Before I begin this post, I’d like to say that I love freckles. I have nothing against freckles in any way, shape or form. That said, I think freckles are perfect for writing a post about how to clear skin using the Spot Healing Brush Tool in Adobe Photoshop. Do you know how difficult it is to locate a photo of someone with facial blemishes? If not, I’ll tell you. It’s really difficult. I couldn’t find a single one that was worth using. That’s why I decided to go with the one with freckles in it. In real life though, I wouldn’t want to remove any of these freckles because each and every one is beautiful.
In today’s post, I’m going to show you the proper method for removing any type of skin blemish using Adobe Photoshop. It’s really easy to do. Actually, I do this type of thing so much, it’s almost second nature. There is a step involved, though, that can save a lot of time later on, so be sure to read on below. It’s probably the most important step of the entire operation.
The photo I’ll be using for this post is below. I think it’s just perfect because there are so many freckles that could possibly be removed. Down in a later section, I’ll show you why this is a good thing.
The Spot Healing Brush Tool
The tool in question is currently the seventh one down in the left vertical toolbar, as can be seen in the screenshot below.
It’s the first one in the flyout. Also, if you’ll notice in the screenshot as well, there are some options in the options bar up top. For this project, I’ll be using the Normal mode, the Content-Aware type and I’ll be sampling all layers.
Removing Freckles & Blemishes
The first thing I want to do before I actually begin removing any skin blemishes is to create a new layer that sits above the photo layer. Think about this step as the equivalent of laying a piece of plastic wrap over a photograph that you have resting on your kitchen table. If you drew on the plastic wrap with a magic marker, you’d certainly be making some visible changes, but you wouldn’t be affecting the photo at all. Since I want this process to be non-destructive, this top layer is essential.
For this new layer to be effective, I need to make sure I have the Sample All Layers box checked in the options bar up top. If that box wasn’t checked, all the Spot Healing Brush would be taking into account is the top, empty, layer. Since I want the healing brush to dig through all the available layers, I’ll need to make sure I’m using the correct setting. This extra layer and sample all layers step is what I was referring to above. This is extremely important. Just imagine removing every single blemish on someone’s face and then having your boss walk by and tell you that they changed their mind. Put them all back. Believe me, this happens. In this case, all you’d have to do is to delete the top layer that’s holding the alterations. I’ll show you what that would look like below.
Once the settings in the option bar have been made, it’s off to the races. I’ll size the brush itself by pressing the [ and ] keys on my keyboard to shrink and enlarge it. I like the brush size to be about twice the size of the blemish. Once that done, I’ll simply begin clicking on anything I would like removed.
Okay, I went ahead and clicked on a whole bunch of freckles. You can’t really tell, but many of them are now gone.
Don’t believe me? Well, if I hide the photo layer and just show the top, plastic wrap layer, you can easily see every freckle I removed.
Again, this top layer is there to protect the bottom one.
Using the Eraser Tool to Bring Back Removed Blemishes
What if I made a mistake and would like to bring back a blemish (or freckle in this case) I removed earlier? Since I used a protective layer, this isn’t an issue at all. All I would need to do is activate the Eraser Tool and start erasing.
As long as I’m sure to erase on the top layer with the dots on it, I can flip back and forth between which layer is visible. Sometimes it’s helpful to see the photo layer underneath and sometimes it’s helpful to see just the layer with the removed blemishes on it. Either way, there’s a lot of flexibility here.
Really, this is all there is to it. It’s so much easier to remove skin blemishes in Photoshop than it has ever been. I could tell you stories from 2001. I don’t want to bore you, but I’ll tell you that this type of task was miserable. Ugh. Anyway, if you have any questions or concerns regarding this post, please leave them in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!