There are many tutorials available for smoothing out skin. One of the most sought after right now is called "Frequency Separation" and if you google it, I am sure you will find multiple options. It is a different way of doing smoothing but it gets really good results.
As far as actions vs. brushes--I don't think that an action is going to get you where you need to go. It really all depends on the type of work you want to do. Because that varies with every skin type or person, your best bet is to become proficent with the brush options, such as the Healing Brush, the Stamp Clone tool, etc. If you are a newbie, then learn the basic tools first, and then if you want to move on to more advanced techniques, try the Frequency Separation technique.