As photo editors, we often have to fix images that are not perfect. This might include simple alterations, like removing blemishes, to more complex ones, like adding in missing elements or various effects. One of the most common image issues you’ll need to fix time and again is chapped lips, especially around the colder months. The question is: what is the best way to go about this process?
In this article, we will provide a brief but in-depth guide on how to fix chapped lips in one of the most popular graphics editors used today, Photoshop. As you read, you’ll learn what tools, settings, and Photoshop features will help you achieve luscious, healthy lips in just a few easy steps.
Use the Spot Healing Brush Tool for Quick Fixes
When it comes to editing images on Photoshop, there are oftentimes several ways to go about something while achieving relatively the same result. While we’d like to be thorough every step of the way, occasionally quick fixes are necessary to save time and energy.
The quickest and easiest way to fix chapped lips in Photoshop is by using the “Spot Healing Brush” or the more precise “Healing Brush” tools. These can be found in the toolbar on the left-hand side of your screen and will appear as a band-aid icon.
Photoshops’ healing brush tools are ideal for correcting little imperfections in your images. For chapped lips, this can include:
- Removing flaky skin
- Smoothing out minor cracks in the lips
- Eliminating shine from medications like ointments or chap stick
- Altering color to remove irritation
These tools can also help with simple edits you would perform on even the healthiest lips, such as removing small hairs that might be present around them.
Once selected, all you need to do is brush over the areas you want to fix and voilà! You’ll see instant results. If the lips are only slightly chapped and need minimal work, then these tools might be all you need.
However, if there is significant cracking, irritation, and other issues, you might want to limit how much you use the healing brush tools, as they could actually worsen the appearance. Instead, we recommend making small changes with these tools and then trying to incorporate other tools and methods on this list.
Clone Stamp Tool for Cracked and Chapped Lips
One of the hardest symptoms of cracked lips to edit is deep indentations or cracks in both the upper and lower lip. While the spot healing brush is great for smoothing out and eliminating small imperfections, it might not be enough to fix deep cracks. For this reason, we recommend using the clone stamp tool.
The clone stamp tool allows you to take a “sample” of an area of the image and then “stamp” or “clone” it over another area. This is great for taking the healthy skin around the lips and using it to cover up cracked skin.
To best use the clone stamp tool to fix chapped lips, follow the steps listed below:
- Open your image in Photoshop and correct any exposure or white balance issues
- Duplicate the background layer twice, naming on “high” and the other “low”
- Hide the “high” layer and select the “low” layer
- Select “Filter” then “Blur” then “Gaussian Blur” and set a radius of 4
- Alter the “high” layer’s blending mode to “Linear Light”
- In the “high” layer, select the “Clone Stamp” tool from the toolbar or by pressing “s” on your keyboard.
- In the Options bar, set the Sample to “Current Layer” and the Opacity to 100%
- Next, find an area of skin that is similar in tone and texture to the area you want to fix.
- Left-click to select this area and then hover over the area you want to fix.
- While holding down the left mouse button, begin “stamping” or “cloning” the healthy skin onto the cracked skin (be sure not to remove too much detail).
- Release the mouse button when you are satisfied with the results.
- Repeat this process as necessary.
The use of a high and low frequency layer in this guide is referred to as frequency separation, which is a commonly used retouching process used by professional editors and avid Photoshop users. While you can skip the early steps and go right to using the clone stamp tool, this guide will yield superior, more natural, results.
Alternatively, you can substitute the steps for frequency separation for those used in the popular “dodge and burn” method for comparable results if this process is more preferable.
The next time you notice chapped lips in the image you need to edit, try these Photoshop tools for a quick and effective fix. While there are more advanced methods you can use, the healing brush and clone stamp tools should provide you with sufficient results in fewer steps so you can move on to the next editing task or image.