Kick Butt Little Lightroom Tip For Brightening Skin

Happy Friday, everybody. Here’s a quick little tip that is really helpful if you want to brighten your subject’s skin — not just their face — all their skin, and without having to paint or mask. Works in Lightroom Classic or LR Cloud version. Here’s how it works:

There’s only one step: In the Develop module, scroll down to the HSR / Color panel; click on the Luminosity tab, and then drag the Red and Orange sliders over to the right. Those two sliders control the brightness of the skin, and dragging them to the right brightens things right up. Conversely, dragging them to the left would darken the skin.

Note: These sliders do have an effect on all the Reds and Oranges in the image, but I’ve been using this trick for a while and I haven’t run into many situations where it affected the rest of the image so much that I couldn’t use it. Wanted to give you a heads up either way.

Have a great, safe, dry weekend everybody!


P.S. I’m heading up to the NECCC Photography Conference later this week – I’m speaking Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you’re going, I hope you’ll drop by and say hi. 🙂



  1. David Terry 8 July, 2022 at 16:25 Reply

    Here’s a cool one to try that uses the new masking feature of Lightroom:

    1) Select subject
    2) Intersect mask with Color Range – click on the most common color of the skin and slide the Refine slider left or right to pick up just the skin.
    3) Now you can brighten the skin of the subject by moving the exposure slider to the right

    This doesn’t affect any colors outside of the subject. However, if the subject is wearing clothes or has hair that is a similar shade as their skin, then those things will be adjusted too. However, this is true using the technique in the article as well. The main advantage to this method is limiting the adjustments to ONLY the subject while protecting everything else in the image while directly targeting the subject’s skin tones.

  2. photoMaldives 8 July, 2022 at 14:01 Reply

    Yes, great tips!
    For reddened skin, or dark skin tones, you can also try :
    – nudge the wb towards blue,
    – slide red hue a little towards orange,
    – decrease saturation of red & orange.
    Thanks for all you do, Scott.

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