Rita Moreno Shares Her Surprisingly Simple Secrets for Looking This Good at 85
"I used to sit in the sun until I looked like a piece of bacon," Moreno recalls. "It's a wonder now that I don't look like an old wallet"
Eight decades look great on Rita Moreno.
Looking at her flawless complexion, it’s hard to believe that a) she’s 85, and b) that she ever had a problem with her skin.
“When I was in my teens and into my early 20s I had acne,” the legendary actress reveals to PEOPLE in the World’s Most Beautiful issue. “I used to get those big purple jobs but not a lot of them, thank goodness, because you really couldn’t see them in the films that I did.”
Moreno, who stars as scene-stealing abuela Lydia in the Netflix reboot of One Day at a Time, says she had to undergo treatment that included ultraviolet light and acetone.
“In those days they were giving you ultraviolet light, I guess to dry your skin out a little bit. I remember you had to scrub your skin really hard with a piece of gauze, because gauze is rough and a form of acetone. I know it’s shocking but that’s how oily I was.
“You could almost see the pores sprouting!” she laughs. “I had my own special glow. I am so lucky. I have no craters.”
Moreno’s youthful energy is as infectious as her beauty is age-defying. How does she do it?
“People don’t like to hear what I have to say, [but] it’s bare minimum,” she reveals. “I don’t do anything except keep my skin clean [with Cetaphil skin cleanser] and moisturized [with Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer SPF 30] and they want to smack me. They say ‘It’s not fair!’ I really sympathize with them, but I don’t have any problems with my skin.”
The actress credits the problem-free skin she enjoys now to her mother’s good genes. “I was born in Puerto Rico — I used to sit in the sun until I looked like a piece of bacon. It’s a wonder now that I don’t look like an old wallet. I’m a very fortunate person.”
She also shares the secret to her youthful spirit: mind tricks.
“I write with my left hand even though I’m right-handed, I walk backwards in a very safe place — anything that engages your brain,” she says.
Moreno adds: “I’m so damn lucky to still be here at 85. If I get a hangnail, I don’t dare complain! Life is good. I wake up humming.”