Ladies Who Lead: 111Skin's Eva Alexandridis

Eva Alexandridis

Introducing Eva Alexandridis, co-founder of 111SKIN, sharing how the doctor-driven brand came about, the dangers of comparison and the importance of gratitude

What was the impetus behind the creation of 111SKIN?

111SKIN is a doctor-driven brand, founded by myself and my husband Dr. Yannis Alexandrides, a world-renowned Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. 111SKIN was born at Dr Yannis’ clinic, 111Harley St.

Throughout his surgical career, Yannis experimented with numerous clinical-strength products, finding them too harsh and reactive for his clients’ post-surgery, sensitive skin. Realising that the ideal post-surgery solution was non-existent, he took my suggestion to design his own formula to speed up the skins’ healing.

Yannis developed a post-surgery serum, fuelled by his reparative complex, NAC Y2™, which quickly became popular with 111Harley St clients. By using potent ingredients intended for speeding up recovery, the skin is preserved from aging and equipped to fight external aggressors. Patients realised these benefits and started requesting more of the serum, we couldn’t stock enough. Prestigious department store, Harrods, caught wind of the clients’ demand for this product and reached out to launch it into a wider retail environment. In 2012, 111SKIN was introduced exclusively in Harrods.

To this day, Yannis consistently incorporates advanced, next-generation actives into formulations suitable for sensitive skin. 111SKIN products are inspired by his innovative clinic treatments, evolving patient needs, and his hands-on experience with the latest cosmetic technology.

What was a turning point in your journey as a founder?

My role in the brand has always felt secondary as my husband is a surgeon and the scientific authority behind the brand. It took me good 10 years to realize that my contribution is as essential as his. He is still a practicing facial reconstructive surgeon and without my role in actively managing the company we would not have the success we have.

Were there any specific challenges you faced as a woman along the way?

My biggest challenge occurred at the beginning of my career as 111SKIN’s co-founder. I struggled to trust in my ability and journey, often assuming that others knew better or had more relevant experience than myself. 

At times I would feel more comfortable being led, rather than following my own intuition. Thankfully this shifted, I have learnt to trust my instincts and apply assertiveness where required.

I think it is natural to feel some sort of ‘imposter syndrome’ at the beginning of a leading role. However, it’s important to recognise your belonging – you have landed in this position because of your knowledge and for what you deliver.

In hindsight, what is something you wish you knew that could have helped you?

I wish I knew that people’s CV’s and credentials are not enough. I have previously hired people with all the relevant experience and they have caused real damage. Now, I judge people based on their actual work in my company during the first couple of months; analysing their attitude and enthusiasm alongside skills and experience.

What was the best advice you were given and when have you applied it?

‘To appreciate what you have rather than always wanting more.’

In today’s social media-fused society, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of comparison where we form warped opinions that everyone is ahead of us, when in fact they are not. I find that consciously expressing gratitude is an extremely important practice and helps me to lead with passion and positivity.

Did you have a mentor, or do you think you would have benefited from having one?

My mentor is my mom… A former air hostess, I have endless memories of her working long and extreme hours, often leaving in the middle of the night. Yet, she never complained and always wore a fantastic smile. She has taught me my hard work ethic and to take pride on all accomplishments (big and small).

What is a piece (or a few pieces) of advice you would give to a woman whose goal is to become a CEO or founder in luxury now?

Undertake realistic and achievable goals, it might be years before they can be accomplished. Enjoy your journey and do not give up. Celebrate the successes and do not dwell on the setbacks, all experience is a valuable learning we need to grow.

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