Plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, founder of science-backed skincare brand 111SKIN shares how to summer-proof your skin
It was just over 15 years ago in his quest to help heal skin following cosmetic surgery, laser treatment and chemical peels, that plastic surgeon Dr. Yannis Alexandrides developed a patented formula that would go on to become iconic in the skincare world. Through a collaboration with space scientists, he infused his formula with antioxidant supplements given to astronauts to protect their cells from the harshest of ageing environments – the cold vacuum of space – and before long, London’s elite were banging down the door at his 111 Harley Street location to get their hands on his Dramatic Healing Serum. “As a plastic surgeon, I never thought I would go on to create a skincare brand,” he tells MOJEH. “However, my drive to create healthy skin led me there, and at the end of the day its importance is paramount, and prevention is always better than treatment.”
Boasting celebrity fans including Margot Robbie and Priyanka Chopra, the founder of 111SKIN – which has outposts in London’s Harrods, Harvey Nichols and at the Bulgari Spa – has a strong Middle Eastern client base, and is an expert in tackling the issues so often created by the harsh desert sun. Here he talks MOJEH through the steps that will help get your skin fighting fit for the summer season ahead, and the products to ensure glowing skin all year round.
Coming into summer, what effect does the harsh Middle Eastern climate have on our skin?
The sun is probably the number one reason for ageing worldwide, and in the UAE that sun shines all year round. UV light can cause major damage by altering DNA and stimulating the production of free radicals, which leads to pigmentation among other issues, so protecting the skin from the sun should be paramount. It’s therefore vital that we use scientifically formulated products to get ahead of the game.
And how does 111SKIN help tackle this?
I created 111SKIN following the success of my Dramatic Healing Serum, as the demand for a range based on my unique NAC YÇ formula was huge. The complex includes a trio of actives – N-acetylcysteine, which is a powerful antioxidant; sodium ascorbyl phosphate, which is a very powerful form of vitamin C; and Aesculus hippocastanum [horse-chestnut] extract, a botanical extract that improves blood flow to the skin. Together they shield the skin from the sun’s free radicals and other environmental aggressors, improve resilience, fight wrinkles and tighten the skin, all while brightening the complexion at the same time. For sun damage, there really is no better combination.
A side effect of sun exposure, pigmentation is a big concern among Middle Eastern women. How can you help?
You’re right – hyper-pigmentation is probably the number one problem I see out there, and for that I would highly recommend our Celestial Black Diamond line. As the name suggests, these products contain rare black diamond particles that are absorbed quickly into the skin to brighten the complexion and help even out skin tone without any irritation. Most products you’ll find promise a quick fix, but actually end up backfiring and creating even more pigmentation. Our products are scientifically designed not to do that – you’ll see these improvements gradually, but they’ll last. We have everything from a serum to a cream, but the retinol oil is most important as it combats pigmentation as well as wrinkles. It needs introducing gradually, though, and only at night – start with twice a week and slowly increase usage for optimum results.
What would you say to people who simply want a quick fix?
As I’m a plastic surgeon, most people assume I’m all about quick fixes, however, without healthy skin you won’t see results, and for that there are no shortcuts. Healthy skin requires time and investment – as a minimum it will take four to six weeks using my products before the effects really kick in, and maintenance is important too. It’s similar to getting fit – you can’t just go to the gym once a year, you need to work out on a regular basis to really reap the benefits.
And what about supplements?
Skincare is paramount for healthy skin, but so is diet and lifestyle, so remember to stay hydrated, eat well and take your supplements. We have created what we call ‘beauty doses’ specifically designed around skin, hair and nails; they fuse botanical extracts, amino acids, vitamins and antioxidants that the skin needs to work properly, which help balance the gut and skin connection, so it’s definitely worth giving them a try.
With the potential to burn up to 800 calories a session, you’re a strong believer in cryotherapy and even set up The Wellness Clinic at Harrods and its 111Cryo chamber. Is its promising lure of a better summer body the real deal?
We initially came across the benefits of whole body cryotherapy when researching our Reparative line, and I’m a huge fan. I like to have a treatment at least two or three times a week – it works wonders if your body is stiff after surgery and helps muscles recover after working out, all while benefiting your skin at the same time. Not only does it have detoxifying and anti-inflammatory properties but it’s regenerative too – so I would definitely say yes.
Who benefits most from your skincare line?
Everyone! Most of 111SKIN’s products are made for both women and men, and they address all skin types and skin concerns. We also have variations of certain products too – the Y Theorem Repair Light Serum, for example, is a lightweight alternative to our Y Theorem Repair Serum, which packs all the punch of the original formula but with a lighter, water-like texture that’s perfect for oily skin.
Do you think good products can override bad genes or a bad lifestyle?
I wouldn’t go that far. As a doctor I am very holistic in how I see skin. Of course products can help, but if you have a bad lifestyle, you may want to take a step back and reassess. While we can’t change our genes, we can change our lifestyle and switch to healthier ways of living which have a positive effect on our skin in the long term.
Finally, do you believe you can buy perfect skin?
That’s a great question! My short answer would be yes. We like to invest in expensive clothes and accessories, but when you think about it, the best accessory you can buy is healthy skin, so why not invest in that too? Shop 111Skin
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and when it comes to smoother, tighter skin, this couldn’t be more true. The first spa in the UAE to introduce 111SKIN’s luxurious Celestial Black Diamond sculpting treatment, enjoy 90 minutes of pure indulgence at The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, thanks to this powerful body therapy that works to shape, smooth and saturate the skin. The most intensive of body treatments, science-led formulas with diamond powder increase the absorption of active ingredients that penetrate deep into the skin. Utilising signature massage techniques and potent professional formulas, lymphatic drainage movements help to rid the skin of toxins, while limbs are left tight to the touch. All this and more in the comfort of the Mandarin Oriental’s luxe spa, which, overlooking the sparkling Arabian Gulf, is a haven of serenity offering dreamy amenities including its much-loved cocoon-like relaxation pods, perfect for a few hours of post-treatment bliss. Book now
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