and cool guy, and really does make learning PS fun for beginners, which is his stated mission. However, because he is so nice and cool, I’m alarmed sometimes that he gets away with often times incomplete or false information, as do some of the other “really nice PS gurus” on YouTube.

    In this case, he says that you absolutely need to work on a full duplicate of an image for his “realistic stamp” technique when changing the brush mode. That is true. However, he very well could have used his previous “fake and too perfect layer” using the spot healing tool…. selected lighten mode for the layer, and change transparency to taste…. or even use a mask if need later…. and achieved the same results BUT with added flexibility.

    Fact: the mode rendering engine is identical in PS whether using a brush mode or a layer mode. It’s been taught for a very long time in retouching, that using layers is far more flexible, non-destructive, and better or equal to using blend modes on tools… including dedicated tools like the Dodge or Burn tool.

    Last but not least, the stamp tool is the last tool to use for this tutorial, and especially how he slapped it around all over the place. Down, dirty, quicky on an FB or web intentioned photo, but hardly printing out larger than 4×5 due to quality issues of the skin texture.

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  5. John Sheehan

    I’m a real fan of Aaron’s tutorials and I’ve learned a lot from them. Whenever anyone asks me to recommend a Youtube channel for learning Photoshop retouching, I automatically point them to Phlearn.

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  6. Chuck Eggen

    Gotta love the Nacer! His tutorials are so easy to follow. Just wish I could remember everything an hour later.

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