Salma Hayek Covers Lucky, Talks Botox, Bad Skin, and ‘Madwoman’ Hair

Salma Hayek May cover Lucky
Photo: Patrick Demarchelier/ courtesy of Lucky
Salma Hayek in blue Roland Mouret on the May cover of Lucky.

Oh sure, Salma Hayek—gracing Lucky's May issue in a form-fitting blue Roland Mouret dress—looks drop-dead gorgeous now, but to hear her tell it, looking good has been an uphill battle.

Though she now runs her own CVS skincare line, Nuance, the eternally youthful 45-year-old (!) says that in her mid-20s her skin got so bad that she "could barely get work as an extra" and fell into a depression.

"I had acne," she admits. "And this acne was so bad, it sent me into a severe, severe depression. Like I couldn’t leave the house. I’d wake up in the morning and lie there and touch my face before I got up, just to prepare myself to look in the mirror! The next stage with that sort of depression is food: too little, or too much. Guess what I did? I mean, I was fat and broken out, I couldn’t leave the house and I couldn’t pay the rent!"

Accutane treatment ("I didn’t want to, but it cured it ... since then my skin’s forever sensitive and dry," she says) and a more relaxed, meditative lifestyle under the guidance of filmmaker friend Alfonso Cuarón helped Hayek get back on her feet.

Photographed by Patrick Demarchelier in breathtaking numbers from Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen—easy to come by when your husband is PPR head François-Henri Pinault—Hayek also opens up about her new career as a skincare guru using beauty methods learned at her grandmother's knee.

“She’d take me with her to the pharmacy to get her materials," she recalls. "She knew what she was doing—she died at 96, with no wrinkles!

“It’s hard to have credibility when you switch fields, especially if you’re a woman. I think these chemists thought, Oh yeah, actress? You want to tell us about ingredients? Go back to your perfume and your performing!”

Hayek prides herself on Nuance's all-natural ingredients like royal jelly and lavender, and says she has yet to succumb to the powers of Botox, preferring to take her chances with her own good genes.

“Botox, trust me I’ve been tempted—but I resist," she says.

"Think about what happens to your muscles—and your skin—if you’re sick and don’t move for a few days. It all atrophies! Plus, if you freeze a muscle in your face, other muscles have to compensate! And once you stop, what does that look like? You know Latin people? African-American people? How our skin ages more slowly? Even though we’re dramatic, we move our faces, we eat higher-fat foods, we’re the ones with fewer wrinkles—it makes you wonder.”

When it comes to her hair, however, the star doesn't mind steering away from her natural beauty.

"My husband, it’s funny, but he hates it when I have this Parisian hair," she says of her smooth low ponytail.

"He loves my crazy-maniac-madwoman just-got-out-of-the-shower hair. He is like the lawyer for my thick, wild, natural hair. He’s like, ‘Why make it suffer?’ But you know for 45 years I’ve got this big hair, and these big boobs, and I’m this tiny person and sometimes—you just want to be ... smaller. He’s probably right—my mom always said, ‘You think you know better than God?’”

Hayek also reveals a few style essentials, including her Gucci handbag, hats, YSL's Opium fragrance, and a "Plan B" black dress.

"What you need is one black dress I call Plan B," she advises. "It doesn’t have to be fabulous, it just looks good, covers up the problems, and is neutral enough for dinner, business, a date, a funeral. You don’t overwear it, you don’t overwash it, because the Plan B is—gold.”

Sounds like solid advice. Of course, with Pinault, in the house, nailing the art of streamlined Parisian chic must be a cinch. And from the sounds of it, Hayek's hubby isn't shy about sharing his thoughts on style.

Salma Hayek May  Lucky

Photo: Patrick Demarchelier/ courtesy of Lucky

Salma Hayek looking gorgeous in Lucky's May issue.

"He’s so funny—we were in line at the airport somewhere in the States with these four girls in front of us, and he asks me sincerely: ‘This American style, with the sweatpants and flip-flops?'" she shares. 

"And the feminist is coming out in me and I’m like, ‘They’re comfortable! Is it such a sin to want to be comfortable?!’ But he says, ‘If they want to be so comfortable, why do they have so much makeup on at 7am?’ And he has a point: People spend all this time with makeup and then not with clothes. Why? I mean, don’t think I don’t love the Juicy Couture—I do.”

Note to self: Step up our jet-set game! You never know who could be watching ...

For more Salma Hayek, visit and pick up the May issue, on sale April 10.