Dascha Polanco Talks Self-Care and Self-Love During Quarantine

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Dascha Polanco is more than just a cast member on your favorite Netflix shows, the 37-year-old Dominican-American actress is also a podcast host, a body positivity role model and the star of your next favorite movie. Her next on-screen roles include Lin-Manuel Miranda’s highly anticipated In the Heights, and Samaritan with Sylvester Stallone, which she was filming in Atlanta when the coronavirus outbreak paused production. We caught up with the star to find out how she’s been staying sane in isolation and which beauty essential she’s relying on the most. 

NewBeauty: How are you staying safe and sane during the quarantine?
Dascha Polanco: Staying put, staying active, slaying and caring in my self-love world by taking my vitamins and doing my daily skin-care routine of cleansing and moisturizing.

NB: What at-home beauty treatments do you find yourself turning to the most during this time? 
DP: Coconut oil all over. 

NB: Your new film, Lin Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights was set to debut this summer but has been postponed. How excited are you for people to see it? 
DP: It’s the perfect film that we need right now. It depicts community, family, unity, triumph and celebration. 

NB: You’ve been very vocal about body acceptance on social media. Has this been a process for you or have you always been confident about your curves? 
DP: It’s been a process and it continues to be an internal battle, but, I’m so glad I exist in these times where we’ve built a web of body positive advocates and more brands that are becoming more size inclusive.

NB: I wish when I was growing up that there were more Latina actresses that looked like you on screen. Why do you think representation matters and how does it feel to be such a great influence on the next generation of Latinas? 
DP: If we only portray, acknowledge, idolize, or reward one thing, one type or one look, then it’s human nature to want to emulate just that one ideal being presented through entertainment and the media. If we don’t see ourselves, then we can’t relate. Relatability must have some element of familiarity in order for the equation to work.

NB: What are your top three “desert island” beauty products that you cannot live without?
 Coconut oil, perfume and Jabón de Cuaba.

NB: On your podcast Brown Love you explored the topic, “Sage, Self-Care and Sisterhood.” Why is self-care so important to you? How do you unwind? 
DP: I view self-care as reward if you’re able to manage your time effectively and find that balance in which you’re taking care of business and yourself. It’s the ying and yang of self-love. Can you imagine going and getting your hair done while your kids are dirty and stinky? No, ma’am. Or imagine putting on a mask and the bathroom hasn’t been clean or the garbage taken out. My favorite form of self-care is when I finish a bottle of vitamins, complete the activity circles on my watch, my space is clean and I smell good. 

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