Skin Retouching

In this tutorial you will learn how to perfectly retouch skin with a technique called frequency separation. We show you, how to split the image in a layer with details only and another layer with color only, by using our popularFrequency Separation Photoshop Action.

DomQuichotte will show you different, professional techniques on how to smoothen skin, remove skin blemishes and wrinkles, without destroying the image or making it blurry. Once you’ve figured out, how to retouch skin perfectly, make sure to also improve your hair retouching skills with our Hair Retouching Tutorial.



Subtitles available in English, German, Polish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.


Comments (161)

  1. David White

    This tutorial helps me a lot. Do you know that after reading this blog my mind just changed? I hope you will post more on this topic. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. Mukul

    very nice article it is very helpful. great collection and a lot of good inspiration for getting better final results 🙂 Helped me getting even more beautiful shots. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Matthew Lyn

    Wow, Totally amazing. The best instructional video for Frequencies yet and the comment on “do not show the model the check list version, unless you want her to feel really ugly” totally cracked me up lol (still laughing). My retouching skills have increased a few times over. Thank you so much

  4. Cristian

    Hi, when I get to the heailing brush part, the heailing brush too doesn’t show any changes (it’s doesn’t do anything on the high frequency layer).


  5. Stefano

    Hi, I downloaded the projected files, but when I click to execute it, It just start Photoshop but it doesnt’ happen anything. Could you please explain to me? Thanks

  6. Martin

    Great frequency separation video, I would like to know how to edit with this technique. Let’s say a client wants to have a birthmark on the image that was retouched. Thanks.

  7. Alena

    sorry but I’ve already found a answer to my previous question
    Thanks a lot for your tutorial
    it’s really the best I’ve seen!

  8. leon

    great tutorial,

    I noticed that on the low frequency layer for some parts of the face you use motion blur and for other parts you use gaussian blur. Why is that and what is the difference?

  9. Merrit Olson

    I would like to know all about the 4 check layers. Invert, Black and White, Solarize, and Skin Blemish.
    I’m pretty sure you are lowering red channel in a mixer channel for skin blemish, I’m familiar with the solarize layer, then will just anything work to desaturate for the B&W?

  10. Kerensa

    Hi! Just downloaded today but when I run the simple frequency seperation action it tells me that ‘if’ is not available – is this an important step or can I continue without that, or if it is needed i’ll need help in finding out why mine doesn’t work – I use Photoshop CC version – thank you!

    • FX-Ray

      The ‘if” is only available in Photoshop CC (otherwise you need to use the Photoshop CS5 action). Since you’re using Photoshop CC, it should actually work. Make sure your image is in either 8-bit or 16-bit. Let us know, if this helped you.

  11. Royi

    What’s your opinion and experience with tools (Plug In’s as opposed to scripts) like Wow! Tonal Equalizer?
    They seem to have multi scale, multi frequency separation.
    Do you have any experience with them?

    • FX-Ray

      Sorry, we don’t have any experience with that. Actually, as a retoucher, DomQuichotte has his own scripts and his own workflow. So for him, there’s no need for third parties.

  12. Simone


    but i have one questione. Why for the skin retouch you use the clone tool on the low level, and not the grey 50% (soft light) with dodging and burning? Which tecnique is better in your opinion?

  13. Andreas

    Sehr schönes Tutorial, klasse erklärt und es ist auch immer super das die PSD Dateien heruntergeladen werden können. Vielen Dank

  14. renee

    will you mind creating an action for elements 12 and video for elements 12? I can\´t find apply image option. Thanks.

  15. Rashed

    Thanks for sharing this tutorials with us. You are such a caring person, because "sharing is caring" 🙂

  16. Frank Eickhoff

    Hello Dom.
    Thanks so very much for this exelent tutorial. I used frequence separation before but never with check layers. This give my pictures the ultimate kick!!

    Vielen Dank aus Schweden. Du bist was Photoshop angeht absolut mein Held!!

