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The Beauty Secrets Susan Lucci Swears by for Her Youthful Look

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She may be best known for her 41-year run as Erica Kane on All My Children, but Susan Lucci has been busy, busy, busy since the daytime TV staple wrapped production in 2011. A season of Dancing With the Stars, a very popular QVC endorsement with the Pilates PRO Chair (it sold out in 11 minutes during her first appearance and has moved tens of thousands since) and an upcoming milestone birthday (she’ll be 70 in December!) are just the start. Recently, the star shared with us some very surprising anti-aging secrets straight from her old ABC studio’s set.

On her overseas beauty secrets

“My husband is from Austria and I got married young. When we would travel together, something I noticed and admired very much was beautiful skin that was taken care of, which made me realize early on that you don’t need a lot of makeup or a lot of cover-up, just start with a beautiful canvas. So I started going with my husband to local pharmacies [in Europe] and he was able to translate what the ingredients were in those beauty products for me. Of course, over the course of time, so many of those products have been brought here.”

On her hair’s “memory”…

“I travel a lot, I’m on airplanes a lot and under harsh studio lights a lot. I love Kérastase products; I have found a real difference from using them and they are very targeted. I have naturally curly hair, and I can just tell how humid it is out by my hair. The good thing about having hair like mine though is that it has “memory,” so once it’s been properly blown-out, it can remember it. Except in the summer or if I’m near any water—then, my hair goes totally crazy. But the Kérastase products tame my frizz, give me the silkiest shine and create the best blowout.”

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On her water obsession…

“Drinking hot water with lemon was something I learned when I was 18 and working in the summer during college. I observed older people who were having breakfast and each of them was ordering it to drink. All of them were well into their 80’s, or at least that was my perception at the time. And I thought: ‘Gee. They are traveling on their own steam and that’s what they are having. Put that in the back of your head; it might come in handy some time.’

When I was on Broadway doing Annie Get Your Gun, and working on All My Children at the same time, I knew I did not need any more caffeine in me. And I remembered what I had learned about the hot water with lemon, and I started drinking it. It really helped lessen the jitters from the caffeine and the warm liquid is so nice in a cold environment. Plus, the water hydrates and balances your pH so your immune system is boosted. That’s a lot of good things from one little cup. I still love coffee; I’ll have one or two cups in the morning, but then it’s hot water and lemon the rest of the day. I think it hydrates your skin from the inside-out.”


On her penchant for Pilates…

“I’ve been doing Pilates for 18 years and the Pilates PRO Chair for eight of those, which has helped me step it up to the next level. One summer day, when my daughter was a teenager, she came in while I was getting ready to go to the beach and I had a bathing suit on, and she said, ‘You know mom, you’re slim, but you really need to tone up.’ As only your daughter will tell you! I didn’t necessarily want to hear that, but I looked down at my body and she was right. At the time, I was working near Lincoln Center and I would see the dancer’s walking by and I thought ‘that is the ideal body type.’ That’s when I found out about Pilates and I found an instructor.

I think it’s so good for wellness all-around—certainly for your body, because it sculpts and tones long, lean dancer-like muscles without bulking up, and, at the same time, you can get a cardio workout. Along with looking better, you are actually getting more fit, getting more energy, getting stronger and improving your posture, sense of balance and flexibility. There’s a confidence from gaining all of those benefits, and it’s fun. Fun is key.”

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On her disciplined beauty routine…

“I am diligent about taking care of my skin, no matter how late I get home. I am very disciplined about brushing my teeth, flossing—I know that’s boring—and taking off my makeup. I also see my dermatologist about three or four times a year and she recommends a wonderful product by SkinMedica called TNS Essential Serum. After I wash my face with Cle de Peau’s Cleansing Foam, I put on the TNS, followed by SkinMedica’s Lytera, which is very good at evening out skin tone. I have two sun spots and they have faded greatly after using Lytera. Then, I use La Mer eye cream and La Mer The Moisturizing Soft Cream.”

On her fear of makeup…

“I remember I was so concerned about wearing a lot of makeup on set in the beginning of All My Children. I like to see skin tone, I don’t like when makeup is put on like a mask. Skin glowing through is just prettier. And my costar Ruth Warrick said to me, ‘Actually, makeup can be a protectant.’ I’ve always thought a lot about what she said, and now I seek out a makeup that’s sheer, but has an SPF.”

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On the on-set secret she credits for keeping her looking ageless…

“People will say, ‘You look so young,’ and I am really flattered that they think that. I think it’s great. This will sound crazy, but I think it comes from working all those years in a studio that was kept so cold. It was like we were in a meat locker! I think we were hermetically sealed.”

Liz Ritter , Executive Managing Editor