Heal Brush - Sometimes Not So Simple
Want to get rid of individual pimples or moles? I think most free or paid applications and apps have some sort of healing brush. Here's the workflow: paint over blemish > Done.
But some cases are just not that simple. Here's one such case:
The heal brush normally uses surrounding pixels to patch a bad spot. There are other heal methods (photoshop has some advanced healing tools), but that's generally what happens. In a case like this, the skin tones are uneven, the acne is one color, the skin is another, and the open pores make the healing brush a challenge.
My method was to sample some skin from a different area and place it OVER this cheek. With this new layer, I could adjust the transparency and color to start to get a nice skin tone. Blend the layers, and THEN do some basic spot healing since the pinkish skin should be reduced in color. After that, if your program offers it, let AI take over and see what it can do. Finally, I lasso-selected the cheek again and changed the color curves to give a final look.
It's not perfect, but for a social media post or digital photo album it is. And when you do something like this - whether it's skin correction or removing something in a lake - don't make it perfect. It just would not look real. If the subject has acne - let a little red and open pores show through so the skin does not look like a mannequin. If you're removing something surrounded by leaves - add some leaves over your edit.
"BUT YOU COULD JUST USE THE ORTON EFFECT!" - nah, I'm not really an Orton guy.