Have you ever had a burning question about 111SKIN? Today Dr Yannis Alexandrides was interviewed by Harrods Director of Beauty and Home, Annalise Fard and CEW's Caroline Neville.
Events like these highlight the importance of networking, as it was at one of the CEW events that founder Caroline Neville introduced founder of 111SKIN Dr Alexandrides and co-founder Eva Alexandrides to each other. This encounter brought the now global skincare brand into fruition.
Q & A
AF: How did your journey as a plastic surgeon begin?
YA: My family all come from medical backgrounds, and that is what influenced me and shaped my education choices for the future. I always knew I wanted to help people.
The catalyst moment for me was when my friend was in an accident. I lived in Greece at the time and there was very little help available in terms of plastic surgery. He needed facial reconstruction and so I began a quest to search for the best plastic surgeon which then took me to America.
After my medical training in Miami, I decided to set up a practice in London in 1999. At this time, London had a resistant attitude to plastic surgery and so I wanted to make plastic surgery more accessible for the everyday person with a particular emphasis on non-surgical options.
AF: What makes 111SKIN’s products different than other skin care products on the market?
YA: The 111SKIN’s products were never initially intended for retail. It all started with the ‘dramatic healing serum’. This was a product I was offering my patients post-surgery to help encourage the healing process. The serum can be used as soon as two days after an operation providing the wound is not open.
After a while I found that my patients kept returning for more pots of dramatic healing serum claiming that it had great anti-ageing effects on the skin and had been used in place of their original skin care products.
The line combines space and science - knowledge of effectively targeting the signs of ageing with space science expertise in protecting the skin against harsh environments – it’s high performance skincare, formulated with patented ingredients and the most advanced research.
AF: Tell us about the ‘Y Theorem Repair Serum’, the product that started it all
YA: The first product that was created with the space scientists was a serum to help my patients heal after surgery. When I began giving tiny pots of this formula to patients I simply didn’t envisage that it would become such a sought after product. The scientists and I had developed a formula, NAC Y2 which is patented and unique to 111SKIN. The space scientists, with whom I have collaborated with to develop 111SKIN had provided supplements to astronauts while in space, which was a pure form of potent anti-oxidants (NAC). Space is the perfect laboratory in which to study ageing, as skin and organs are exposed to increased radiation and micro gravity, which rapidly accelerate the ageing process. Together, we adapted the formula to NAC Y2, which stimulates the body’s most powerful antioxidant, which is essential to produce and maintain healthy cells, most visibly seen on the skin.
In terms of benefits, the Y Theorem Repair Serum significantly boosts collagen production, supports cell regeneration and improves elasticity of the skin – it really is a hero and essential product for any anti-ageing skincare regime.
In 2011, we commissioned independent clinical trials in France that concluded 100% of participants who trialled the Y Theorem Serum over a four week period felt that their skin was smoother, softer and more supple. In addition 100% of participants also judged its cosmetic acceptability and its efficacy “good” to “very good”.
AF: What is your process for formulating products? How much work goes in to the development of each of your formulas?
YA: The production process can actually be very quick and can happen within about three weeks.
AF: That’s very quick, and is very beneficial to us at Harrods. It means you can create products that are in demand at that time
YA: Exactly. 111SKIN was developed for the needs of my patients who visit me at my Harley St Clinic and this is still an important part of product development. I see patients each day, all with different skincare concerns so my inspiration comes mostly from them.
AF: Right, so skincare problems like wrinkles, pigmentation, rosacea, acne
YA: Yes and often these problems all come under the umbrella of ageing. Sometimes the problem is more than just skin deep, sometimes the problem comes from underneath the skin. Once I have an idea for a product I speak to our scientists, who have been with me from day one, and now work in our own independent 111SKIN laboratory. We trial our products rigorously, to ensure that the final formulation is the absolute ultimate solution to a specific skincare concern.
AF: What is the number one skin complaint you hear from your patients, and how do you address that issue?
YA: Ever since I started my career, the number one skin complaint has remained consistent. Everyone is looking for the best way to target fine lines and wrinkles, or in broader terms – ageing. No one wants to look older than they actually are. When advising patients on a course of action, I look at their lifestyle, stress factors and existing skincare, from this we work together on how to overall improve and maintain their skin and looks. I like to work with skin that’s already in good condition. The better the condition of the skin is in, the higher the chance of the skin making a full recovery. It’s like a painter… the better their paints, brushes and quality of the canvas are, the better the end result will be.
AF: What is one piece of advice would you would give women looking to improve their skin?
Through my work in the past within facial reconstruction, I really understand the 3d makeup of the skin and what products are going to work best for it.. As a result of this I am able to prescribe effective anti-ageing advice and products.
My number one piece of advice would be to address your individual skincare needs and find products that work for you. At 111Harley St I can provide you with a skincare analysis, and many of my purchases at 111SKIN come through these consultations.
I also advocate a good sunscreen and collagen-boosting products daily. For specific skincare concerns, do seek advice as treatments have become incredibly advanced, and no one should have to suffer with bad skin.
AF: What recent developments are you most excited about in skincare?
Return of Retinol
Clinic worthy results achievable at home
AF: What has been the biggest challenge of creating a brand?
YA: Stepping out of my comfort zone and taking the leap to try something different. It was a huge risk, but I am glad I took it.
AF: When starting the brand who did you aspire to be?
YA: I really aspire to Dr Perricone. I him followed very closely and I was lucky to meet Dr Brown and hear his wisdom.
AF: What advice can you give our audience here on starting a brand?
-Be prepared for the process from conception to shelf, it will take far longer to make things happen that you anticipate.
-Don’t be afraid to network, my brand is testament to the value of networking.
-Invest in your team, as a surgeon in the clinic day to day I rely on my team to manage and grow my brand
-Learn the value of saying no; on the journey to retail, and even to this day, people will have opinions and opportunities that may grab your attention, but may not necessarily be right for your brand. Have a plan, have a goal, and always keep that in the back of your mind.