Jhoanna Marissa’s must-have products for melasma-prone skin


Photo: Courtesy of Jhoanna Marissa

Jhoanna Marissa is currently working as a web designer; she is the founder of Creative Agency Willa, who conceptualizes branding, e-commerce and design projects for brands like Donni, Cult Gaia and Brightland. But if you look at a photo of her long enough, you might recognize her from her roles in soap operas, shows, and movies like Young and restless, Greek, and I have to throw it.

Marissa realized that acting would be a “lifelong hobby” and not a career at the age of 15. “I mostly stopped playing after I have to throw it because of my insecurities with my skin and my body, ”she says. “Funny, America Ferrera and Camille Guaty, who were also in the movie, posted about it recently because it’s almost the 20th anniversary, and I saw the side of my face, and I had acne – I put up with it so much. “

Doctors offered her harsh solutions like Proactiv and Accutane, but when her mother stumbled upon research correlating gut health and skin, they realized there might be a gentler approach. Recalibrating her gut microbiome was not easy. She says, “I grew up in a Mexican household, and the food that was in our kitchen, I mean, we had it all. I love Daisy sour cream and ate it with Doritos – it was my snack.

Her favorite products have, of course, changed over the years, but her focus on diet and digestion has remained at the forefront – and her skin isn’t afraid to remind her of their importance when it deviates. “I started my first heavy labor in my 20s, and we drank tons of coffee, didn’t eat too much food, worked 12 hours a day and it all added up. I had to go back to basics. “

Marissa’s main battle is melasma, which she first discovered through her mother and grandmother’s struggles with the disease. Now that she has to take care of it herself, she pays particular attention to sun care and beauty treatments. “I do Clear and Brilliant laser treatments because my dermatologist immediately told me, ‘This is the only laser which I feel comfortable using on you because it is a lighter laser. Other, more intense lasers can trigger my melasma because of my skin tone – like other Latinx women, I am prone to hyperpigmentation.

She also receives Botox on her forehead and eyes to minimize the appearance of wrinkles. “My dad’s eyelids mostly cover his eyes, and for me, a brow lift helped. Before, it was difficult to use something like eyeliner. It is usually very light and I can still move my face. That’s all I did from an injectable point of view.

Below, Marissa shares her favorite products, including the probiotic she tells all her friends about, the sunscreen that makes her look dewy, and the expensive eye cream she swears is worth every penny.

“Seed probiotics are still on my desk. They’re so good – the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried so many. I don’t think I have the best natural microbiome unless I eat really good. I’ve learned how long our colon is long and how much food can be saved, and let’s be honest we’re not all angels – I love French fries – so the probiotic is a little extra boost. When I take it regularly, it helps my digestion and really improves my skin.

This is one of those products where once you try it you tell people about it, and I kept hearing about it from friends. Then my company moved into our current office building and Ara [Katz], the founder of Seed, also has an office here. I love Sakara Life, I did their program and it’s great, but I took their probiotics, and I didn’t feel the same as on Seed’s. I saw a difference in the first month with these. Not everyone can take it on an empty stomach because your stomach may be upset, but I feel better when I take it like this.

“Geri Hirsch, Creative Director of Saie Beauty, she’s a friend of mine, and I can’t take credit for this ice roller because I think she blew it up. I always joke, “You should make your own ice roller” because I feel like she really promoted this thing, it’s done. swipe-ups for this on Instagram, and everyone probably knows that because of Geri. I love mine so much. I wake up really, really hot, and it’s so good to roll that all over my face. I’ll say one morning I really needed it, but it wasn’t in the freezer so I fell back on my old ice cream trick, which just rolls an ice cube all over my face.

“It’s my morning cleanser because it’s so light – I do a double (or even triple) cleanse at night, but love this one in the morning. It has a kind of citrus smell and it’s such a nice and quick clean up. Their bottle lasts a very long time – just do a little pump. In fact, I’ve been using this cleanser since my business helped them get started about four years ago.

