Photo Makeover – getting rid of terrible stretch marks in photoshop


Today I was reading some posts on a forum, and a photographer had a question.  “How can I get rid of these terrible stretch marks on my client’s belly?”  In real life I cannot say, but in Photoshop, it is a relatively easy task.  Below I have shown you the before belly with dark markings.  And my two after shots.  In the middle shot, I fixed the marks and then brought them back very subtly so it would look natural.  In the bottom shot, I made them disappear completely.

Tools used: 1st I used my “underexposure fixer” to brighten up the photo, as it was severely underexposed.  This made them appear worse than they actually were.  I then did a slight s-curve using a curves adjustment layer.  I then flattened the photo.  Next I used “powder your nose” from the “magic skin” action set.  I painted the powder on the belly. I increased the opacity of this layer to 100%, which normally I never do.  It helped a lot, but this belly needed more.

So I used the trick I taught you the other day in my video “skin tricks part 2.”  I made a new blank layer, sourced a skin color with the eye dropper (of the lighter part of skin), and then with the brush set to an airbrush soft round at 18% opacity and 18% flow, I started painting on the belly.  I let the effect build.  Slowly you could see things getting almost perfect.  I added a layer mask.  And then used black paint at 30% opacity, 100% flow. And I brought back a little detail in shadows and at the belly button so it would not look too powdery.  This resulted in the 3rd shot.

Then to bring back very light marks so it looked more real (as in the 2nd shot), I decreased the opacity of the “powder your nose” layer to 50%.

And there you get to the results below.  I hope this helped and you could follow me.  Feel free to save the photo and play yourself to see if you can duplicate the effect.

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 1


    Oh my gosh that poor woman! i couldn’t even finish reading the directions I felt so badly for her! I’m sure her beautiful twins were worth it though! :)

  2. 5


    i have a huge question. can you share a easy way to create an action using a vector image? your tips are always so useful- thanks a million for this awesome blog!!

  3. 6


    awesome job! and nice that years later, she’ll be able to remember the most important parts of her pregnancy. i never got belly shots – if i’d had you to work your photoshop magic, i would’ve considered it.

  4. 8


    Wow. My sister is currently pregnant with her second and won’t let me anywhere near her belly due to her stretchmarks… Now she doesn’t have a choice. Bwahahaha.

    Thanks so much, Jodi! Another perfect tutorial.

  5. 10

    Jackie says

    holy wow… im impressed! my stretch marks didnt get too bad during my pregnancy but theyve been a pain in some recent photos of me… i can even get rid of the baby pooch lol. i have to say reguardless my son was worth it and i hope this poor woman felt the same! poor thing :(

  6. 12


    I know this is about two years after this post, but I just found it very helpful. I am working with a bad case of stretchmarks and this just really helped me, thanks!!

  7. 13


    I almost cried looking at this. What our bodies do for our children! Anyway, you go girl! She had to have bawled when she saw what magic you worked!! WTG!

  8. 14

    Shannon says

    I tried it on this image and it came out more natural looking running Magic Skin twice instead of using Powder your nose.

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