From all retouching techniques for skin, I like the so-called inverted high pass method the most. It looks very natural and the process is being used by professionals around the world.
And the best thing is: It is a very fast technique.
Retouching skin can be a tiring thing. And when it comes to nude photography, there is a lot of skin. Often, skin colors require a bit of smoothing but you want to bring back some skin structure, at the same time. Adding a texture to a three dimensional image is difficult. So some clever people came up with a method to speed up this process with the help of Photoshop.
Inverted High Pass in Photoshop
Make sure your image is 16bit.
Copy the background layer twice, rename to ‘blur’ and ‘high pass’.
Use Gaussian blur on the ‘blur’ layer with an amount that looks super smooth
yet leaves contours.
Select the high pass layer and go to Image > Apply Image, select layer ‘blur’,
check ‘invert’, blending mode ‘add’, scale ‘2’.
Hide layer ‘blur’ as it won’t be needed anymore. Use
Gaussian blur with one third of previous value on layer ‘high pass’ and
invert your layer.
Select ‘linear light’ for ‘high pass’ layer and
add a layer mask (filled black). Now, draw with a white brush on the areas
you’d like to apply the correction to.
Reduce opacity of layer ‘high pass’ to reduce the effect, keep