I'm looking for a quick method for reducing wrinkles in an image.

Specifically for images that weren't taken professionally. So ones with highlights and shadows all over the place making it difficult to just brighten the area.

My current method is to just use the Spot Healing Brush Tool to remove the wrinkles completely after fixing the lighting as best I can.

How can I reduce (but not remove) wrinkles in an image of a person?

  • 3
    Honestly, there's a lot more wrong with that photo than just poor lighting and wrinkles (the camera shake is particularly obvious), and you probably can't fix it all. This is still an interesting how-to question, but the best practical solution is probably to retake a better photo if at all possible. Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:39
  • Agree with Ilmari Karonen comment. The overall color of the photo and contrast need to be corrected.
    – Rafael
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:43
  • One tip. Find out more about frequency separation google.com/search?q=frequency+separation+photoshop
    – Rafael
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:44
  • Nice tip @Rafael, definitely going to read up on that.
    – Dom
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


Learn to dodge and burn. There are many ways to do this, the 3 most common are:

  • Dodge and Burn Tool
  • Brush set to Lighten or Darken
  • Curves Adjustment Masked In

Dodge and Burn Tool

Create a new layer with 50% gray set to Soft Light. Some people even create two of these layers. Name it/them Dodge and Burn.

enter image description here

Then use the Dodge and Burn tool to fix the wrinkles and then the layer Opacity for fine tuning. For wrinkle reduction you really only need Dodge. I set the Range to Midtones, Exposure to 10, Protect Tones activated and then in a few seconds brought it to this:

enter image description here

Lighten Brush

Create a layer the same was as above in the Dodge/Burn method. 50% gray, soft light. Then select a White Brush and change the Brush Blend mode to Lighten. Lower the Flow or Opacity down to like 10% and have at it:

enter image description here

Curves Adjustment

Create a Curves Adjustment layer and increase the midtones a little and if you want you can increase the shadows a tad too. A benefit of this method is the Curves will be adjustable so you can always change this later too (If you were needing to Burn then you'd do a second Curves Adjustment for Burning)

enter image description here

Then invert the mask and paint in where you want the adjustment to show:

enter image description here

This was quick but here's a quick gif showing before and after.

enter image description here

  • Definitely a good quality method of improvement thanks. Is it non-destructive? It looks like it is, just double-checking.
    – Dom
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:53
  • As long as you do them on New Layers like I explain then yes. If you take the Brush or Dodge tool directly to your image layer then no. @Dom
    – Ryan
    Commented May 3, 2016 at 18:54

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