“This toner helps my makeup to stick to my skin a lot more. I bring it on planes with me, and it sits at my office. If my skin is dry throughout the day, a few sprays will help reset my skin. It has a very fresh, slightly lemony smell.

MARA Universal Face Oil

“I love that this facial oil actually seeps into my skin. It blends so well with everything – I blend it with my skin tone [below] and my sunscreen [below]. I have tried other oils that don’t penetrate, they just stay on my skin whether or not I use a setting spray. I use a whole syringe because I wear it up to my neck and chest. The name says “universal” oil, and they really mean it. “

“Before this skin tone, I could never find a beautiful tinted moisturizer with an SPF that didn’t freak out my skin. But my friend works with Ilia, and she said, ‘Can I come over to your place so I can film you putting on this shade? It’s for an independent brand that I work with. It was long before Ilia exploded. Now if you scroll down Instagram, you might get an ad from me putting the skin tone on – she shot it on my balcony, and the video has something like four million views. Fortunately, I loved the product. That’s all I use now. I still have it on my desk, and it does such a good job of keeping my skin hydrated – it contains squalane. I use the Paloma ST9 shade.

Some people say it smells really bad. If you look at the reviews it reminds me of the cilantro debate whether it tastes like soap to you or you love cilantro – I love cilantro. Half of the product reviews are from people saying it smells bad because it’s so natural. It doesn’t bother me that much, but it apparently isn’t very pleasant.

Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46

“This was recommended by a dermatologist, and it’s quite wet, but it’s not too greasy. If I reapply it, it doesn’t look gross to me. There have been sunscreens I’ve tried that are really zinc based and you can’t even put them on your face without having a white cast, or where all of a sudden I’m oily on parts of my face all day long. With this sunscreen, my face remains really balanced.

“I like this product because it’s less intense than my prescription retinol, and I can use it more frequently – if I use my prescription two days a week, my skin will be a bit dry or maybe a bit dry. slightly irritated and will start chipping. I use Shani’s three or four times a week. I heard about it from my friend Nikki Lee, who owns the Nine Zero One salon in Los Angeles – she is one of Shani Darden’s clients. She had a bottle for me, and I never had the ugly retinol with it.

“I actually heard about these tampons from Shani Darden, even before using her Retinol Reform. [above]. She was talking about it on Instagram, and she has a highlight on hyperpigmentation, and it’s one of the products she recommended. I was so scared that I had used astringent products before, but these really changed the texture of my skin. It’s smoother and cleaner.

“Moisturizers are the products I have the most difficulty with because they seem almost identical to me. I just want something easy, and I love this one because it’s really hydrating and it’s a good price for the quality – I don’t want to spend hundreds on moisturizers; I prefer to invest money in highly concentrated oils and stuff with good assets. With this one, I don’t wake up dry the next day.

“I use this eye cream because I work with the brand. You must try it! It’s like a balm and I can put makeup on it. My eyes are brighter with it. I’m going to look at myself in the mirror and I’m like “Oh!” because it looks like there might even be a highlighter on my eyes. I mean, no one likes dry eyes, and I think it really does the job of an eye cream. I’ve always struggled with eye creams because they’re so expensive, and it’s like, “Can’t I just use whatever I put on my face over my eyes?” But this one is definitely worth every dollar.

“When I don’t sleep well, I look tired and my skin is dehydrated no matter how much water I drink. I don’t think I enjoyed sleeping much in my twenties, and my skin certainly wasn’t as good as it could have been. My mind races the most at the end of the day – I’m actually my most productive at night; I could stay until 1 a.m., and I did that all the time, but I started to realize how much it affected my digestion. My skin was just dull too, so I really started figuring out how to build a better nighttime routine. I used to take the CALM Magnesium Supplement, then someone brought Moon Juice’s Magnesi-Om to my house. They were staying at home for the weekend, and I tried it and loved it. It has a nice berry flavor. I will do it with hot water, but I like it, I can also drink it cold if I don’t like to have tea. You sleep very well on it.




About Sally Dominguez

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