I went to Photo Plus last year in October and while I was there, I sat in on Katrin Eismann's retouching tutorial. I saw the technique that she learned from Chris Tarantino. It is shown in this video link below.
The technique shows you how to select just the skin and soften the shin without loosing detail.
Skin Retouching Video
***It takes a minute to load... but I promise it's worth the wait!***
One thing that I did not include in this video was using the High Pass filter to add even more detail to the skin.
The way you can do that is once you finish the video tutorial, you will hide the skin layer you just made and select the layer underneath it (your layer that is the equivalent to my "Skin Retouch" layer).
You need to duplicate that layer, then you will go to Filter > Other > High Pass.
Use a radius of about 8 or 9.
Select the High Pass layer, and then Command+U to take the saturation of that layer down to zero.
Change the blending mode to Overlay.
Move the layer with the detail to the top of the layer pallet.
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