Open your image (dont forget to Image>duplicate) and close the original. Call me paranoid, but I never play with my original photos!
Double click your background layer and click ok to the new layer dialogue box. This changes the layer from being locked and names it Layer 0.
Duplicate your background by pressing CTRL/CMD J, or by dragging the background layer onto the new layer icon at the bottom of your layers palette. The Ctrl or Cmd in this tutorial refers to the Control Key on a windows computer, or the command key on a mac.
You should now have 2 layers, layer 0 and layer 0 copy.
Now go back to your original background layer (layer 0) and select Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. The amount of blur depends on how big your image is but make it so that you can see some details.
This image of Helen Mirren that I downloaded from Google Images was 415 x 600 at 72 dpi and I used a blur of 2.3.
Next go to your layer 0 copy, (top layer) and select the icon down the bottom of your layers palette that looks like a little camera, Add Layer Mask.
Press D on your keyboard to acquire the default black and white foreground and background colours, select your paintbrush, lower the hardness to 0 and lower the opacity to approximately 50%.
Zoom in on your subject so you can see what is going on. There is a saying in photoshop, that black reveals and white conceals when applied to masks. So if I paint with black what is happening is that I am revealing the layer underneath, i.e. the blur.
You can re-size your brush on the fly by pressing the left or right square bracket keys [ ].
Keep painting away until all the wrinkles and blemishes are softened, dont worry too much if you blur something you shouldn’t have, we will fix that in the next step.
Ok now to fix those areas with too much blur. Press the X key to swap the background white to the foreground and go over those areas that you want less blurred.
You can play around with the opacity settings to get the effect you need and thats it!
If you have any problems, get in touch.