Rosario Dawson on Natural Beauty and the Healthy Habit She Shares with Cory Booker

"We have to be more aggressive about supporting our environment. We can’t survive without it, but it can survive without us.”

Actress Rosario Dawson never shies away from the action. From portraying a kickass madam in Sin City to her turn as a superhero-healing nurse in Netflix's Marvel series, the Hollywood vet is no stranger to pulse-pounding roles. But in her personal life, the activist keeps it more low-key, focusing on her health and bettering the planet. Which makes her partnership with planet-friendly Burt's Bees perfectly, well, natural. We spoke to Dawson about the future of responsible beauty, taking care of her mental health, and her low-key beauty routine.

On Connecting With Nature

“I was born in Coney Island, New York, so I always say that’s the reason why I have to be near water. I’ve lived near the beach in L.A. for the past 12 years. I keep meaning to move inside, but it never happens. I need some soil, I need some sunshine, I need the breeze. It's the same idea behind this recent trend of “forest bathing:” It’s not just going for a walk and being on your phone. It’s about being there with the trees, feeling and hearing the rustling of the leaves, noticing all the different colors of green, and taking in how different the oxygen is. You can feel the positive impact in your system. You just don’t realize how grateful your body is when you just step into the sun until you do.”

On Environmental Responsibility in the Beauty Industry

“We should think about what a privilege and honor it is to just be in awe of [this planet]. There’s a growing conversation about farming and farming methods, and just being really mindful of how we interact with our environment—from using less water to removing pesticides to soil regeneration, which helps us to relieve our carbon footprint. We have to be more aggressive about supporting our environment. We can’t survive without it, but it can survive without us.”

On Her Skincare Routine

“I am constantly spraying on face mist throughout the day. I like to have moist skin—I know people hate that word, but I don’t!—so I’m big on applying oils, too. That’s one of the things I remember very distinctly with my grandmother’s routine. She always washed her face at night and always moisturized by putting on some kind of Vaseline-like cream. She drank and smoked and tanned for years, but she had the softest, almost wrinkle-free face when she passed at 75 years old, so cleansing and hydrating are my staples. I always seem to forget sunscreen, but I love the smell—it reminds me of summer and block parties and being lathered in it as a child.”

On Going Vegan

“I’m mostly vegan or raw, and my boyfriend [presidential candidate Cory Booker] is vegan. Getting back to it after a break, I feel so much better: I have more energy so I’m more inclined to hike and exercise, and I’m sleeping more soundly, and I’m stronger. It gives me moments every single day to be thoughtful about how I’m feeling and how to continue contributing to my wellness. And it’s so much easier with recipes and alternatives today; I ate like this back in the day and that was tough. I can understand why I gave the lifestyle up for awhile, but now that I’m back into it, I might be a lifer.”

On Meditation and Self-Care

“Sleeping is still a bit of an issue for me because I’m a night person and I travel too much, but meditation helps. I can meditate anywhere now because I adjusted how I was practicing. Instead of telling myself I have to stop thinking, I decided, I’m going to spend twenty minutes with my soul. It’s all about connecting to what my is soul is feeling and staying connected to that. It’s helped adjust my inner clock, too: My body knows to expect that few minutes of calm in the morning, afternoon, and before bed, so it’s tuned in to when it’s finally time to sleep. Time is a valuable resource, so spending that time with yourself and being present with other people is number one.”

On Keeping Makeup Simple

“I very rarely wear makeup, though what I do, it’s mascara. The wand with Burt’s Bees’ formula gives this gentle curl so it kind of frames your eyes. For foundation, I keep it lightweight and mostly just wear that around my eyes because my dark circles never go away. It sort of cracks me up seeing these kids creating celebrity makeup tutorials and I just think: You know we only wear that for the event and wipe it off immediately afterwards, right?

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Taylore  Glynn

Taylore Glynn is the Beauty and Health Editor at Marie Claire, covering skincare, makeup, fragrance, wellness, and more. If you need her, she’s probably roasting a chicken, flying solo at the movies, or drinking a bad Negroni at JFK.