Retouching is a balancing act and an art. While you want to correct facial imperfections and blemishes, you also want to retain skin texture and maintain a realistic image. This presentation by Lindsay Adler will introduce you to the basic tools, techniques and programs used to retouch portrait and beauty images.
You don't need extremely high-end editing software to make minor retouches and edits to your photos. In fact, you can still achieve wonderfully pleasing results with something like Adobe Photoshop Elements. Here's a quick run-through that is simple and thorough.
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