Self Care Sunday's with Filipino-American Actress and Netflix Star, Ysa Penarejo

Ysa Penarejo Filipino-american actress and Netflix star, at the beach with wind in her dark hair.

For this week's Self Care Sunday Feature, we had the pleasure of interviewing Ysa Penarejo!

From a young age, Ysa found a passion for dance that pivoted her to a successful acting career where she has so far become the star of Netflix's Original, Project MC2 and more recently found herself in the role of Jade for CW's Stargirl!


Tell us about yourself and the course of your career.

My name is Ysa Penarejo and I am an actress, dancer, creative! I first started off with dancing at the age of 4. I trained at a studio in styles like ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop, tumbling and competitively danced through high school. At the age of 10, dance provided me the opportunity in the entertainment industry booking acting jobs such as Project MC2 (Netflix Original Kids Show), Richie Rich (Netflix Original Kids Show), The Secret Life of Cheerleaders (Lifetime TV movie), and my most recent role as Jade in the series Stargirl (CW). During the times I’m not acting, I love investing time into choreographing and teaching dance to my peers and new faces back home.
What has been your favourite memory so far in your current role as Jade in Stargirl?
I would say getting to learn more and more about Stargirl and her story through the DC Universe. I have always appreciated those who dove deep into their favorite superhero’s story. Growing up, I would listen to my dad talk to my brother about different heroes that they loved and watching them come to life on screen. It was also a tradition to go to San Diego’s Comic Con as a family to experience the life of cosplay, listening to panels, and fangirling over the actors who played some of the most well known superheroes out there. Learning little bits and pieces about Stargirl and how Jennie, aka Jade, is involved has been a really cool experience.


Do you have any more upcoming projects in the works that you are able to talk about?

I have a few projects in the mix but in time, they shall stay a secret ;)


Do you have any self care routines for long days on set?

One self care routine that I emphasize is doing my skincare!! Yes, that should be a given but I really make sure that I’m on top of my skincare game. From wearing makeup for 12-16 hours to going from day shoots to night shoots, my skin gets extra sensitive. I make sure that I cleanse and moisturize day and night and I hydrate like there is no tomorrow haha! Something I’ve started incorporating into my routine is reflecting on things that I’m grateful for that day. My moods and emotions can fluctuate, especially when I’m working as I’m doing different types of scenes each day. Taking time to reflect and practice gratitude helps me focus and keep myself grounded.


How do you do self care at home? What are some of your favourite products and must-haves?

When I’m home, the one thing that I love to do in terms of self care is just sleep. You’re probably like, “Ysa, we already sleep. Do you just do that?” Haha! But really, I’m always doing something. Even when I’m back home from work, I’m dancing, teaching, catching up with friends, and spending time with family. I get so lost with my routine back home that I forget sometimes to get a good night’s sleep in. For sleeping, something that I like doing at night is turn on my salt lamp. I have crystals that sit near it so it recharges them but it serves me by helping me rest and recharge for the next day.


What are things you do to take care of your mental well being?

I’m such a big fan of coloring!! There’s something so soothing about it to me. Bringing an image to life with color is so satisfying to me. With that, I’ll play some music in the background. Discovering new music and creating playlists settles the organizational side of me and it’s really nice to hear what people are putting out and finding some new artists to jam out to. These two activities help me calm my racing mind as they don’t require so much brain power to perform. It also helps me stay off my phone and focus my energy somewhere else.


Besides being a talented dancer, what do you do to move and be active?


For a good amount of time, all I did was take dance classes. It is very hard for me to find other activities that I enjoy as much as dancing. I recently started doing private training sessions with one of my best friends and that has been really encouraging and motivating during this time. It’s a win-win situation as I get to spend time with her as well as have her train me. Which keeps me accountable for staying on top of my game!


What is your best-kept self care/beauty secret?

In the morning, I’ll put rosehip oil on my face and do a lymphatic drainage face massage. When you wake up, your face is a little puffy depending on the night before. This has helped reduce the puffiness in my face and it’s a way for me to set my intention for the day.


You’ve got a day off from work. What’s on the agenda?

If I’m on location for work, I would explore the city! Go try some new food, shop a little bit, go to some viewspots. Also, if anyone else in the cast is not working I love hanging out with them. It gives me a chance to get to know them personally outside of work. If I’m back home, I make sure I get my body moving. Whether that’s a dance class, working out, or even just taking a walk. After that, I’ll try to catch up on shows that I’ve been watching and then if I’m not too tired, go spend time with loved ones.


What are ways you make your life more eco-friendly/sustainable?

At the moment, I’m really into making the clothes I wear come from sustainable stores or buying it secondhand. I’ll go thrifting or shop on depop. And for the givens I’m always aware of recycling, the amount of plastic I’m using, and saving as much energy as I can. For my skincare, I look into eco friendly products as those are things that I go through on a daily basis.


If you were to create your own scented candle, what would it be?


I would love to have a scent that incorporates sage in it. Any candle that I have bought has had sage in it and it’s just delightful. I’m not very sure what this blend would have but I would want the scent to be something that is very neutral. Certain scents would be advertised or catered to something that’s more “feminine” or “masculine” but I would like to see that middle ground made into a scent...with some sage in it haha!