Welcome to Big Break, the place among the most influential figures within the magnificence trade replicate on the moments that made them — from the great to the unhealthy and all the things in between. Right here, Yannis Alexandrides, MD, FACS, American and European board-certified plastic surgeon and founder and surgical director of 111Skin, shares how medical faculty constructed his resilience and the way an encounter with two astronauts modified the course of his profession.
Drugs has all the time been a part of Yannis Alexandrides’s world. “I used to be born in a medical household, and medication was throughout me,” he tells POPSUGAR. However that does not imply he took the choice to pursue it as a occupation evenly. He had an enormous curiosity in physics and arithmetic, however finally determined “medication is completely different from the rest as a result of [of] how a lot you’ll be able to assist different individuals.”
He began medical faculty in Athens and after his preliminary coaching, Dr. Alexandrides was in a position to get an thought of what every specialty entailed. “For me, it was very clear that surgical procedure was the plain selection,” he says. “I preferred the speedy results of your actions via surgical procedure, the large distinction which you could make to anyone’s life, and truly working with my palms was a part of what I preferred a lot.”
However there was one other issue that additionally motivated Dr. Alexandrides’s selection. “At that specific second, a really unlucky factor occurred,” he says. “One in every of my closest pals was serving within the navy and had a nasty accident, which required facial reconstruction.” Dr. Alexandrides tried to do as a lot as he may to assist, like connecting them with the best individuals, however “only a few docs in Greece who had been providing plastic and constructive surgical procedure.” That solidified his choice.
“It’s important to be just a little little bit of an artist so as to be actually profitable on this discipline.”
From there, Dr. Alexandrides did analysis into the place probably the most superior coaching for docs was, particularly in surgical procedure, and selected america. “I accomplished alternate packages between the Athens Medical Faculty and Dallas and went to one of many large medical facilities there the place I used to be uncovered to lots of cosmetic surgery and reconstructive aesthetics.” That is the place Dr. Alexandrides realized that this was his calling.
“There are such a lot of subspecialties inside cosmetic surgery, for instance, hand surgical procedure, aesthetic surgical procedure, craniofacial surgical procedure, burns, and lots of extra subspecialties that one can go into extra depth,” Dr. Alexandrides says. He additionally actually preferred the inventive side of surgical procedure. “It’s important to be just a little little bit of an artist so as to be actually profitable on this discipline.”
This isn’t to say his journey to turning into a totally licensed plastic surgeon was straightforward — removed from it, in actual fact. Cosmetic surgery is probably the most troublesome specialty to get into. “The method is so intense,” says Dr. Alexandrides, “It appears like navy service. It’s important to get up very early within the morning, generally in hospital by 6 a.m., and lots of these nights you must be on name as effectively, so some nights you have not even slept.” Finally, he determined to focus on craniofacial and microsurgery, which took eight years of intense coaching. Hundreds of operations later, Dr. Alexandrides was able to enter the true world of surgical procedure. “I felt 100% prepared to begin my very own profession and my very own follow.”
His plan was all the time to return to Greece and begin his follow there, however after years of faculty, Dr. Alexandrides took a well-deserved six-month break. Throughout his travels, he stopped in London the place he had some family and friends. “I met a plastic surgeon who was additionally American-trained and we grew to become good pals,” he says. “Inside two weeks, he provided me a job and requested me to begin working with him in London.”
Though it was one thing he’d by no means imagined, Dr. Alexandrides discovered himself unable to withstand the attract of London and the skilled challenges that got here with it. He additionally knew that he’d nonetheless be near Athens to begin a follow there. It took him roughly a 12 months and a half earlier than taking the leap to turn into unbiased, which is how he landed on Harley Avenue.
“As a spot with lots of historical past and lots of custom for England, Harley Avenue has been the epicenter of medical excellence right here,” he says. “It is fairly troublesome to begin a follow based mostly in Harley Avenue — even the method of stepping into it with the entire competitors.” It wasn’t misplaced on Dr. Alexandrides how dangerous going out on his personal was. “I made a decision to take this step, which was a really daring step again then, given my expertise and my age.”
Being in his early 30s, his dad and mom did not really feel that it was the best choice on the time. “They had been afraid I used to be being just a little — or very, ought to we are saying — emotional about it as a result of I actually, actually believed that London had rather a lot to supply,” he says. “It was a really dynamic time with lots of change, lots of progress, and lots of positivity.”
