Learn how to retouch skin in Photoshop with a technique called frequency separation. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to apply frequency separation with a fully editable and nondestructive layer setup. This will let you readjust the settings or even make changes to your original layer without having to redo every single step.
Frequency separation gives skin an airbrushed look by splitting your photo into two layers; a high and low frequency layer. A high frequency layer is made with the high-pass filter and holds the sharp details of your photo. A low frequency layer is made with the low-pass filter, also known as the Gaussian Blur filter in Photoshop and it it holds the tones and colors of your photo. When these two layers combine, they form a normal-looking image.
By adjusting the balance of these two layers, you can choose how much softening to apply in the low frequency layer and how much detail to restore in the high frequency layer. Frequency separation isn’t going to do all the retouching for it. It won’t remove blemishes, mattify skin, remove redness, etc. It’s just a single technique to quickly enhance skin texture and tones.
As mentioned in the video, the skin retouching Photoshop actions can be downloaded here.