Step 12

We’re done smoothing the skin, but now the whole image is smooth. We need to use a layer mask to erase the effect from the areas that are not the skin. Select the top two layers and press Ctrl+G or go to the Layers menu and select Group Layers to group the layers. Then, add a layer mask by going into the Layers> Layer Mask menu and selecting Hide All.

Grouped Layers

Step 13

You should now see back the image the way it originally was without the smooth skin effect. We will be painting the layer mask over the skin. But because this effect is subtle, it may be difficult to see where we have painted over. So before we paint the layer mask, add a new layer above the High Pass layer and fill it with the color red. Then, change the opacity of the red layer to 50%.

Outline Layer

Step 14

Select back the Group layer mask by clicking on the black thumbnail in the layers palette. Select the brush tool and paint over the skin to make the smooth skin effect visible over those areas that you paint. To change the setting of the brush, right mouse click anywhere and the Brush settings will appear. Start with large diameter and a hardness about 50. Then, fill in the tiny spots with a smaller brush. You don’t have to be too precise with this step. Minor flaws will not be noticeable.

Tip: To quickly change the brush size, press the [ key to decrease the brush size and the ] key to increase the brush size.

Layer Mask Painting

Layer Mask

Step 15

Delete the red fill layer when you’re done.

Final Results

Rollover the images to see the before and after effect. It may take awhile for the images to load.

Airbrushing - Natrual Smooth Skin Photoshop TutorialAirbrushing - Natrual Smooth Skin Photoshop TutorialAirbrushing - Natrual Smooth Skin Photoshop Tutorial


  1. hello sir,
    i have many photos , that have not even skin tone there is major difference between face & hand or face & leg .etc
    will you please suggest how can i solve this problem in photoshop…?
    Thank you

  2. hi, I was wondering, at the end of the dodging and burning part on the video, it suddenly changed and goes to a thing where there are loads of different colour effects and lightings that you can choose from. Could you please tell me how you did it because I really would like to do something simular to my own photo, thanks a lot!

  3. Hi! After finishing everything I clicked the smart object ‘original’ once more then after that I cannot return to my finished images with ‘dodging & burning’ layer. Kinda stucked on the ‘original’. How is that happening? Thanks.

  4. I’m using the brush tool and have followed the steps up to here but when I try and use the brush nothing changes in the picture, even when at 100% I can’t see a difference, and when I put a red layer on above the high pass it is very very faint. Why is this and how do I fix it?