I'm trying to change skin color in photoshop to something more pale. I've heard adding a layer and setting it to 'hue' does this, but when I try, the change is absolutely minimal. To see if I was wrong, I tried painting over the shirt in the photo, and it didn't change at all, either.

do i need to make a duplicate layer of the background first? I've also tried messing around with the opacity and brush hardness, but nothing seems to be working.

I'm very new to photoshop (as in, I started today) so I'm really not sure what I'm asking or what's 'broken'. The hue blend tutorials I've seen don't work the same way for me as they do in the tutorial.


  • Hey there, first of all, you need to make some changes in your question in order to avoid any downvotes or being closed. :) I'd recommend adding a print-screen of what you have already tried and also add a link to the tutorial you mention. – Alin Dec 13 '15 at 12:38

"Color" has three components, hue, saturation, and value (or luminance or brightness). If you want stronger impact, change the blend mode of that layer to "Color" which will bring in the other missing components, saturation and value. Also keep in mind that you will not be able to do certain things with only this, like making a dark, tanned skin blond. This method is also a good way to even the skin tones instead of changing them. In case you missed, I mentioned to change the blend mode of the "layer" rather than the brush. This technique is best used on a blank layer with its blend mode set to "Color" rather than directly brushing on the image.

I have an extensive series of posts, the most relevant of them to your question is below:



What you need to understand a little is the HSB space. That's Hue Saturation and Brightness.

Using this photo from Unsplash, https://unsplash.com/photos/h3vR1F8-caI

enter image description here

If I eyedrop her skin tone we find a Saturation of around 14-20 on the light areas and about 30-50 on the darker parts of skin. This screenshot was from eyedropper on her forehead:

enter image description here

On a new layer using 100% Red over her face:

enter image description here

Now if I change the Layer Mode to Hue what its doing is saying to Photoshop, adjust the Hue of whatever is under this without changing the Saturation or Brightness:

enter image description here

So it is working as intended but you need to either combine with other techniques or use something else entirely if its not achieving your goal. Hope this explains why the change is so minimal.

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