Marianna Hewitt Swears By Probiotics, Pillowcases, and Patch Tests for Happy Skin

The Summer Fridays co-founder shares all her skincare secrets.

Marianna Hewitt for Byrdie

Marianna Hewitt / Design by Tiana Crispino

What I Put On My Face

All skin is good skin, which is why good skincare is more of a journey than a destination. We all love a one-off tip—but, at Byrdie, we’re more interested in how our skin evolves over time. The product we've used for a decade, the ingredient cocktail that made us glow, the step we never skip, and all the advice in between. This is the stuff that makes a real difference. With What I Put on My Face, we’re bringing you the rituals, recommendations, and failed experiments (we’ve all had them) straight from celebrities, founders, and influencers who’ve gone through it themselves.

Picture your ideal Summer Friday. Maybe it's an early release from work that turns into an afternoon at the beach. Or perhaps a leisurely outdoor dinner with friends. Whatever your happy place, the term evokes ease, rest, and golden hour. That’s the idea behind influencer-turned-entrepreneur Marianna Hewitt’s best-selling Summer Fridays skincare line, founded with colleague Lauren Gores. They're all about capturing the sunny mood of a Summer Friday and distilling it into skincare form.

Initially launching with the hydrating Jet Lag Mask (you’ve definitely seen the cloud blue packaging in many an artfully-shot Instagram), the line quickly expanded to include radiance-boosting masks, a truly lush body cream, cleansers, serums, gentle exfoliants, and now, a new face oil launching when it’s needed most—right before the cold weather sets in. 

Even before her days at the helm of a skincare empire, Hewitt was a fixture in the beauty world with her wildly popular YouTube channel and Instagram account, where she demos and reviews products in her unflinchingly honest but always upbeat way. She amassed a huge following, a trusted reputation, and inspired beauty enthusiasts along the way. In short, Mariana Hewitt knows good skincare.

For a no-holds-bar look at the mogul's all-time favorites, we tapped Hewitt for an intimate rundown of her morning and night routine, product tips, and skincare journey.

Marianna Hewitt


Her Biggest Skincare Concerns

In my past life of working as a TV host, I had "problem skin." I would work long days and have heavy camera makeup on for too many hours, which caused my skin to become so congested. It was when my skin got so bad that I found an esthetician in LA in 2013 (Shani Darden), and she has been doing my facials ever since. After clearing up my skin—by changing my skincare and makeup products—I maintained my AM and PM skincare routine, nutritious diet, and drinking a lot of water while always ensuring to wash my face. As I’ve aged, my skincare concerns changed too. When I left the phase in my 20s of frequent breakouts, I shifted to treating leftover hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and now more anti-aging.

The Thing That Made Skincare *Click* for Her

I’ve always loved it. I was heavily influenced as a teen by Noxema commercials, Neutrogena ads, and a three-step Proactiv line. As I got older, my products and skincare concerns changed, as did how much I could spend on skincare! I used to feel like I had to spend a lot of money (in the hundreds of dollars) to get great skincare products. And when I could finally afford them, they would disappoint because I expected it was a miracle in a jar, which isn’t exactly how skincare works. I lean on experts, but I also trust myself, and I think people should do the same — if you find something that works for you, great! Don’t get too caught up in the "rules" to use this, and don’t use that ingredient. If it's working for you, you’re protecting your skin, you’re not having any problems, and you’re happy with your skin—just do what you enjoy!

Her Morning vs. Night Routine

They are different! In the morning, it's all about cleansing and protecting, so I use our Summer Fridays Super Amino Gel Cleanser ($34), a vitamin C serum (Summer Fridays CC Me Serum has two forms of vitamin C plus niacinamide), followed by our lightweight Cloud Dew Oil-Free Gel Cream Moisturizer ($42). It is perfect for daytime use because it layers so well under SPF and with makeup. I also love to ice roll after I finish my skincare routine—I’m not sure if it has any actual skincare benefits, but it feels nice and wakes up my skin for the day.

Marianna Hewitt

Marianna Hewitt

At night is when I like to treat my skin. Depending on what the needs are, I will add a serum or something after I cleanse to treat whatever may be going on that day. I like to alternate between retinol and Summer Fridays Soft Reset AHA Exfoliating Solution ($54), followed by Jet Lag Mask ($48) as an eye cream and moisturizer. I love to apply a thick layer before bed; then, I add a few drops of our new Heavenly 16 All-In-One Face Oil ($54). It's a beautiful blend of 16 non-comedogenic oils, so if you have blemish-prone skin, you’ll love using this one!

The Skincare Step She Never Skips

Washing my face AM and PM and wearing SPF. 

How Her Routine Changed Over the Years

When I first started to receive gifts as an influencer, I got so excited that brands would send me things, and I would try too many things at once—which really ended up irritating my skin. And by trying too many different things, I never knew the culprit of irritation. So after some trial and error, I have a pretty good sense when I get a new product if it is something I will like and use. I know now to patch test first before going in for a full-face test. 

The Ingredient That’s Made the Biggest Difference

A combination of what I put on my skin and also what I put into my body. My face very much shows what I’ve been eating, from flush red cheeks, blemishes on my chin, or overall dehydration from lack of water. It really is a holistic approach and knowing that no matter what I put on my skin, I also need to eat well, drink water, get enough sleep—and I've also found that taking probiotics makes a huge difference.

Marianna Hewitt

Marianna Hewitt

The Best Skincare Advice She’s Ever Received

I think there's tried and true advice that makes sense for everyone (like wear SPF). But outside of that, there are so many rules sometimes it takes the fun out of skincare and the relaxing self-care aspect to the routine and habits. The best advice is to do what works for you. If there's a skincare rule that says don’t do this or don’t use that and you have no irritation—do your thing! There's so much information and misinformation, it makes navigating skincare really confusing, and everyone has a different opinion. If you ever have a question or concern, have a professional in your life like an esthetician or a dermatologist that you trust be a sounding board for you. 

The Her Skincare Pet Peeve

Shaming people for how they want to use products or what they use. As long as it isn’t harming or irritating your skin, I think people should have fun and enjoy their skincare routine and not be so concerned about skincare rules. Some people love fragrances in their skincare, so let them have their fragrance if they enjoy it. It is such a personal preference, and each person’s skin reacts so differently to products.

The Product She Uses the Most

Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm Vanilla ($22)—it's actually the best (and vegan too).

The Product That’s Been in Her Routine Forever

Shani Darden’s Retinol Reform ($88).

Her New Favorites

I love the new Rose Inc. serum Radiant Reveal by Rosie Huntington Whitley (ed note: still unreleased). It has such a beautiful texture and finish and makes for a great primer before makeup. The ITEM Beauty One Hit Setting Mist ($18) has such a great spray pattern; I use it when I finish my makeup. I recently added Love Wellness Clear Skin Probiotics ($25). Sleeping on clean, Slip Silk Pillowcases ($89) also is amazing.

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