    // Frank

  17. HAI

    cảm ơn ban rất nhiều.rất bổ ích.hj vọng bạn có thêm nhiều taturial mới.thankyou

  18. william otim

    i am a Uganda who loves photography but i didnt study it at any institute friends have been helping me out. am not good at skin retouch. can you kindly send me some tutorials if you can. i will be grateful to improve my editing skills

  19. buthan

    i can´t open the file in actions. it wont see it as an action file.. i am using photoshop cs6 please help…

  20. Janet

    Thanks for the excellent tips. I noticed you started the video using 8 bits but later it lookes like you switched to 16 bits. I have noticed that many retouchers prefer 16 over 8 bits. Does it make a big difference for you? Which one do you prefer?

  21. buday

    can you please upload your tutorial videos on youtube also?because your all of your tutorial videos are banned in my country 🙁

  22. Dzakiyah

    Saya telah mengikuti kursus privat yg cukup mahal…setelah melihat video retouching dari ini saya merasa apa yang telah saya dapat tidak ada apa – apanya…terima kasih yang sangat tidak terkira buat fx-ray.

  23. Albert

    I´ve seen many tutorials like this, but this is the first one where a) the provided actions work seamlessly and b) the tutorial is simply amazing.
    Thank you very much for sharing this with the world!

  24. Andreas

    Thanks for the amazing tutorial!! This is really quality stuff! I want to know how long it takes to do this retouching work?

  25. shermin

    Thank you 🙂 but I can\´t seem to use them in photoshop cs6 🙁 It doesn\´t let me press the \´play\´ button to load the preset

  26. gracio de freitas

    Thank you very much. You have hgh quality stuff and you giv it all by free. Thank you again….

  27. Indra Gill

    I was watching Lindsay Adler on CreativeLive and she mentioned you (in glowing terms), and I came right here. Thanks for the downloads and tutorials!

  28. Sebastian

    I already knew Frequency Separation but your approach seems to be more modern and up-2-date. The use of Motion blur is also a great help for me!


  29. Femo

    Thanks for this tutorial and also for the actions. You guys are amazing. learn\´t a lot already.

  30. Carlo Chira Garcia

    Excellent contribution. I would ask a special favor, I could get the subtitles in the video would be Spanish (srt file.) Very helpful for my learning. Best Regards

  31. christopher cameron

    probably the most comprehensive freq separation tutorial available on the internet. Very very good!

  32. imageonephotography

    you are amazing. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with the world and making it a better place.

  33. gmod36

    Awesome tutorial.
    But please explain how you improved the look of the eyes and the eye-lashes.
    Thanks in advance.

  34. Hasitha

    nice buddy…………many more ideas I got……….specialy your free image I down it,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, thanks.nice job.keep it

  35. Silvia

    Amazing tutorial! I´ve understood all the things you\´ve explained, and I have also learned a bit of English 😀 (I\´m Italian, I think you have noticed that looking my comment). Love all your tutorials, but I think that this is my favourite 😀

  36. Michelle

    This is really HELPFULL and AWESOME, i usually retouch with another tipe of frecuency separation, but this one adds more details and you can actually separate color of textures.
    Love it.
    Can you make a Dodge and Burn tutorial? Thank you so much, awesome work!!

  37. cpgregorio

    Nice tutorials. keep them coming and more power to the group responsible for making it happen and made available for everyon

  38. debi

    i´m just give your idea if u make tutorial u can give subtitle. because no one can speak english. like me, im just can speak indonesia

  39. Micheline

    everytime I have to go to the FB page to unlike and then click here on the "like" button again and again and again I get the message I have to like the page here.

  40. Silvio

    Sehr schön gemacht. Mich würde nur interessieren, an welchen Stellen nutzt du den Bereichsreperatur Pinsel und wo den Stempel. Ich hab es mal nach gemacht und komme fast immer mit dem normalen Kopierstempel zu besseren Ergebnissen. Beim BRPinsel wird es oft zu weich und Details gehen eher verloren. Falsche Einstellungen ??