SDH 212: Creating a Business From Solving Your Own Problems with Marisa Arredondo

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What is your edge on the competition as a new brand? Is it your story? Your passion?

For Marisa Arredondo, the founder of Phace Bioactive, it’s both! Phace Bioactive is the first pH-optimized skin care line with mildly acidic products, designed to match the natural pH of the outer layer of our skin, which has an acidic protective barrier. This barrier seals in moisture, protects the elasticity of our skin, and also protects from bacteria that can cause pimples. 

Marisa always knew she would start a skin care line geared towards helping people of all ages with their acne struggles because she grew up with heavy cystic acne herself. She battled inflammation, redness, and premature wrinkling in her teens, and tried everything from sulfur to benzoyl peroxide. She was eventually prescribed antibiotics and began having corticoid steroids injected into her cysts, but nothing seemed to be working. Her only success came from using Accutane, but her severe acne returned in her 20s. 

Fed up with her skin problems, she began working as a research analyst on Wall Street that invested in cosmetic and dermatology companies. Through that experience, she had access to the nation’s leading scientists, dermatologists, and product developers. From those relationships, she was taught the importance of pH balanced products to prevent aging, and treat and nourish skin in a healthy and long-lasting way.

She then attended Harvard Business School where she came up with the idea for Phace Bioactive. In 2011, she had enough money and contacts to pursue her product line full time and quit her corporate job. For four years, she built a team of passionate chemists with product and ingredient development experience; and together they traveled across the country conducting market research. It wasn’t until 2015 that Phace Bioactive launched on Marisa’s website, and by that fall they were being featured in Harper’s  Bazaar, W Magazine, and Vogue!

They eventually caught the attention of Saks Fifth Avenue, who carried their line in their Apothecary initiative; and are also carried by QVC! Marisa attributes their takeoff to her timing, their unique pH-focused angle, and her authentic story. Marisa said that due to women being more educated on ingredients in their beauty products, with the advent of the internet, Marisa’s target audience appreciates Phace Bioactive’s scientific and transparent approach. Mixed with her passion and personal connection to the product and her consumers, since she has been through the same skin trials, it’s no wonder she was able to defeat the competition and make her dream product a reality!

Hear more about how she gained the confidence to launch her product and work through her insecurities to put her story at the forefront of her brand!

In this episode you will….

  • Learn how to build a product based off of your struggles
  • See how to conduct proper research and development
  • Figure out how to build the perfect research and product development team
  • See the value of business relationships
  • Know where to invest your money first in a new business
  • Be able to make your product accessible to customers


“I always knew I wanted to do this. When you’ve suffered from really bad skin issues…the emotional scars are still very much there…So I always knew I wanted to solve my skin issues, and I always knew I would start a skincare line. The question was: How would I solve my issues? How could I create the best products for myself and for women everywhere? And how would I accumulate this capital? And when would I have the guts?” -Marisa Arredondo

“In building this business, what I decided at the outset was that I would do everything on my own because what it would do was it would educate me on every little facet of the business so that when I hire, and there’s a problem, I could help resolve that problem very’s given me a level of control early on.” -Marisa Arredondo

“The beauty of chaos is that’s where real opportunity presents itself” -Marisa Arredondo

“Your business will run your life…if you don’t love what you do and you’re not totally passionate about what you’re selling and creating… don’t do it, because if you’re in it for the money, forget it. You’re not going to be a success. You’ve got to be really passionate about what you’re doing to be able to handle this.” -Marisa Arredondo


Marisa Arredondo LinkedIn

Phace Bioactive Website (

Phace Bioactive Facebook

Phace Bioactive Instagram (The Phace Life)

Phace Bioactive Twitter

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