My Weekend Bag

A Top Dermatologist Resets on a Greek Island

Written by: Jean Godfrey-June


Published on: June 15, 2023

Macrene Alexiades

Going back to your roots can involve some serious logistics, particularly if those roots happen to be situated on a small Greek island called Skyros. But for Macrene Alexiades, MD, PhD—she’s one of New York’s busiest, most-renowned dermatologists—the journey is more than worth it. “Greece is my natural habitat,” she says. “The moment I step out of the plane and feel the warmth of the yellow sunshine on my face and breathe the air, I transform.” Daily swims in the Aegean Sea deepen the transformation, she says. “They reset my entire nervous system, leaving me calm and at peace.”

Alexiades started building on the island in 2017. “I envisioned a field of Greek herbs on the water and a home, made of stone from the mountain, built into the hill,” she says. After finding an architect that shared her vision, she finished in 2022: “The Greeks say, ‘The good thing is late.’” She grows the Greek medicinal herbs that power several of her active products—including her new body cream, the aptly named Skyros. “The idea was to get my limbs and abdomen smooth and gorgeous for bikini season,” she laughs.

Alexiades visits the island for a few weeks at a time. “You have to, because it’s challenging to get there,” she says. “You first travel to one island, then take a ferry to Skyros.” While she’d love to stay longer, it’s not in the cards just yet. “My practice needs me in New York for now,” she says.

  1. MACRENE Actives High Performance Body Cream

    MACRENE Actives

    High Performance Body Cream

    goop, $125


Still, two weeks is a significant stretch. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alexiades packs her entire Macrene arsenal—from the bestselling serum to her prized tinted moisturizer—for the trip.

  1. The Cult-Favorite Serum

    MACRENE Actives High Performance Face Serum

    MACRENE Actives

    High Performance Face Serum

    goop, $195

    “This is extra firming—I keep any laxity in check and help prevent the need for procedures.”

  2. Creamy Tinted Moisturizer

    MACRENE Actives High Performance Tinted Moisturizer

    MACRENE Actives

    High Performance Tinted Moisturizer

    goop, $165

    “This is made with 45 actives—it triples as protection, coverage, and treatment—and it’s got the best flawless, no-makeup makeup finish.”


The Summer Essentials

Mineral SPF 50 and bug spray (it’s actually a gel that smells so good, you can wear it as perfume) are essential. “My favorite sunscreen is Coola SPF 50,” says Alexiades. “It’s a great clean formula with a high SPF.”

  1. Heretic Entomologist



    goop, $45

    “This natural insect repellent really keeps the mosquitoes away—and smells so good.”


The Fridge Trick

When it’s really hot, Alexiades keeps her skin care in the refrigerator. “It’s to preserve all the active ingredients at maximum efficacy,” she says. Here’s what goes inside.

  1. MACRENE Actives High Performance Cleanser

    MACRENE Actives

    High Performance Cleanser

    goop, $95

    “Gentle and efficient, this face wash leaves my skin soothed and hydrated.”

  2. MACRENE Actives High Performance Eye Cream

    MACRENE Actives

    High Performance Eye Cream

    goop, $145

    “I really keep this up—and doing so has firmed the area around my eyes, so I no longer worry about having to do anything to prevent sagging or circles.”

  3. MACRENE Actives High Performance Face Cream

    MACRENE Actives

    High Performance Face Cream

    goop, $225

    “This cream delivers 50 actives at once and provides my skin with all it needs for perfect microbiome balance.”

  4. Macrene Actives High Performance Neck & Décolletage Treatment

    Macrene Actives

    High Performance Neck & Décolletage Treatment

    goop, $295

    “I use this religiously all summer to keep my neck, chest, and tops of hands free of sun damage. (I wear sunscreen religiously, as noted above, too.) It works!”


Shower Routine

“I’m very interested in the antioxidant properties of turmeric. I especially like these two formulas.”

  1. Redoux Turmeric Bar Soap


    Turmeric Bar Soap

    goop, $16

  2. Kora Organics Turmeric Invigorating Body Scrub

    Kora Organics

    Turmeric Invigorating Body Scrub

    goop, $60


“I love Avalon Organics’ lavender shampoo and conditioner. I’m friends with the owners and feel confident in their sourcing practices.”

Night Out

  1. Heretic Dirty Suede


    Dirty Suede

    goop, $165

    “I swoon over sandalwood.”

  2. MACRENE Actives Lip Filler

    MACRENE Actives

    Lip Filler

    goop, $125

    “I never need lipstick (or filler, for that matter) if I use this twice a day.”


Island Uniform

“All I need is a bikini, a linen sarong, and a hand-crocheted Skyrian sack.”

woman posing woman posing
  1. Hunza G Gloria Bikini

    Hunza G

    Gloria Bikini

    goop, $225

  2. Hereu Galleda Small Bucket Bag


    Galleda Small Bucket Bag

    goop, $445




“I always stay here.” [Editor’s note: The hotel has stunning views of everything—the Acropolis, Syntagma Square, the Parliament building, Lycabettus Hill, and the original Olympic stadium.]

“My longtime friend was the architect for this hotel, and it has stood the test of time as an architectural favorite near town.” [Editor’s note: The suites are beautiful—especially the Cave Pool Suite, which has a private pool overlooking the sea.]

“I love how private this hotel feels. And it has the most amazing sunsets.”


“This has the best traditional cuisine and is where you want to be if you’re visiting Athens for a couple days.”

“This is hidden away on the Agios Sostis beach, with a beautiful stone fireplace for cooking.”

“Again, love the sunsets here—very romantic on the edge of the cliffs.”


“An absolute must: The founder, Demetra Lalaounis, is a close friend, and the quality of the gold in these pieces is unsurpassed.”

“I always pick up my favorite sandals from him. He’s near the Acropolis station, and Jackie O. wore his sandals!”

“These are the best handwoven handbags in the universe. I won’t say who, but a famous top designer once took an iPhone snap of my black Callista handbag, and I would swear the leather stitchwork trickled down to other designers.”

“This gallery finds and obtains the very best Greek art and sculptures. Look for pieces by Alexandra Athanasiades.”

“I wear all of Teo’s jewelry. He makes the very best gold cuffs, evil eye jewelry, and gold silver necklaces at reasonable prices.”

“I love these easy, flowy Grecian-made pieces for days on the islands.”

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