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How to quickly fix the appearance of oily skin in Photoshop

Portrait Retouching Tip: Fix Shiny Skin in Photoshop & Lightroom
Nobody is perfect. It’s a part of life. It’s also a part of portrait photography.

No matter how wonderful someone’s skin may be, or how much makeup they may use — either before a photoshoot or on location — it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll capture an image that shows the subject’s face as a bit shiny. This sheen is due to the oils our skin produces to keep it moisturized.

While it’s best to minimize the shine before ever snapping the shutter, don’t worry if you can’t get it all. A few minutes in Photoshop should be more than enough to take care of the problem.

To help walk you through the process of toning down the sheen, photographer Joe Edelman has created a helpful tutorial video. In it, he explains why this shine appears and breaks down the quick and simple process for fixing it.

Specifically, the edit involves creating a new Photoshop layer to work with. Once the layer is created, you need to sample the skin color of the subject to get the correct color palette. With the sample chosen, adjust the layer’s blend mode to “darken” and set the opacity at 15 percent. Now, grab a brush, set the hardness to zero percent, and carefully brush over the areas where the skin appears shiny.

This tip won’t make a bad portrait great, but knowing this little post-production technique will help you next time your portraits need just a little fixing up to remove a distracting element. It never hurts to have another trick up your sleeve. And the best part about this particular method is that it’s compatible with any skin tone.

As with many other fixes in Photoshop, there are multiple ways to go about editing shiny skin. This particular method is just one of the most simple and convenient ways to go about it. Just don’t get too crazy that the photo becomes unnatural looking.

For more of Edelman’s tutorials, head to his YouTube channel.

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