The ASI scientists began their research with a question: Why does skin develop lines and wrinkles and lose firmness as we age? The team first focused their research on a key transporter protein called dynein (pronounced "dye-neen"). Dynein plays a key role in transporting nutrients as well as mitochondria, the 'powerhouses' within cells, to where they are needed, keeping skin cells productive and functioning optimally. The team discovered that the level of dynein in skin cells declines with age and that a deficiency of dyneins caused an impairment in the transport of nutrients within skin cells, which can contribute to increased signs of aging on the skin's surface.
Additionally, Avon scientists focused on autophagy, a pathway by which cells remove and recycle damaged components, and a phenomenon that is being heavily researched in the medical field. Avon scientists discovered that this activity also declines with age and UV exposure. Since dynein also plays a role in the recycling process, the decrease in dynein may contribute additionally to the impairment in waste disposal. Furthermore, researchers found that suppression of the recycling pathway results in a reduction of collagen production. Thus, a decline in two critical cellular processes with age, namely nutrient transport and cellular recycling, could contribute the sub-optimal functioning of skin cells, which in turn could result in the appearance of signs of aging such as lines and wrinkles and loss of firmness.
This is the kind of research that has kept Avon's ANEW brand at the forefront of skin aging advances since its launch.