Portrait-artist-turned-dermatologist Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, PhD, possesses a unique skill set and background that has helped her achieve the soft, natural looking results that today’s women and men crave. A New York City dermatologist with a thriving Park Avenue practice, Alexiades-Armenakas is also an assistant clinical professor at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Conn. and Director at Yale’s Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center, as well as the mastermind behind the anti-aging luxury line 37 Extreme Actives.
She talked to Beauty in the Bag about her beauty philospophy, background, and how both helped her develop her exclusive skincare line.
How do you define/create beauty?
I believe that beauty is subjective, yet objective. What I mean by that is, and I write about this in my recent editorial titled “The Aesthetic” in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, there is an overall agreement among people as to what is beautiful. I have a very strong classical aesthetic sense of beauty, where the architecture of the face is to be preserved and the quality of the skin maximized.
What is your signature procedure?
It turns out that my previous life as a renditional portrait artist and life sculptor has come to bear on my abilities in aesthetics. I am known for mixing botulinum toxin, fillers, and lasers to achieve a natural look, as if you have had no work done, but you look like a younger version of yourself.
How did you get started in the beauty business?
After the MD PhD program at Harvard University in Boston, I still had dreams of becoming a neurosurgeon, or because of my artistic skills, a plastic surgeon. My brothers are surgeons, and we genetically have a predisposition towards surgical fields. However, my husband, also a surgeon, motivated me to try dermatology—and I realized it was a great synthesis of my talents of art and procedure, as well as the intellectual aspect. From there, the combination of my doctorate in molecular genetics and skincare ingredients came naturally. L’Oreal Paris hired me to work on a few lines, while I was busy building my dermatology practice on Park Avenue in New York City. I became known as the go-to expert for demystifying beauty products. I’ve now developed my own lab and anti-aging luxury line 37 Extreme Actives, which is available at Neiman Marcus and Net-a-Porter.
What sets you apart from others in your space?
The rare combination of basic science, clinical expertise, and artistic talent. It is the convergence of multiple areas of expertise that uniquely lend themselves to being the expert on beauty ingredients and aesthetics.
Who is your beauty inspiration?
I love old movies and have seen them all. I have been quoted as saying Grace Kelly is my beauty inspiration for her classic style and pristine skin.
What is your beauty mantra?
37 Extreme Actives twice a day, no matter where or what.
What charities do you support?
I support many charities around the world, including a donation of 10% of profits from 37 Extreme Actives to research at Harvard University for skin cancer and other related conditions.
Why do you love what you do?
I always tell my children, I wish that they find a vocation that is play, so that they do not work a day in their lives. That is how I feel. It is the varied excitement of the clinical practice, research, and art that fulfills me.