Supplements & Skincare: A Conversation with Dr. Yannis Alexandrides of 111SKIN
Dr. Yannis Alexandrides chats with us about 111SKIN's new supplements, the relationship between our skin and our inner body functions, and the history behind 111SKIN.
Q: What inspired you to create the Clarity and Intensive supplements, and how did the release of the first supplement, Reparative Beauty Dose, play a role in the creation of the new ones?
The Reparative Beauty Dose was key because it was the first one we released. We had some reservations about how some consumers would embrace a skincare brand offering supplements, especially the audience in the United States, where a lot of people buy their products from different places. They buy skincare from a department store or a specialized store, and they purchase supplements from a specialized wellness store. I strongly believe that you cannot have a complete system of healthy skin without taking the right supplements. You may be using the right products on your skin, but if you don't ingest key ingredients, then you still may not be getting the full benefits, or not be seeing a lot of improvement.
The Reparative supplements are what I would give to my patients in my clinic, to help them heal from the treatments they received, but also to help them have healthy skin. But to my pleasant surprise, we realized that people loved it and in 2020 it was our best selling product.
Following the success of the Reparative Beauty Dose, we continued having the same philosophy of different lines. We now have six different categories according to certain skin problems and skin conditions. Clarity is a major one because I believe approximately 25% of people have some kind of problem with congestion of the skin, acne, or blemishes. Not only teenagers, but adults who, due to hormonal problems, pollution, and stress, develop these problems. And Intensive, of course, because as we age, we want to maintain youthfulness in the skin and reverse signs of aging.
Q: Can you share with us a bit about the development of the supplements? For example, how long it takes to create, and what's involved in the process versus a standard topical skincare product?
It's completely different, because something you ingest goes through a different process of testing and approval. First of all, we have chosen our partner in the creation of these as an FDA-approved facility in the United States. We went with the highest possible quality we could find. To help you understand what that means — supplements don't need FDA approval. However, the factory that we use maintains the same standards that we would use for FDA-necessary products such as medication. So basically, we go as high-quality as we can. You have to trust the brand and the facility that makes this product.
My role was to really try to curate the important ingredients that you need to mix in order to get the effect you want to achieve. One of the problems I have, because I like to use supplements, is that in order to get all that’s necessary, you might end up ingesting 20 different tablets. And another 20 in the evening! I don't have the time or the energy to do something like that.
So it's really mixing a cocktail of the ingredients that all go together in one tablet, and then making it easier for people to take them. That's really my process. And of course, on a separate note, there is a marketing exercise as well to see, “Will this be a good idea?” — talking to people in the industry, understanding their needs. A lot of our retail partners were very positive about launching more supplements, and that's how we proceeded.
Q: You mentioned before that there might be some hesitancy, especially in the United States, to take a supplement and have it come from a skincare brand versus their supplement store or specialty store. What is some advice you have for those who may be a little hesitant to try it?
I think the benefits are that the products have been carefully selected in order to give maximum effect to a specific condition. So if you are an adult suffering from acne, and don't know what needs to be taken in order to improve your acne, you might say, “Okay, get vitamin A” or one of those ingredients, but you cannot know all of them. Now, you can take one product, Clarity Beauty Dose, that has important ingredients you can have in one tablet, and of course, in the right amount and the right potency to get the results you need.
It goes hand-in-hand with skincare. It’s about a need, right? Let's start with Clarity: so you have blemishes, you go to a place where you are looked after for your skin, and the people tell you about a product that you can apply on the skin. That's the right time to learn that it is actually not just what you put on your skin, but it’s how your body works. With Clarity in particular, we understand the connection between the microbiome of the gut and the one on the skin. Those two communicate. If you have an upset gastrointestinal system, it might affect how your skin looks. We all know that when we get sick, that changes how our skin looks. So for people who have chronic diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, or in this case, blemishes and acne, it can be because there is an imbalance of the microbiome in the gut.
I think if you get advice from an expert, then you will get the right product for what you need. Giving it a try is definitely a good way to start and see the results.
Q: Finally, let’s talk about a bit of the 111SKIN brand history!
I trained at the University of Miami, so I'm a board-certified plastic surgeon in the United States, as well as European board-certified. In 2000, I established my practice in Harley Street in London, which is the center of the medical community here. I managed to create a center that, back then for London, was unique in terms of combining surgical with non-surgical treatments. Early on, I realized the need for a 360 approach to aging and wellness. It wasn't just about working in my clinic and having a facelift or rhinoplasty, it was more about getting full advice on your skin, how to stay healthy, how to not only look good, but also feel good.
In this process, we created together with a team of scientists, the first product — 111SKIN’s Y Theorem Repair Serum. We used to call it the Dramatic Healing Serum, which I still give to patients after surgery. That project was a breakthrough for me because a lot of my patients would come back and ask me for more and more product, even after they had healed from surgery. Then, I realized that it does something more than just help the skin heal after surgery, it maintains the beauty of the skin and reverses the aging of the skin. And so we created the eight first products for daily use!
For many years, my office was the only place you could find them until Harrod’s approached us. They found out about the products through one of my customers and asked us to do a presentation. They were very kind. Once they tried the products, they immediately told us they wanted to launch and of course, I had no idea how to launch a skincare line, being a plastic surgeon in my office. But they did help a lot in terms of giving us ideas about the packaging and presentation. That's how we started in 2012. We had our first location in Harrod’s and a couple of years later, we launched in Barneys New York. My wife, Eva, is our CEO and co-founder and has helped build the brand tremendously and spearheads our product innovation.
It was a very big step for us. From the beginning, the people in Barney's believed in our brand and in our idea, and we already had a year and a half of experience with Harrod’s, so they saw the progress we had made. They gave us a whole counter, which was impressive for a new brand launching in the US. That was in 2014 and since then, we’re now found in a number of luxury retailers, spas, and online platforms.
For Dr. Yannis Alexandrides' favorite products, check out his shop below!