Even if your model has flawless skin, if it’s oily or combined, it will create unwanted reflections in your portraits. If you want to get rid of it, Unmesh Dinda of PiXimperfect suggests two solutions: a quick one and a quicker one.
Although this is the slower of the two methods, it’s still quick. First, you need to create a solid color adjustment layer and choose the approximate color of the model’s skin, the part of it that doesn’t have any shine. Change the layer’s blend mode to multiply, and you’ll see that the entire image now has the color cast of the color you selected. Of course, we don’t want that. So now, you need to double-click on the layer’s right side and adjust the underlying layer. Drag the left slider to the right, and then hold Alt/Option key and break it apart to make the transition smooth.
It’s already looking pretty good, as the shiny areas are now darkened while the skin texture remains intact. However… This method also darkens other bright areas in the portrait such as the eyes and the teeth. Yeah, you guessed it – you need to click on the layer mask, hit Ctrl/Cmd + I to invert it, and paint in only the shiny area with the Brush tool.
From here on, you can tweak the exact color of your adjustment layer and its opacity until you’re happy with the final result. If you have several different areas with the shine you want to remove, create multiple solid color layers and choose the colors based on skin tones.
The automatic method uses AI to remove the unwanted shine. And no, it doesn’t involve Adobe Firefly. Unmesh uses a Photoshop action by Retouch4Me, and it literally takes a few clicks to get splendid results. It’s fast and super-detailed, taking care of everything: color, saturation, and opacity in different areas of your portrait. However, it’s a paid action, so I guess it’s worth investing in only if you’re a professional and want to make your editing workflow much faster so you can focus more on paid photo shoots. If you’re a beginner – it’s better to learn how to do this from scratch anyway to know what lies behind the process.
Bonus: prevention is better than cure
Of course, if you happen to spot the shiny skin while still taking photos, it’s best to take care of it on the spot. It’s good to have blotting paper in your camera bag as it removes excess oil from the skin in an instant. As a replacement, your model can use white tissue paper or cigarette paper; they also work wonders (take it from a person with combined skin). Then, they can add a bit of mattifying powder on top if necessary. If your model doesn’t wear makeup, they can also use disposable face cleaning pads or some mild toner for a quick fix. But of course, we sometimes notice things only when we are already done shooting, and in cases like this – remember these tips from Unmesh and make sure to watch the video for a step-by-step tutorial.
[Remove UGLY Skin Shine – EASY Photoshop Fix! | PiXimperfect]