Having spent time on head shots and portraits, I have obsessively looked for ways to edit the subjects skin to make it look perfect, but still natural. I use glossy fashion mags as my source while I wait to checkout with my groceries. If you examine enough of them, you can find the really good edits vs the really crappy ones. Hence my single editing rule- Edits should make the subject look beautiful without being obvious.
My man Chris Orwig, an amazing photographer in California, is my editing Guru. He has shaped my whole philosophy on editing. Plus he is a really nice guy.
On to the totally excellent editing site.
I came across Christy Schuler site and found her tutorial on retouching skin to be amazing.
In Her Tutorial, she uses a series of layering tasks in Photoshop to give clients perfect skin- the kind you find on the cover of glossy magazine. She walks you through the process on a quicktime video and describes the process in her wonderful voice. I am not kidding- it is a very soothing voice. Even if you are a Photoshop novice, you will be able to do these layers.
I now use this method on almost every headshot/ portrait.
The key is to dial back on all the blurs. As she advises, play around with the different strengths and you will see the different affects.