That might sound like a oxymoron, but I believe the term 'photoshopping' turned to mean manipulating photos (with or without Photoshop).

I'm especially interested in realistic effects on faces, like smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and so on.

The main issue in Photoshop is basically their price model (pay and pay monthly, no matter whether you use it or not). I want either a pay once alternative or open source/free.

For those who insist in recommending GIMP: https://graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/114222/q-gimp-vs-photoshop

7 Answers 7


The GIMP - Gnu Image Manipulation Program. Yet another fine example of why you don't let the devs name the product.

All three platforms supported, lots of powerful tools, both Free and free.


  • 1
    GIMP is Free, Gratis & Open Source, plus runs on Windows, Max & Linux. Apr 22, 2019 at 5:22
  • Does GIMP fit the requirements listed, like "realistic effects on faces, like smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and so on"?
    – Izzy
    May 6, 2019 at 6:02
  • 2
    @Izzy Not with my skill set. :) But it has the tools, supports extensions, etc
    – ivanivan
    May 6, 2019 at 22:10
  • 2
    @ivanivan I just wanted to point out what's missing in the answer :) Using GIMP myself, but didn't see such tools yet (matching my skill set that is; there are tutorials for that but I'd have to look them up each time if I'd want to use them the way the question suggests…)
    – Izzy
    May 6, 2019 at 22:49

You might look at darktable: https://www.darktable.org.

  • 4
    It is worth pointing out that Darktable is Free, Gratis & Open Source plus runs on Windows, Mac & Linux. Apr 21, 2019 at 4:42
  • 4
    And it would be helpful to point out how it meets the listed requirements (see our discussion on answer quality).
    – Izzy
    May 6, 2019 at 6:01

I use GIMP as well for advanced editing, but for simpler things I sometimes will reach for something more lightweight (both free):

  • Paint.NET - basic layering, color filters, etc
  • Inkscape - vector/path editing, handles wide variety of formats
  • 1
    Technically, Inkscape is more akin to Illustrator, not photoshop.
    – Chillie
    May 9, 2019 at 12:33

"realistic effects on faces, like smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and so on."

Two programs: Paint Shop Pro (before Corel messed it up). Corel Draw (almost any version past year 2000).

I have seen Paint Shop Pro do all of this. I have seen Corel Draw (about 20 years ago) (I do not recall the version) before they purchased PSP do this. PSP 4 is very simplistic but powerful and can do this. Later versions (before Corel messed it up for a single license ownership and started continually bleeding payments from the user) are almost the same but they seem to have tried to imitate Photoshop with layers that generally get in the way. After Corel got PSP it became a mess. Corel Draw on it's own is, in my opinion, much more powerful for what you are asking for than Photoshop is, but it has a far more extensive learning curve than the older PSP.


If you have iOS you can buy the ProCreate App for ~ 15 Euros (paid once, no subscription). It works best with the Apple Pencil.

On Android there is, for instance AutoDesk SketchBook.

Many, many other apps are available for both mobile platforms.


Take a look at these programs:

  • darktable
  • RAWtherapee
  • Corel Aftershot Pro
  • affinity photo
  • Portrait Pro
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro
  • Gimp
  • 2
    Why? do any of them answer the question? If so, how?
    – Mawg
    May 7, 2019 at 14:30

You probably want https://www.photopea.com online editor. Very similar to photoshop.

  • Welcome to Software Recommendations! As you see, all well-received answers here are more than just a link. Please consider editing your answer and add more information about the software, especially how it meets the requirements in the question.
    – Glorfindel
    May 8, 2019 at 7:06
  • How about "You might look at darktable: darktable.org." with +2?. I got minus just from robot becouse of wrong linking. Nevertheless I will consider add more info on photopea. May 8, 2019 at 10:02
  • You might indeed have gotten an automatic downvote after editing your post, because that validated the automatic low quality flag. (I didn't downvote your post.) I agree that there are a lot of low-quality answers here ...
    – Glorfindel
    May 8, 2019 at 10:10

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