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Pull up any interview in which a celebrity is asked about their skincare routine and you’re pretty much guaranteed to read about their love of sunscreen (and, TBH, probably how much water they drink every day). It’s a simple move, but one the stars whose faces are plastered all over our screens remind us time and time again is super-effective. And, if you didn’t already suspect it given her flawless complexion, Lucy Liu is one of those celebs. The 52-year-old doesn’t mess around when it comes to shielding her skin from sun damage.
“I have to be very rigorous about reapplying sunscreen and wearing a hat and handkerchief around my neck and chest,” she told Future Of Personal Health in 2019. Those areas, she says, “are actually more sensitive to the sun than your face.”
Her ethnicity and skin color are also motivators for always keeping SPF on hand. “Being Asian, I can burn in the sun if I’m not careful,” Lucy adds. “I also have some olive in my skin and can keloid easily, so I take extra precautions whenever I do stunts or anything active.” It’s a call the pros would approve of. UVA and UVB rays from the sun will age and burn the skin, Caren Campbell, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in San Francisco previously told Women’s Health.
So by protecting her skin from the sun’s harsh rays, Lucy’s skin can actually reap the benefits of the other skincare products she puts to use on the daily. Ahead, WH breaks down exactly what the rest of her top complexion-saving tips are, so you can work them into your routine, too.
Lucy sometimes skips out on soap.
When she doesn't wear makeup, Lucy will wash her face with water and a washcloth with no soap, she shared with Future of Personal Health. However, when she is done-up, specifically after a day on set, Lucy says she'll use eye makeup remover. "[As a result,] you don’t end up scrubbing and irritating the skin around your eyes—no matter how much makeup you’ve been wearing,” she said. “Then, I use soap with a washcloth to wash my face. Afterwards, I mix cream, aloe vera, and a touch of oil together, then massage the mixture into my face.”
She finds acupuncture to be a skin saver.
Lucy told CNN that she keeps things pretty simple when it comes to her collection of skincare products. Instead, she splurges on acupuncture. "It's preventative medicine," she explained. "You go in once a month, and you get a little checkup so you're regulated. It keeps you healthy."
She says she first got into the practice because of her parents. "It has been a part of my culture and my life for a long time, and it really, really works. It can help you lose weight, it can help your skin stay young—and I've found it helps with jet lag."
She's mindful about what she puts inside her body.
In classic, celebrity-skincare interview fashion, Lucy admitted to E! that water is a biggie. Research hasn't quite confirmed that water will actually help your skin glow, but dermatologists say it makes a difference. "Without adequate water intake, skin appears duller, and wrinkles and pores more prominent," Rachel Nazarian, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at the Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, previously told WH.
It was actually only recently that Lucy added coffee to her beverage rotation. Before she started drinking the stuff, she said, "I think caffeine can be really bad for your skin," in a CNN interview. A few years ago she realized she enjoyed the bitter taste, but restricts her brews to the mornings only, she shared with New York Magazine's The Strategist.
Moisturizing is a must.
Lucy's moisturizer of choice? Aquaphor. "I call it Aqua-for-everything," Lucy said in a New York Magazine interview. "You can put some on your face during the winter, or on your chapped lips at any time. It’s nice for a baby’s bottom if you’re a parent, or on cuts and bruises to help heal. For glam, we use it in the makeup bag to help moisturize."
When it comes to the skin on her face, Lucy's recently pared down her routine. "I used to do a lot of different things, but now I put coconut oil and Avène cream on my face and call it a night," she admitted in an interview with E!.
And when she's on-the-go, Lucy will turn to Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream. "This cream was developed by a Japanese pharmacist—it’s great for when I’m outside shooting and my skin’s feeling a little dry," she told New York Magazine. "I find a lot of lotions to be overly scented, but this one’s just perfect. It’s become my go-to moisturizer for just about anything."
She'll pass on facials.
"I don't get facials ever," Lucy said to CNN. When asked to elaborate, she explained that she found them too harsh. "I think they damage your skin. People are getting peels and dermabrasion, and anything with the word 'abrasion' doesn't work for me."
Okay, taking a cue from Lucy and going with a *very* minimalistic approach to skincare. Just stock up on some Aquaphor, toss it in your makeup bag, and you're good to go!
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