Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, a board-certified dermatologist with a clinical practice on Park Avenue in New York, is recognized worldwide as an authority on dermatology, laser surgery, and cutting-edge skincare ingredients. She holds BA, MD, and PhD degrees from Harvard and is an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale.
There’s been a lot of buzz about Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, the New York-based dermatologist with a BA, MD, and PhD from Harvard. Obviously, she’s a smart cookie. She also has remarkably beautiful skin — she’s one of the first people we’ve come across who’s camera-ready with just a little eye makeup and lipstick. And, most importantly (for us), she has a unique scientific and clinical background that makes her a master at identifying and evaluating the effect of active molecules on aging skin. Read on for her top anti-aging tips.
AYLA: What are the top 5 anti-aging tips that you most frequently give to busy women, and why?
Dr. ALEXIADES-ARMENAKAS: Interestingly, the top 5 tips that most women do not know are the simplest!
1.) Wash skin with only water in the morning (cleanser is not necessary). Most people believe that we need to exfoliate and deeply cleanse, but in fact in the morning — when the skin needs to shield you against the toxins and pollutants of the day — maintaining a healthy and intact skin barrier is key to good skin. You will see the difference: less inflamed, fewer breakouts.
2.) Do not allow hot water to touch your facial skin. As the hot water touches the skin, it heats it up. In an effort to cool it off, blood vessels dilate (the skin turns red), and the skin evaporates water in an effort to release heat (evaporative cooling). The net/net: red, dry skin. So, only use lukewarm water for washing the face. There should not be steam on your medicine cabinet mirror!
3.) IMMEDIATELY after washing, while the skin is still damp, apply your moisturizer. This locks in hydration before this evaporation is allowed to occur.
4.) Beauty sleep is very important. Key hormones are released during late-stage sleep, such as growth hormone, that stimulate skin cell production, collagen synthesis and a decrease in protein breakdown – in other words, this surge of growth hormones repairs the skin and gives it its luster. One study showed that 8 1/2 hours are needed for most people to have completed all stages of sleep.
5.) My last (and most important) tip is that good skincare products are critical, and well worth the investment. You need to give your skin the tools it needs to protect and repair itself. If you provide the skin with the right ingredients, you’ll save in the long run by not needing lasers, injectables, or surgery.
Ayla: That’s ironic — you’re a laser specialist, but you created a skincare product to help women avoid lasers?
DR. ALEXIADES-ARMENAKAS: I actually updated the 37 Extreme Actives formula, so it’s even more effective in helping women avoid lasers! The formula on aylabeauty.com contains 50 (not just 37) of the world's most proven and safe anti-aging ingredients, from organic plant-derived antioxidants to DNA repair enzymes and collagen boosting vitamins and amino acids.
AYLA: What is the top anti-aging skincare myth you'd like to clear up?
Dr. ALEXIADES-ARMENAKAS: The myth that you need to layer on multiple products! Traditional cosmetics companies often develop each of their products to offer only a few effective anti-aging ingredients. So, to get all the ingredients you would ideally want onto your skin, you have to layer tonics, serums, lotions, creams, etc. (and, incidentally, they sell more and maximize profits). But, as long as the ingredients make it into the skin, you really only need one product. That being said, it can be difficult to get multiple ingredients where they need to go. I put a lot of work into delivery system behind 37 Extreme Actives, which I patented — each ingredient is separately, liposomally encapsulated and not released until it makes contact with your skin.
Note from Ayla: It is, in fact, an amazing product that we are addicted to, since it makes our skin look incredible (and lasers scare us). Check out the formula for Balanced to Oily skin here and the Extra Rich formula for Balanced to Dry skin here.
About Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas: Macrene, who holds a BA, MD, and PhD from Harvard, is a Diplomate of both the American and European Boards of Dermatology and Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine. She runs a dermatology, laser surgery and research center in Manhattan and a lab-based skin care research company. Dr. Alexiades-Armenakas has numerous publications and discoveries in the fields of basic science, dermatology and laser surgery. Her practice and academic work are focused on topical dermatologic anti-cancer and anti-aging therapies, laser technology and skin rejuvenation. Learn more about Macrene’s impressive background here.
Any topic discussed in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical concern, please check with your doctor.