Home > photo, photoshop, tutorial > How to Make Someone Look Older – A Photoshop Tutorial

How to Make Someone Look Older – A Photoshop Tutorial

Transform any image into a polaroid photo. Do it yourself right now.

With this Photoshop tutorial you can see the future. At least a possible version of the future…

I have a friend who is celebrating his 40th anniversary and his wife wanted to make him a surprise party. So she asked me if I could try to make him seem (even) older.

I like photography and Photoshop, so I researched a little and decided to give it a try. I also decided to make this a tutorial in case someone else wants to try it.

I want to thank my friend João for allowing me to post his picture here and I hope you can forgive me for doing this trick on you. It’s great to be your friend!

OK, let’s start!

Step 0 – Get a nice picture

It’s important to start with a good resolution picture, because you will have more freedom to enlarge and change the details. Let’s start with this one:

Original photo

Step 1 – Distort

First step’s to distort the face a little bit – notice how older people start to get bigger ear lobs and bigger noses, and more skin around the chin.

To distort use the smudge tool in Photoshop with the following settings:

Smudge tool

Apply the smudge tool to enlarge and distort the affected areas by dragging around the nose, ears cheeks and chin.

Older people also get thin lips – use the smudge tool to make the lips thinner.

Be careful not to exaggerate, otherwise your subject will start to look like a cartoon.

Step 2 – Deal with hair

Older people start to get white hair – let’s whiten the brows by using the Photoshop dodge tool:

Paint the brows but again, don’t overdo it.

Let’s also make the hair white by using the dodge tool but with these settings:

Now let’s remove some eye lashes by using the Photoshop clone stamp tool:

Don’t remove all the eye lashes but leave a few.

Here’s how it looks:

White hair

Step 3 – More wrinkles

Wrinkles are an important part of getting older, so let’s make the existing wrinkles stand out and even frabricate some more.

By using the Photoshop burn tool you can make the existing wrinkles stand out:

Apply the burn tool on every existing wrinkle you can find and you’ll see them stand out. Adjust the brush size depending on the wrinkle size. Apply the burn tool around the eyes, around the mouth, cheeks and forehead. The neck is also an important area to make more wrinkles.

Fabricating wrinkles

By using the brush tool with the following settings:

you can actually make more wrinkles by drawing them. Try to extend existing ones to look more natural.

Here’s how it looks after this step:

More wrinkles

Step 4 – Less hair

People get older and get less hair. I’m not going to exaggerate here because I think João will never get bald, therefore let’s only make his forehead a little bit taller.

I used the Photoshop clone stamp tool to copy his forehead onto his hair.

I also made his hair more white by using the same technique described earlier in step 2:

Less hair

Step 5 – External props

It would be nice to increase the level of wrinkles, but making really serious wrinkles is very hard… Therefore let’s borrow some wrinkles from someone that already made them, i.e. older people.

Open one or more pictures of older people and copy and paste the wrinkles area to your own photo:

Lots of wrinkles…

Copy by using the lasso tool:

Paste the wrinkle area to a different layer and then use distort from the transform menu to adjust the wrinkle size and orientation to the new face.

Apply 57% to layer fill:

Then create a new adjustment layer of hue saturation and make sure you check the option “Group with previous layer“:

Adjust the hue and saturation until the external wrinkle blends with your existing face color.

I used the above technique to insert the left and right cheeks wrinkles, the top forehead wrinkle and the beard:

Beard and extra wrinkles

The result

I hope you can enjoy this tutorial and if you have any question just drop me a line.

Here’s the final result:


I was inspired and learn a lot from this Photoshop tutorial:

  1. December 17, 2009 at 12:30 am

    Fantástico trabalho, Manuel!
    Gabo-te a paciência por teres criado o tutorial!
    Espero que o teu amigo goste da tua visão do seu futuro look.

    Um abraço

  2. Manel
    December 17, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Obrigado Carlos!
    O tutorial foi criado muito devagar e em muitas etapas…

  3. Hanako
    January 30, 2010 at 3:46 am

    wow! that looks reealllyyy hard… especially if you are not very technologically advanced!!

  4. BS
    June 1, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Nice! my hair wont get white tho. To much color in it :D

  5. October 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Very cool! My PS book only told me how to smooth wrinkles and not how to add them…so thanks for this =).

  6. Cristal Martinez
    February 27, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    Very Awesome

  7. September 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Gave it a try and here is an animation of the results. http://www.greesonpix.com/martin_age.gif

    • Manuel
      September 27, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      Nice work Martin! Very good.

      • September 30, 2013 at 6:56 pm

        Thanks for the compliment. I used several of your suggestions and then lighten the eyes. and several other things that I was just trying and can’t even explain. I was attempting to make the skin look thinner by making it a few shades lighter. Not sure it worked.

  8. Kira
    September 30, 2013 at 3:40 am

    Thank you so much for posting this I will definitely blow the judges mind at my Photo contest, I hope…This is for half of my project, although this may be difficult on me since I’m 17 and have a baby face :/

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