Rosario Dawson on Meditation, Jane Fonda, and the Diet That Changed Everything

Updated 05/22/19

Rosario Dawson made her film debut in 1995 as part of Harmony Korine's Kids. Then starred in Josie and the Pussycats, Rent, and Sin City a few years later. Her roles always offered a little grit and her story arcs are often coming-of-age themed. Born in New York City, Dawson learned early on about the grind—in life, in work, and in relationships. There's something about New York that seems to teach you those lessons early on. Now, though, with a Burt's Bees campaign centered around self-care and a knack for meditation, Dawson has chosen to slow things down and appreciate feeling good over all else.

We had a chance to sit down with her and talk all things beauty and wellness. The conversation vacillated from hairstyles to raw vegan diets and back again. Dawson mentions Jane Fonda, her father, and face masks that cover her eyes (we're down). Below, find her thoughtful words.

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On how she got involved with Burt's Bees...

"I fell in love with [Burt's Bees' products] so long ago. I sort of just manifested this moment. I am really grateful to connect something I care about in my daily life with work—we’ve been having a big conversation around honey and bees, protecting our relationship with the bees, and how necessary they are with the connection to nature and the connection with ourselves."

On how she most frequently practices self-care...

"Meditation is probably my most frequent. I have time locked in twice a day except for when I'm traveling, then it's usually just once a day. I have been taking more baths lately and using aromatherapy or incense. Also, when you’re eating really good, healthy foods—taking in the smells, taking in the taste, the crunch, noticing and just being really present—that really makes a difference. People meditate over food, over cleaning, over walking, over different things. Notice: Are your shoulders back?

Are you tense anywhere? Having that check-in with yourself is paramount. We have to know ourselves better. And I love a face mask that covers my eyes." 

Burt's Bees

On skincare...

"I happen to be wearing a mask by Burt’s Bees right now. I don’t do well with a lot of acids, fragrances, and all of that kind of stuff. My body really reacts poorly to it. But clay, vitamin C, oatmeal, aloe, and cucumber together are so cooling and anti-inflammatory. It’s a beautiful thing to be sensitive and we should cater to that, rather than think it’s a problem. It’s beautiful that that many more products are available now, where you can feel like you’re getting that kind of luxurious care.

You no longer have to spend a lot to access valuable, good ingredients." 

On how her career has affected the way she sees beauty...

"Once you’ve seen behind the camera, you know how everything goes. It’s all a trick. It’s not a trick that doesn’t have a lot of work behind it, but a trick nonetheless. If you want to have that kind of luminous skin, it takes multiple different things, it’s not just going to be one magical thing. It's not just genetics, it's not just having enough money to buy La Mer. You can sleep well, do yoga, meditate, have a great conversation. That's beauty too."

Burt's Bees 

On her beauty icons...

"I feel grateful and blessed to say I am friends with Jane Fonda. She is the icon of wellness and health, and, has also been really honest about her bad eating practices and body dysmorphia. She talks openly about the pressure, the things she’s experimented with, and what she regrets. I look to her because she’s human and seems like someone who’s out there pushing herself. She’ll make mistakes and then get back up and keep going. I think that’s what it’s about. Just show up and keep growing and evolving."

On what foods make her body feel good...

"I travel a lot and I love food. But right now, especially because my dad is not well, I've been eating mostly raw and vegan. I feel so good. Raw is what really does it for me. And I’m telling you, I’m blown away. There are so many things available now that make it so easy. If you are craving that meat, everything from jack fruit to Beyond Meat are satiating. It’s so easy now, and it’s delicious and tasty and the colors are so vibrant."

On the hairstyle that feels most like her...

"Tousled, beachy, relaxed, and also just sort of straight with a part down the middle—classic. All I’m capable of doing."

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