How to Get Rid of Blemishes Using Gimp

by Joseph Eitel ; Updated July 18, 2017

GIMP can clear up unwanted facial flaws in your digital photos

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Blemishes can make a perfect digital photo a little less appealing, especially for the person who has the unfortunate honor of wearing the imperfections. However, by utilizing GIMP, a free graphic design program similar to Adobe Photoshop, you can quickly and easily erase those unsightly blemishes. There are several ways to accomplish this task in GIMP, but the most efficient and easiest ways to clear up acne, zits, pimples and other unwanted facial flaws in your digital photos is by using a GIMP tool called the "healing brush."

Launch GIMP on your computer. Once it has loaded, click “File,” then “Open” to access the digital photo with the blemishes.

Zoom into the area that has the blemishes. There’s no need to zoom in more than 125 percent. You can find the “zoom tool” in your toolbox on the left side of your screen; the icon looks like a magnifying glass.

Click on the “healing tool” in your toolbox, which looks like two bandages forming an X.

Hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and click your cursor near the flawed area of the skin, but not on the actual blemished area. This will sample an unblemished area of the face and use it to clear up the unsightly area.

Release the "Ctrl" key and paint over the blemished area with the cursor. The results should look seamless and the blemish should be gone. If the results do not look very natural, simply undo by holding down the "Ctrl" key and pressing "Z" on the keyboard. Repeat the steps with a sample from a different area.


  • You might need to re-sample the “healing tool” brush by holding down “Ctrl” and clicking several times to clear up a large area of the skin.

    Sample an area of the skin as close as possible to the blemished area’s tone and contrast in order to achieve the best results.

    For complicated photos with strong contrast and shadows, you can try playing around the “mode”, “opacity”, “brush” and “scale; all of these options are located in your GIMP toolbox when the “healing tool” is selected.


Photo Credits

  • biglike/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog,, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.