If you’re anything like me, you’ve experienced problems with your skin to some degree. You’ve had your fair share of acne break outs, suffered winters with a dull, pale face, or woke up to notice a couple extra creases under your eyes that you swear weren’t there the day before. This can be frustrating, and I know from experience that it can feel like facial imperfections are the only thing a person can look at while they’re talking to you. I remember countless times that I’d take a great selfie or had a friend snap a picture of me, only to realize that the camera had somehow made these imperfections even more noticeable. While the advancing technology of cameras allows for crystal clear images, this also means it picks up all the red spots, wrinkles and bumps.
There’s a stigma around editing physical features in photos, but I don’t find anything wrong with touching up your picture if it’ll make you feel more confident. After all, you are free to share whatever you damn well please, so you may as well make it something you feel good about.
Here are 6 of the best, free iPhone apps for a quick skin fix:
1. Line Camera: I have the most experience with this app, I’ve been using it for years because it is so easy to use. Fixing your skin is incredibly simple once you upload the picture and start “designing”. By clicking the small bunny icon in the bottom left of the screen, you can begin enhancing your photo, starting with a great automatic brighten and smoothen feature done by the app. You can then go to the “skin care” tab in the bottom panel and choose from either “blemishes” or “dark circle”. Both allow you to zoom in on the picture and easily tap to erase any pimple or discoloration. The photo comes away looking pretty flawless but surprisingly natural.
2. Airbrush: This app comes with a shocking amount of features for a free app, and they are all relatively straightforward. First the smoothen feature allows you to drag a finger over your skin to blur out any lines or divets, which is especially good for getting rid of acne scars. There is also a tab specifically for acne, which has an automatic fix feature or lets you tap any spot you’d like to cover. The app also has a “skin tone” feature which is perfect for coloring up a pale face or adding a bit of blush to dull cheeks. More features like “firm” which targets wrinkles, and “sculpt” which thins out your face, are available but only if you upgrade to the paid version of the app.
3. Pixlr: This app doesn’t primarily function as a physical feature editing app, but it has the essential tools to fix any facial imperfection. The notable ones are “smooth” and “heal”. The smooth feature doesn’t let you actually do the smoothening yourself, but you can control the strength of the blurred effect on your photo, and the app does a good job of monitoring the smoothness for you. The “heal” feature does allow you to tap the image and fix blemishes yourself. You can choose the strength of the effect but be warned that this feature really only works if you keep the scale on the smaller size. Utilizing this feature at maximum strength leaves the skin looking discolored.
4. Perfect 365: This app has a number of features that cater specifically to skin—there is “blemishes”, “brighten skin”, “soften skin”, “foundation”, and “blush”. The range of this application is great, and for a photo that needs some light edits, this is the perfect app to use. However, you are only able to modify the strength of the effect that the app determines, you can’t actually tap or drag to control the areas that need extra help. If your photo needs enhancement in tiny, particular details then this app isn’t for you. But if you are just looking for some light edits without much effort on your part than this is a good choice.
5. Facetune 2: This app has a crazy amount of features, only problem is that only about 1/4 are available with the free version of the app—the paid version goes for $3.99. The free edition does have some features like “glow”, “conceal”, “matte”, and “smooth”, but the effects are subtle and there isn’t much range to control the areas that need enhancement. The app also comes with features that allow you to slim down the face or plump the lips. If you decide you want to pay for the full experience, the editing tools are much more expansive. The free version of Facetune 2 is a great app for a really quick fix on a photo that doesn’t need much help to begin with.
6. Selfie Editor: This app was a bit difficult to get the hang of, and I couldn’t tell if the effects were really doing much to fix my photo. However, once I played around for a while I got a better handle on how the app works and was able to use their features relatively easily. The highlight is “patch”, which allows you to take a clear area of skin and sort of place it on top of a blemish to cover the redness. This works best for small blemishes—it is very easy to use, all you do is drag your finger from one part of the face to the next. Control over bigger areas is difficult, though, because the app doesn’t allow you to effectively target a larger area. The app also has the classic smoothen tool, but the effects are subtle.