How to Use Photoshop to Remove Tan Lines and Sunburns

With summer in full swing, Aaron Nace provides some helpful tips on removing those unwanted tan lines and sunburns from your photos using Photoshop. In the following instructional video, he opts to match the burnt skin to the skin tone of the normal skin and then adjust all of the skin to the preferred tone:

5 Steps for Removing Tan Lines from Photos

Here are the five simple steps as explained in the video:

  1. Select the area that contains redness. Using the Color Range tool, click on an area of skin that is burnt. The tool will select areas that match this color. Use the range slider in order to feather the selected area, and use the fuzziness slider to select a larger color range.
  2. Match the selected area to the skin tone of the unburnt skin. Make a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. Check the colorize option to make the skin tone more uniform, and choose a tan color. You can increase the lightness and lower the saturation in order to cause the skin to match the unburnt area.
  3. Blend the area. Make a new layer and choose the healing brush. Make sure the brush samples both layers. Start painting the brush around the tan lines in order to blur the transition. This brush can also take care of some sun spots or extra redness.
  4. Darken the skin color to the ideal shade. Create another Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. Select the colorize option, and choose a tan color. Inverse the layer mask (CTRL+I) and paint the skin with a white brush. Fix the final color using lightness, saturation, or opacity.
  5. Add definition. Blending the skin can remove definition. To fix this, create a new layer, and set the blend to soft light. Use a soft edge brush to paint black in the shadows and white in the highlights. Adjust using opacity.


tan lines sunburn Photoshop


“So, the next time someone comes to you and they got a gnarly tan line and they’re all worried about it on the photoshoot, say, ‘Don’t worry about it.'”

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever