It is not required to take your professional further. What will take your career farther is a happy client. A good deal of blemish/wrinkles etc. can be taking care of by lighting direction and quality. However, pride is a big part of photography and if your subject wants wrinkles to disappear, then away they go.
I try to take care of this in a client interview. In explaining deliverables I try and educate my client on what looks good and what doesn't. I explain my personal procedure/philosophy on image toning so that I don't get insane requests later, like no smile lines on a 65 year old woman. Yikes!
In other cases I will in fact take skin softening to a place WELL beyond normal. If you're gonna do it, do it 110%. Some clients want an almost oil painting feel to their image. In these cases, "real" is something totally different. Go for creamy. Oh sweet cream.