At the moment in 2000, there have been two forms of practices when it got here to beauty and aesthetic cosmetic surgery in London. There have been large clinics owned by corporations, which might make use of docs to do surgical procedure privately. After which there have been NHS marketing consultant plastic surgeons who had been working within the NHS for years and would steadily begin doing non-public work. “Again then, a follow the place a non-public plastic surgeon or a gaggle of plastic surgeons dedicate all their time to their clinic and their non-public sufferers was very uncommon.”
That is the place 111 Harley St. got here in. “I began with this 360 strategy the place I used to be pondering if I had been a affected person, what would I ask of my plastic surgeon?” This landed Dr. Alexandrides on the conclusion that he wanted to have a clinic that would have a broad spectrum of remedies as a result of “generally surgical procedure shouldn’t be the best reply,” he says. “It might be untimely or somebody won’t be not psychologically prepared for it; there are lots of causes, so nonsurgical remedies have an enormous position to play.”
In that very same vein, Dr. Alexandrides says “the thought of getting dietary supplements and skincare was very intuitive to me. In case you are doing surgical procedure, you must give the best merchandise to your sufferers to allow them to heal higher and quicker, and who is aware of how the pores and skin heals higher than the plastic.” And that is how 111Skin was born.
“I by no means thought I’d create a line of skincare that I’d promote outdoors my clinic,” he says. It began when he met two scientists concerned within the house program and in command of the wellness of astronauts. They had been those creating meals and dietary supplements for astronauts. “House is a really harsh surroundings and is definitely a laboratory for superior growing old as a result of the pores and skin is uncovered to intense cosmic radiation,” he says. “They had been forward of their time — that they had this information of stop growing old of the pores and skin in probably the most excessive surroundings.” So, Dr. Alexandrides collaborated with them on merchandise in 2006.
Their very first breakthrough was the Dramatic Therapeutic Serum in 2008 — a product designed to assist Dr. Alexandrides’s sufferers heal quicker. “Most of my sufferers got here again to me after six weeks — which was the preliminary therapeutic section the place I used to be giving them the serum totally free — and had been asking for extra.” The key ingredient to this method was 111SKIN’s NAC Y2, which has turn into a hero within the trade and many individuals’s routines. It stays central to the model at present and is the important thing ingredient within the Y Theorem line. Ultimately, after discussing it together with his spouse, Eva Alexandridis (cofounder and CEO of the model), they determined to create a small skin-care line with eight core merchandise using NAC Y2 to promote after the preliminary six-week restoration time. “I by no means thought that it will turn into what it’s at present,” says Dr. Alexandrides. “It was a part of my follow, so it felt like extra of an added service for my sufferers.”
With the entire breakthroughs and success, in fact there have been troublesome moments, too, however Dr. Alexandrides by no means doubted his profession as a health care provider. “There was by no means a second I assumed I’d hand over my profession. Should you’re a health care provider, it is not only a job — it turns into a part of your nature. I believe that gave me lots of resilience, too.”
Dr. Alexandrides’s success does not finish there. He is additionally earned himself a powerful checklist of superstar clinetele, however you will not catch him sharing any names. “We all the time respect anonymity,” he says, which is one thing that provides him confidence that he is doing the best factor. “After all, I do like this side of my job, however I take it significantly. I deal with each single affected person the identical. It does not matter how well-known they’re. They’ve the identical wants and so they want the identical form of consideration. So I attempt to give that to all people.”
So far as profession highlights go, Dr. Alexandrides has a humbling one and it is taking place now. “As for many individuals, it was a really robust time with COVID — my clinic needed to shut for the primary time fully,” he says. “I really feel that now we have strengthened the corporate. I really feel just like the momentum has elevated as a substitute of slowed down, truly.”
“There was by no means a second I assumed I’d hand over my profession. Should you’re a health care provider, it is not only a job — it turns into a part of your nature.”
The enterprise shortly pivoted, switching to different platforms to achieve shoppers and create a community of execs, similar to aestheticians and dermatologists that assist. “We’ve got established a really vibrant connection and the gross sales have adopted,” he says. “It’s a pinch-me second as a result of it may have been the opposite manner and I would like to inform myself that. It’s a time the place we’re in a position to strengthen our workforce by attracting people who find themselves actually skilled on this discipline as a result of the wants of the corporate change as you go forward.”
How Dr. Alexandrides needs to be remembered may sound stunning, however it truly reinforces that, enterprise proprietor apart, he is a surgeon at the start. “My intention is to create merchandise that decrease individuals’s want to return right into a clinic,” he says.
Picture Supply: Bonnie Mills / Courtesy of Yannis Alexandrides