How to Fix Red Skin

Remove Red Skin GIF


In just a few simple steps, you can remove the redness from anyone’s face.




Step 0: Downloading the Image

For this tutorial, we’ll be using this snowy portrait. Be sure to download the image, so you can follow along. Practice makes perfect! 🙂 



Step 1: HSL Adjustment

The first thing we need to do is apply an HSL adjustment layer. To do this, press the Adjustments icon.

Adjustment Icon


Apply an HSL adjustment.

Select HSL


By using an HSL adjustment, we can change the Hue and Saturation of the colors in our image. If you’d like to learn more about Affinity Photo’s adjustment layers, be sure to check out the Adjustment Layer’s chapter in our beginner’s guide to Affinity Photo.

By default, the HSL adjustment affects all of the colors in our photo, but we can change it so that it only affects the reds.

Select the Reds


Now as I change the Hue slider, you can see that only the reds are being affected. This works well for us, because skin tones are primarily made of red.

Only affect reds


To color correct red skin, you’ll typically want to lower the Hue slider to around -5 or -10. You’ll also want to lower the Saturation.

Lower Hue and Saturation

And just like that, we’ve already removed a lot of the redness from her skin.


Step 2: Painting Time!

Right now, the HSL adjustment is affecting all of the reds in our photo, including the red in her hair. We want this adjustment to only affect her skin.

To fix this, we’re first going to invert the HSL adjustment. Make sure the HSL adjustment is selected, and then press Command I (Mac) or Control I (PC).

Invert adjustment


Now the adjustment layer is completely hidden. Now we just need to paint in white to reveal the adjustment layer exactly where we want it.

So, let’s get out the Paint Brush Tool, and set our color to white, the Hardness to 0%, and choose an appropriate brush size. Then begin painting to reveal the HSL adjustment on her skin.

Select the Paint Brush, color, hardness


Now our adjustment is only affecting the reds on her skin, not her hair.

After painting


Unfortunately, there’s still some parts of her skin that are too red. We could try using our HSL adjustment to decrease the red’s Saturation even more, but that might make her skin look too desaturated.

Instead, this technique typically works better if we use multiple HSL adjustment layers, rather than increasing the settings on a single HSL adjustment.   

Apply a new HSL adjustment. Our new HSL adjustment is already set to affect the reds in our photo. Now we just need to bring the Hue and Saturation down again.

Decrease Hue and Saturation


Then invert the adjustment layer by pressing Command I (Mac) or Control I (PC).

Invert layer


Now we can paint in white on the places that need some extra red removed from them.

Paint in white


We’ve now removed the blotchy redness from her skin. 🙂


Bonus tip! You can paint on a Lens Filter Adjustment to add some warmth back into her face. I used an orange Filter Color, with the Optical Density set to 30%.

Great work! We have successfully made her look a little less frozen.

penguins GIF