How to Color Correct Skin in Photoshop

Have you ever taken a photo and noticed that the skin tone looked a little off? Maybe a little too red or yellow? Color correcting skin in Photoshop is a common and essential skill for photographers and graphic designers alike. By making subtle adjustments to color balance, hue, and saturation, you can achieve more true-to-life skin tones in your photos. In this blog, we will explore some techniques for color correcting skin in Photoshop to help you achieve natural and beautiful results in your portraits. Let’s dive in and learn how to make your subjects’ skin look flawless in just a few simple steps.

How to Color Correct Skin in Photoshop

Today I’m gonna show you how to color correct skin tone in Photoshop


Hey there and welcome to phlearn my name is Aaron NACE you can find me on phlearn dot-com where we make learning fun in today’s episode we’re gonna show you how to color correct skin tone with a really Simple technique this is something anyone can do it just takes a couple of minutes now there are a bunch of different situations that can result within proper skin tone in your image maybe the lighting was a little bit weird for you had a couple different color light sources or maybe you didn’t Set the proper white balance on your camera in this episode we’re going to show you how to use a reference image with proper skin tone and how to make simple adjustments to your photos so you can color correct easily we got a great tutorial let’s jump into Photoshop

Using a Reference Image

So Here we are in Photoshop now we’ve got a couple of different images open and you can actually download all of these images on phlearn comm just follow the link in the description right down below so what I have here is an image on the Left where the skin is just looking a Little bit too red and maybe not enough saturation in the skin we have an image here where the skin is looking a little bit green and a little bit yellow and then we have our reference image and this is an image I pulled off a stock Image website that I felt had proper or a correct skin tone that I want to mimic this is a big part of the process you want to make sure to find a reference image that has proper skin tone and do your best to match the qualities of Their skin as well as the lighting in the photos to the quality of the skin of your image for instance if you photograph someone with dark skin be sure to find a reference image of someone who also has dark skin here we are in Photoshop so we’re gonna start by Color correcting the image on the left now to start with I’m gonna grab my move tool and we’re gonna take a reference and actually just click and drag this from that image right over here now it’s a little bit too large we’ll hit ctrl or command T and let’s go ahead and scale That down I just need to be able to see this color skin compared to this color skin so let’s hit f4 full screen now the tool we’re going to use is the Selective color adjustment layer and this is the best tool for color correcting skin the reason is we can actually choose our Target color in this case it’s going to be Reds because skin is predominantly red and we can make subtle adjustments to that and of course now we have a reference so we know what we’re aiming for so let’s go ahead and create our lair we’re gonna go to layer down to new Adjustment layer and down to selective color let’s hit OK and here from the color drop-down you want to choose Red’s now anytime that I make adjustments to this selective color it’s just going to show up on everything that’s underneath it so as you can see I’m making adjustments here there we go obviously It’s not right at all but this is not affecting my reference image because my reference image is above this selective color so let’s go ahead and reset that and take a look at what we’ve got now to start with we have a few different sliders we have this LAN magenta yellow And black sliders so starting with the cyan slider if I push this to the right it’s gonna add more cyan to the Reds if I go to the left it’s gonna push more reds into my image so we have red in cyan now the next we have magenta to the Right is going to give us more magenta to the left is gonna give us more green and we have yellow to the right is going to be more yellow to the left is gonna be more blue and then the black slider will make this skin darker or a little Bit lighter so let’s go ahead and reset this now it’s a start I want our skin to just be a little bit lighter so we’re gonna pull our black slider a little bit over to the left the big thing we want to color correct is we’ve got a bit too Much magenta in the skin so we’re gonna take our magenta slider and we’re gonna start to drag that to the left which is gonna reduce the magenta and give us a little bit of green in the skin okay now not too much and this is where the reference image comes in really really Handy there we go that’s looking pretty good now you can always adjust these sliders at any time if you get it to a point where you think it looks good maybe take a little break come back and look at it again if it still looks good you’re good to go if Not you can continue to make adjustments in this case we’re gonna add just a little bit more yellow to the skin so let’s click on our yellow slider and bring that to the right as well and we’re just gonna pull down the cyan a little bit which is gonna give a little Bit of red to the skin let’s pull down the amount of magenta as well there we go we’re actually looking really good maybe just a little bit less yellow and a little bit more red by pulling down our cyan slider there we go so all these sliders you can see they All work together and by having my reference image over here it makes this much easier for me to actually work and match the colors of the skin all right that’s actually looking really good maybe we’ll just pull the scions down a little bit more which is just gonna put A little bit more red and then a little bit more yellow okay now at this point we can see we’re matching fairly well from one image to another let’s go ahead and make our reference image invisible and take a look at the skin so here’s our before and our after with the skin Tone it’s usually maybe it’s just me but I kind of tended the tendency to overdo things in Photoshop so my next recommendation it’s actually just to lower the opacity of this layer just a little bit to get some of the original color back so we’re gonna go to the pot Opacity slider we’re just gonna lower it just a little bit and there we go something that like 70 or 80 percent and I think this is actually looking really really good so we have our skin maybe we’ll bring our opacity back up just a little bit More okay so here’s our before and our after color correcting that skin tone super easy to do now it’s time for another example so we’re gonna go ahead and bring in our second example here again I want to make sure I use my reference image so we’ll click and drag From our reference image into our second example ctrl or command T and we’re gonna simply resize this just make it a little bit smaller and we’ll hit f4 full screen now we’re gonna just basically do the exact same thing grab an adjustment layer this time I’m going to go right Down here to selective color and this time looking at our subject skin there’s a little bit too much yellow so I’m gonna take my yellow slider and simply drag that from the right to the left until we have less yellow it’s a little bit too much

FAQs about How to Color Correct Skin in Photoshop

1. What is skin color correction in Photoshop?

Skin color correction in Photoshop is the process of adjusting the tones and hues of the skin to create a more natural and pleasing look. This can involve correcting any blotchiness, unevenness, or discoloration in the skin.

2. How do I start the process of color correcting skin in Photoshop?

To begin, open your image in Photoshop and create a new adjustment layer for color correction. You can use tools like the Hue/Saturation, Curves, or Color Balance adjustments to tweak the skin tones.

3. How can I fix redness or blemishes on the skin?

To reduce redness or blemishes on the skin, you can use the healing brush tool or spot healing brush tool in Photoshop. This allows you to target specific areas and blend in the colors seamlessly.

4. Is it possible to maintain the skin’s natural texture while color correcting?

Yes, it is possible to maintain the skin’s natural texture while color correcting. One way to do this is to use a light touch with your adjustments and blend them in carefully using layer masks and opacity settings.

I hope you find useful my article How to Color Correct Skin in Photoshop, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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