Dr Yannis Alexandrides is a renowned London-based plastic surgeon who’s just launched an exclusive new range of skin care in the Kingdom. Liz O’Reilly caught up with him on his recent visit to Dessange.
These days it’s not unusual for aesthetic specialists to also have a collection of lotions and potions named after them. But for Dr Yannis, this was never his intention. In fact the 111Skin range was never intended for public use.
He explains: “I was actually more interested in finding a product to help patients recover after facelift surgery. I had been looking for a long time in the US but was never happy with what I found. Then I met two scientists [who are now part of his team], they knew about ingredients and together we developed what we called The Healing Serum.
“I was giving it to my patients as part of their recovery package, not charging and not selling it. But after six weeks they kept coming back for more, they said it made their skin feel really good.
“I decided to create a range of products and started selling them at the clinic. One of my patients tried them and cancelled her regular skin care order at Harrods [the world-famous London department store]. The next thing I knew, I got a call from Harrods’ buyer saying they wanted to launch the range!
“That’s when I got a little nervous. My patients loved them, but was that because they were already getting good results with their surgery? I decided to commission independent clinical studies [the products are not animal tested] and, once I saw the results, then I was happy to launch in Harrods.”
Four years later 111Skin, named after Dr Yannis’ practice, 111 Harley Street, in London’s high-end medical enclave, is stocked at other big-name outlets such as Harvey Nichols in the UK and Barneys in the US. And now it’s available exclusively in the GCC at Dessange Bahrain.
But despite a hugely successful practice and a slew of celebrity clients, no names of course, for Dr Yannis, the world of plastic surgery is not all, well, plastic.
Born and brought up in Greece, he says: “I come from a medical family, both my parents are doctors, and it was always in my mind. I found surgery most inviting because of the ability to make visible and long-lasting changes. But my interest in plastics was something that came later. One of my friends had a terrible accident, he was on a motorbike when he was hit by a barrier and badly injured. He had to travel abroad for reconstructive surgery to allow him to live a normal life. Now he is fine, but that showed me there was a gap in the profession in Greece and that plastic surgery is not just about aesthetics.”
Following training at Albert Einstein Medical Centre, in the US, the young surgeon became a resident at Jackson Memorial Hospital (the second largest hospital in the US and a non-profit institution) and gained experience in craniofacial reconstructive surgery performing complicated operations on patients suffering severe injuries from car crashes and gunshots as well as those with congenital abnormalities.
And these days, although he is widely known for his aesthetic results – he says: “London is full of celebrities, a lot of them come to me because they know I’m not going to talk and I think there are some that would surprise you; the people that haven’t had anything done don’t exist anymore and younger people are very open to things like Botox and other procedures” – there is much more to Dr Yannis than the, some would say, superficial world of beauty.
He also participates in international surgery missions abroad and helps underprivileged people correct cosmetic abnormalities explaining: “This is a tremendous opportunity for me to use my surgical skills to help people who do not have the financial means or access to qualified doctors. I feel honoured and humbled to be able to utilise my surgical skills to help those affected by cleft lip and cleft palate problems, and those who are underprivileged.”