Light means a lot to a portrait photo. But if some of your stored portraits come with darken faces and want to enhance, we have 3 ways to brighten face in a photo naturally and pleasingly without Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom or online free.

1st, AI brighten face in photo easily without Adobe Photoshop/Lightroom

Brightening face in a photo doesn’t mean increase the brightness of the whole photo, this may make your portrait photo weird. To brighten face in photo and doesn’t impact the rest of the photo, AI technique from an image editor can make it easily and elegantly. Luminar Neo is the best brighten face app for Mac and Windows.

Luminar Neo is an AI powered image editor to touch up various genres of photos in common and raw formats. It suggests the best style for your photo and enhance with one click. There are 4 types of editing tools offered to you to precisely control every detail of your photos. It supports processing photos in batches.

Luminar Neo Standout Features

  • AI powered, easy to use
  • Support common (jpeg, png, tiff, heic), PSD and raw images
  • Built-in style template for quick enhancement
  • Editing tools: Essential, Creative, Portrait and Professional
  • Support layer editing
  • Convert image to JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PDF and PSD
  • Save image to drive, share image to Mail, Smugmug, 500px
  • Before/After preview
  • Rest adjustment to restore original photo
For itselectable users, use the promo code ITSELECTABLE20 to have an extra $10 OFF

How to brighten face in photo easily without adobe photoshop?

  1. Grab a free copy of Luminar Neo, install and open the app.
  2. Click + to add single image or add a folder.brighten face in photo 1
  3. Hover to Presets tab, choose a suggested style for your photo for enhancement, this is optional.brighten face in photo 2
  4. Hover to Edit>Portrait>Face>Face Light, move the slider to adjust the lighting and check the before/after result.brighten face in photo 3
  5. Go to Export, save the brightened face photo to your disk or share, don’t forget to choose image output format and other settings.brighten face in photo 4

2nd, Brighten face only in photo online free

To put the truth first, most of the online free image editors can brighten the whole image only, not just lightening up your face area, the rest part of your photo becomes a little unnatural. But there is an exception.

Here we use PicMonkey to brighten face areas. Actually, it doesn’t offer the face lighting tool, but you can use its Eye Brighten tool to achieve your purpose. You cannot brighten face in PicMonkey at one go, you have to adjust the brush size and brightness again and again until it presents you a satisfied look.

  1. Navigate to in your web browser, sign up and login in.
  2. Click Add image to upload your photo.
  3. Hover to Touch Up>Eyes>Eye Brighten.
  4. Adjust the brush size to fit the face in your photo and move the slider to choose Lighten effect, repeat this process until the whole face is brightened in a natural way.brighten face online 2
  5. Click Apply to save the effect.
  6. Click Download icon to save the photo to your disk.

3rd, Brighten whole image online free

If you opt out brighten the whole image, here we will use fotor image editor to increase brightness of the face in a photo, that means brightening with fotor will brightness to the whole image and the rest parts of your image may become too light.

  1. Navigate to in your web browser, sign up and login in.
  2. Click Open to upload the image.
  3. Hover to Adjust>Basic Adjust>Brightness.brighten face online 1
  4. Move the slider to increase brightness, also adjust the contrast, saturation or sharpness to make the whole image look as natural as possible.
  5. Hover to Export and save your image with face brightened.

Bonus: what if you prefer to brighten face in Photoshop or Lightroom

If you have Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom, or have decided to buy either of them, you can brighten face in photo with these 2 tools too. Though I have tried to list the steps as easy as I can, it not easy to describe the steps in words, so here I place 2 YouTube video tutorials from experts to show how to do this job in Adobe.

Brighten face in Photoshop

Brighten face in Lightroom