Hubert Burda Media

Out-of-this-world Skin

A skincare formula so good, it attracted the attention of cosmonauts looking to combat the ageing effects of exposure to space.

It’s far from your typical skincare story: plastic surgeon Yannis Alexandrides was researching solutions to improve the efficacy of repairing post-surgery skin when he was spotted on TV by a gang of former Russian space scientists. They contacted him, and together, they created the antioxidant-rich compound NAC Y². Space, it turns out, is no place for those who wish to stay young – the exposure to such extreme elements in fact acts as fast-forward button for the skin, ageing it at an extra-rapid pace.

With the products initially available only to patients, the London-based Alexandrides found himself on the receiving end of a phone call from folks at Harrods and Selfridges when a big-spending client of the department stores cancelled her over-the-counter orders in favour of the medical-grade supplies she was getting from the doctor. Harrods eventually helped him develop his small speciality into a full-blown label, 111Skin, which today comprises three separate functional lines and is sold across the world in high-end boutiques.

Dr Yannis Alexandrides

Dr Yannis Alexandrides

What was the first product you worked on?

The first product that I created with the space scientists was a serum to help my patients heal after surgery. The scientists and I had developed a formula, NAC Y², which is patented and unique to 111Skin. They had provided supplements to astronauts while in space, which was a pure form of potent antioxidants (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 an essential product for any anti-ageing skincare arsenal.

Were you surprised to be approached by space scientists?

The collaboration made immediate sense to me. As environmental and lifestyle aggressors’ increase on earth, I knew that space would dictate the future for well-being.

What does the name 111Skin mean?

The skincare bears the name of my 111 Harley Street Clinic – it reminds us, and customers, where it all began.

111Skin now boasts three different lines. What are the differences?

We have a reparative line evolved from the original Dramatic Healing Serum: this collection utilises the pure potency of NAC Y² to repair and rejuvenate all skin types. Our intensive collection uses Celestial Black Diamond microspheres, amongst the rarest mineral on earth, to transport unique ingredients to the deeper layers of the dermis. And finally, our prescriptive collection gives skin a surgically inspired cocktail shot of powerful anti-ageing boosters, so you can customise your skincare ritual with clinical ingredients.

111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Cream

111Skin Celestial Black Diamond Cream

The hero product is without a doubt the Celestial Black Diamond Cream, which costs HK$8,290. What in the jar justifies the price tag?

As innovation and research drives the beauty industry forward, we’ve found that our patients and customers are saving up for trusted premium brands at the forefront of skincare technology, and are foregoing smaller luxuries. It's no longer about the price of a product, it’s about the value it offers, the clinically proven results – and in some cases skincare is so advanced it offers a more affordable alternative to surgery. This is very much the case with the Celestial Black Diamond Cream, which contains black diamond microspheres used previously in cancer research, to transport potent ingredients to deeper layers of the skin.

Some of your products were specifically developed for Asian consumers. How do these needs differ from the rest of the world?

Due to the nature of the environment is Asia, in particular the humid conditions, Asian consumers tend to suffer from a lack of moisture. I would always recommend Asian consumers products that are rich in hyaluronic acid, a water-binding ingredient that increases moisture levels rapidly. In addition, Asian consumers are also prone to oily skin due to the humidity, high pollution and varying temperature. To avoid breakouts, Asian consumers should incorporate mild exfoliating ingredients such as lactic acid into their skincare regime, which will gently remove debris and dead cells.