How to Remove Wrinkles With Gimp

by Melissa J. Bell ; Updated July 18, 2017

Retouch the wrinkles in your own digital photos using GIMP.

feel image by DXfoto.com from Fotolia.com

GIMP, or GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a free graphics editing software program that is similar to Adobe Photoshop. Like Photoshop, GIMP can be used to perform many different types of digital photography effects, such as retouching photos. One of the most common types of photo retouching is smoothing out facial wrinkles, which, in traditional photography, is usually done with a combination of lighting and laboratory effects. For digital photographs, wrinkle removal is fairly simple to perform in programs, like GIMP or Photoshop.

Open GIMP on your computer. Select the "File" menu. Choose "Open," then "Find," and select your digital photo.

Select the "File" menu again, and choose "Save As." Save your photo file under another name, so that you preserve the original.

Locate the toolbox in the top left corner of the program. Click on the "Clone" tool. This opens an "Options" dialog on the bottom of the toolbox.

Set the "Clone" tool options to "Image Source," then to "Aligned," and bring the "Opacity" down to 80 percent. You can also leave the Opacity set at 100 percent, if you plan to make the wrinkles completely invisible rather than simply reducing their appearance.

Select a brush type for the "Clone" tool from the same dialog box. Choose a small brush with blurred edges.

Zoom in close on a wrinkle in the photo, so that you can almost see the individual pixels. Find a nearby patch of unwrinkled skin that is similar in color.

Click on the unwrinkled skin while holding down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard. Release the "Ctrl" key, and then click on the wrinkle. This will overlap the texture of the wrinkled skin with the unwrinkled skin.

Continue to click and drag the brush on the wrinkle until you are satisfied with the result.


  • Use small strokes with a small brush for a more realistic look. While working, select different patches of skin to clone so that the skin you are painting over does not look too uniform. You can also use the "Healing" tool to produce a similar result, or use some combination of the two to suit your tastes.


  • "Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional, Second Edition;" Akkana Peck, 2009.
  • "GIMP 2.6 for Photographers"; Klaus Goelker, 2010.

Photo Credits

About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.