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How to lighten skin in Photoshop CS6?

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At one time or the other, you may have bought a magazine from a stand or borrowed one from your friend. Just before you even open the magazine, one usually takes a few minutes to check out the front image. The image of the person is a little different. They are usually a little dark but the magazine cover shows them as light. Well, everyone wants to lighten his or her skin. Michael Jackson did it, why not you.

Magazine cover of Michael Jackson

While Michael had all the money to undergo the expensive procedures, for you, you can begin with your photos by Photoshop face editing them. Change a few photos that seem to display you in bad light. Thanks to Photoshop skin retouch, you can be able to achieve this with ease.

Below is a step-by-step guide of how to lighten skin in Photoshop CS6

Select your area

Before you begin changing the skin tone, you need to have an HD image that is clear and crisp. The reason you have to it, this is that it displays all features better even the tiniest of details. If you don’t have any photos of yourself in HD or you don’t want to mess with them, you can download one from the Internet. Always remember to look out on any copyright information as it could result in a few mishaps if the photo were to be posted in public.

A clear model image to make her skin lighten

You have some tools to enable you make the selection: Lasso tool, Polygonal lasso tool, Quick-Selection tool, Magic wand tool, Pen tool etc. Learn here how to use selection tools in Photoshop.

Make the selection using Quick Selection Tool: When using the Quick Selection Tool, mouse tap on the area you want to select example the face and move with your mouse. You can hold the alt key when dragging to eliminate any extraneous places such as eyebrows and eyes. You can always reduce the size of you’re the quick selection tool with [ and ] keys.

Select the area using quick selection tool

You can also use the Pen Tool, which can be found on the toolbar. With the Pen Tool, you can make the edge of the selection high quality. It is an easy to use tool and you should try it out. You can also know about clipping path service, which is done by this pen tool.

Refine your selection

When selecting using the Quick selection tool, you will find out that other items will have been added. Since you main aim is to lighten the skin of model image, you can remove the other items easily by using the lasso tool. Mouse taps on the lasso tool from the tool bar on the left, press the alt key on your keyboard and simply moves on your image until you select the items you don’t need in your photo.

Remove the other items easily by using-the lasso tool

You can also zoom in to the photo to clean up a few things so as to enhance the details and finally have a great effect in the end. Around the eyes, the mouth, the nose and the ears, you can use the lasso tool with the alt key to remove details you don’t need.

Zoom in the image and remove the other items

Using the SHIFT key and the lasso tool, you can move around and select places you want to add to your selection. This provides you with a large canvas to work on which finally gives you the desired effect.

Selected all skin area using quick selection and lasso tool

Once you have your photo selected, you need to duplicate it. In order to duplicate a layer, press CRTL+J on your keyboard. You should see another layer appearing above the original one. Rename this layer to something like “Light Tone”. This will help to differentiate the layers.

Duplicate the Layer in a different layer

Refine the edges

Right click with the mouse pointer on your canvas, select Refine edge, turn on smart radius and then place the radius to 5 pixels. You can also paint along the hairline, as this will make your selected canvas to look natural. To do this, you need to locate the Feather amount to 0.5 pixels and the Shift Edge to 25%. Once you are done, you can right tap with you mouse point on ok to make the changes effective.

Select Radias, Feather and shift edge on the refine edge

You are required to craft a mask of the selected area you have completed and this can be achieved by clicking the Add Layer-Mask tool at the Layers Panel.

Use layer mask tool in the layer panel

Make a new Levels Adjustment

To do this, hold down Command and click on the Layer Mask thumbnail located in the properties panel.

Click on the layer mask thumbnail in Light tone layer

Then click on the levels from the lower panel of the layer. To achieve the desired light skin tone, you need to move the right and middle stop to the left. You also need to move the left stop to the right a little bit to keep the dart tone natural.

Adjust the levels to make the skin lighten

Finally, choose a Curves adjustment-layer and adjust the curve to brighten the hair or change the hair color. Make sure it matches with your new facial tone and you are done.

Final image after lighten the skin

At last, look at your masterpiece and marvel at your success.

About the auther 

Rokaiya is a creative graphic designer, Internet marketer, and a blogger. She joined the team of clippingpathspecialist.com is a brand of Outsource Experts Ltd on 2010 as a head of it’s marketing department, and she's been working with the tool ever since! She likes to share tips and tricks on photo editing and graphic design!

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