When it comes to the science of skincare, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more knowledgable dermatologist than Dr. Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas. With her 3 Harvard degrees, over two decades experience of scientific research, and three years consulting work with L’Oreal to develop an acne skincare range, it’s fair to say that Dr. Macrene is at the top of her field. Credentials aside, Macrene has a serious love of her practice and a deep concern for every patient she treats, be it Elle Editor-in Chief Robbie Meyers (a longtime patient) or the woman who walks in with adult onset acne (a specialty of Macrene’s). Her soothing disposition coupled with a combination of academia and science, make Dr. Macrene the choice dermatologist for Manhattan’s elite.
Here, Dr. Macrene discusses her favorite beauty products and the reason for washing without cleansers.
What are your top 5, can’t-live-without products?
1 – 37 Actives: Once or twice, I traveled and failed to bring it with me, and my skin was severely punished for it, turning red and inflamed. Many, many patients have told me the same thing. Now, I make sure to always have it with me and I have convinced myself that nothing compares to it. Why? It simply contains ALL 50 of the best anti-agers on the market and each is in its own protected liposomal packet that is released upon contact with the skin. It is literally like putting 50 of the world’s best anti-aging creams on your face in one superior formulation.
2 - Sumadan Cleanser: This controls everything from acne, rosacea to seborrheic dermatitis; basically, it keeps the skin clear of breakouts in one easy cleansing step. By prescription.
3 – Skinceuticals SPF 50 Mineral Block: I do not trust toxic chemicals, so I found the best mineral block on the market and it is sheer. It also does not break you out.
4 – For makeup, where needed, I only use liquid makeup that is noncomedogenic. I do not use makeup ever on my skin, only on my lids and upper lip as a primer for eye shadow and lipstick. The brand I use is L’Oreal True Match N1. I do not wear blush either. The amazing thing about 37 Actives is that it sets up the skin so well that you do not need makeup or blush.
5 – For eye shadows, I am currently a Dior addict. Their 5 colours Palette Fards à Paupières Haute Couleur is without compare. For lip, I still love the Clinique lipsticks, Bronze Leaf being a favorite because it is not too dramatic and goes day to night for a working gal like me.
What is your all-time favorite product?
37 Actives is the all-time product because it incorporates all 12 of my all-time favorites (Skinceuticals CE Ferulic, Remergent DNA Repair, Hyalogy, Revale, etc).
What product do you buy in bulk?
In the summer, we do buy Neutrogena sunscreens in bulk from Costco, but I worry about the phthalates.
Favorite hair product?
I happen to like Oscar Blandi’s Jasmine Protein Mist. It is very healthy for thin, colored hair, yet gives it body and a lift, without a spray or mousse. For shampoo, I currently love Nature’s Gate Shampoo. Like 37 Actives, it is all plant-derived.
You moisturize your face with…
Favorite beauty secret you’ve picked up along the way?
You only need to wash with water in the morning. Use lukewarm water. Many people use their soap or cleanser in the morning and then start the day inflamed. Save your cleanser for evening.
Beauty icon you admire?
Lately, I have admired Jennifer Lopez because we are similar in age and she has maintained her appearance with the same aesthetic that I share: natural and healthy. She has maintained healthy skin and has refrained from ruining her God-given beauty by having treatments done too early. I am of the strong aesthetic taste that it is better to be conservative and maintain with subtle touches than to undergo procedures that alter your natural appearance. I always say, “the goal is to be beautiful, not wrinkle-free!”