Getting to the Greek island of Skyros isn’t as easy as getting from A to B. Your long-haul flight is usually followed by a three-hour journey to the island of Evia, before a two and a half hour ferry. ride takes you over the crystal clear Aegean Sea. The locals (and the expats who descend on the region each summer) manage to shorten the ordeal, of course; Designer Gabriela Hearst could make the boat trip from nearby Milos, where she has a summer home, if she wants to visit Macrene Alexiades, MD, the Greek-born cosmetic dermatologist and laser surgeon and titular three degrees from Harvard. “Being there is like stepping back in time,” says Alexiades, who just completed construction of a split-level Skyrian retreat that includes a private treatment room overlooking Kalamitsa Beach.

The Skyrian House of Alexiades designed by Athenian architect Alexandra Arampatzi. Courtesy of Macrene Actives.

Alexiades’ pretty pre-war office on Park Avenue is a fairly easy drive though—if you can get an appointment. Dressed in a simple black Alaïa bodysuit and high-waisted jeans, Alexiades is nostalgic for her biannual escape when we tune in to New York early last fall. On her Skyros property, she has started harvesting medicinal herbs that grow wild on the island – anti-inflammatory lemon verbena, antibacterial lemon balm and firming lime blossom – for the latest addition to Macrene Actives, the skincare range which it launched in 2009. This month, Alexiades will expand into body care with Skyros High Performance Body Cream and Body Lotion, welcome companions to complexion products that have become must-haves with of her clients, including Sienna Miller, Brooke Shields and makeup artist Gucci Westman.

New body care products include medicinal herbs that grow wild on the island, including anti-inflammatory lemon verbena, antibacterial lemon balm and skin-tightening linden.

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FLO4616506 Linden, Tilia pubescens. Handcoloured stipple engraving by Moret after an illustration by Pierre-Joseph Redoute from Treat des Arbres et Shrustes by Henri Louis Duhamel du Moncel, Paris, 1804-1819. by Redouté, Pierre-Joseph (1759-1840); (add.info.: Tilleul, Tilia pubescens. Handcoloured stipple engraving by Moret after an illustration by Pierre-Joseph Redoute from Treat des Arbres et Shrustes by Henri Louis Duhamel du Moncel, Paris, 1804-1819.); © Florilege.Bridgeman Images

Dynamic and young at 55, Alexiades epitomizes the minimal intervention approach she takes with both her patients and the bucolic property, where the local farmer in charge of tending the land employs biodynamic techniques and leaves the goats and curious wild hares roam freely. “Macrene’s goal is incremental positive change,” says Shields. “She helps me look like I’ve never been in the sun,” the actor adds, perhaps forever in our minds as a beaming, castaway teenager from The Blue lagoon. “His formulas are meant to replace procedures to treat skin in ways I never imagined,” adds Miller, who just left Alexiades’ office as we speak.

Alexiades on his bucolic property. Hemlock Productions / Courtesy of Macrene Actives.

Photo: Courtesy of Macrene

“Sienna validates my theories that it’s possible to restore skin to how it was before it started degenerating, which was about 25 years old,” says Alexiades, detailing the importance of combining damage reversal devices caused by UV, such as picosecond. fractional laser and a good skin care routine. (Alexiades’ Skyrian snippets will be just as effective above the neck, she concedes, hinting at a future reformulation of her entire nine-piece line.)

As three other customers gather in her waiting room, the kind of slow intentionality Alexiades cultivated in Skyros — and bottled in New York — seems to offer respite from the chaotic pace of post-pandemic life. On the island, Alexiades tells me, she usually relaxes with a sunset bath using her homemade olive oil soap, while the day’s herb harvest dries on hewn wooden racks. by hand next to his Cycladic-inspired clinic. It’s a no-rush ritual enhanced by the company: “I then meditatively apply the body lotion to my lower legs, feet and arms – and if I have an extra pair of loving hands, I’ll I’ll ask to massage her on my back.” Take me to the Greek, I say.

The new Skyrian Actives body care range from Alexiades includes a high performance body cream and milk. Courtesy of Macrene Actives.

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