By David Rosenthal. Sometimes it's desirable to remove pores and other complexion features. We're going to go through one method of reducing the pores in skin. This is a 100% crop of a larger picture, and we'll be working with this portion throughout the tutorial.
The first step is to add just enough Gaussian Blur to the image so that the features that you are trying to remove are not visible.
Don't worry that your image is blurry, we'll take care of that in a moment. Click OK.
Your History Palette won't look just like this, but the important thing is that your last History State will be the Gaussian Blur, which you just applied in the step above.
Select the previous layer (blue in this example), and click the box to the left of Guassian Blur, which will place the History Brush icon in that box. This means that when you paint with the history brush, it will be painting NOT with color, but with that History state. Confusing, mabye, but you'll see how it works in a minute.
Set the Mode for the History Brush Tool to Lighten. This will paint the blurry history state that we marked above only when it will lighten the image.
Paint any areas that you want to reduce the pores. It will only remove those that are darker than the surrounding skin.
(NOTE: if the features that you want to remove are lighter than the surrounding area, then choose Darken.)
Here you can see an animation of the original and the final result of the History Brush.
Also note that if you were to set the Bur to a higher radius in the first step, you could rid the photo of larger blemishes as well. You can also use it to reduce wrinkles. It won't really get rid of them, but it will lighten them nicely.
This same technique was used to Restore a 1970's Photo.