Skin So Soft or Skin of Steel? Something Askew with Avon Anew. |

Skin So Soft or Skin of Steel? Something Askew with Avon Anew.

What if I told you that Avon is widely promoting a new product, and proudly proclaiming that it works by causing fibrosis, a pathological process that can distort and scar skin over time?  Hard to believe they would do that, right?

Exactly what I thought when I first heard they were claiming that the active ingredient in their new offering, Anew Line and Wrinkle Corrector with AF-33, works by turning on PLOD2, a gene that produces an enzyme that rapidly increases collagen production, and also changes the cross-linking pattern of those collagen fibers. And that this worked to erase wrinkles, rather dramatically, within weeks. With a clinical study to boot. Pretty amazing, right?


Now, Avon doesn’t mention the term fibrosis in the P.R., but they don’t really need to. Because PLOD2 is widely known in medical science as the PLOD2gene responsible for causing fibrotic collagen fibers, a condition called fibrosis. It’s not a deep buried secret. One study even has the blunt and definitive title “Identification of PLOD2 as telopeptide lysyl hydroxylase, an important enzyme in fibrosis.” Can’t miss that kind of solid evidence by claiming the title is confusing.  Multiple confirmatory studies confirm the same thing, and in fact every gene databank I researched identifies PLOD2 as having a role in the pathogenesis of fibrosis.

Fibrosis is a pathologic process, leading to disease and dysfunction

So, what is fibrosis, and why should I be worried about whether my Avon Lady is really “Fibrosis Mary”? Fibrosis refers to a pathologic process whereby connective tissue in your body that is excessive in amount, and/or abnormally stiff or unyielding. It can affect any organ, causing architectural distortion and dysfunction (e.g. pulmonary fibrosis, pancreatic fibrosis, dermal fibrosis). Fibrosis often, but not always, follows chronic inflammation. Fibrotic tissue is like a scar tissue, thick, and rigid, due to excess accumulation of matrix protein (e.g. collagen).  A scar is actually a particular type of fibrosis, localized to an area of prior damage. When due to diffuse damage, such an inflammatory or autoimmune process, a more generalized fibrosis may ensue. Over time fibrotic skin contracts, as scars are well known to do. In severe cases this can cause dysfunction (e.g. unable to sip through a straw) as well as an esthetically unappealing appearance.

Just to avoid confusion, there is another term – fibrotic – that refers to a normal process in wound healing. In the initial stages in adult (not fetal) wound healing, sometimes called the fibrotic phase, there is organization of blood clots, and production of fibrotic collagen as the body tries to quickly knit together the edges of a wound, to maintain tissue integrity. This in fact is the likely reason why we have PLOD2 genes in the first place. However, this fibrotic phase is limited in normal healing to the first few weeks, then is replaced by successive stages of healing that is not fibrotic. If you get stuck in the fibrotic phase, you tend to develop fibrosis, or scars. Keloids are a particular kind of excessive scarring, also with a known connection to fibrosis. So, fibrotic processes are part of normal healing but in a particular context, for a short duration. When they persist past that, the usual result is fibrosis.

What does this have to do with wrinkles?

Collagen is a key target in anti-wrinkle therapy, because our skin loses collagen with aging (photoaging in particular) and aged collagen also changes qualitatively as the cross links between collagen fibers may undergo various chemical transformations (such as glycation, contributing to skin problems including poor wound healing in diabetes).  This may limit collagen turnover (breaking down old, and building new, a continuous renewal process in healthy skin). But there is a paradox here. Fibrotic skin, and scar tissue, is very hard to degrade. It’s particular pattern of cross links resists the enzymes that break down old collagen. Once you develop skin fibrosis, it’s very hard to remedy.  And while fibrosis can erase wrinkles in the short term by pumping skin, in the long term it contracts and in effect locks wrinkles in place.

Scleroderma as an example of skin fibrosis

The new Avon Lady?

One disease whose hallmark is severe skin fibrosis is a potentially fatal condition called scleroderma. In Greek, the word scleroderma literally means “hard skin”.  The facial manifestations of scleroderma have been termed “the slowly contracting skin of steel”. Another sign of scleroderma is, logically enough,  a paucity of wrinkles.

Does AF-33 cause scleroderma? No. Scleroderma is an autoimmune disorder, and skin fibrosis is a downstream event. AF-33, by putting PLOD2 in overdrive, causes a fibrotic process that mimics the fibrotic skin pathology of scleroderma.

Another clue about the relationship between PLOD2 and fibrotic skin comes from studies of fibroblasts from the skin of people with scleroderma. No surprise here — PLOD2 mRNA is highly increased in the fibroblasts of people with scleroderma.

The first thing I noticed was “small mouth syndrome.” That was when I really began to see the tightening. I know it sounds funny, but I found that I couldn’t whistle anymore, because the skin had tightened around my mouth so much…and I also found that using a straw became a bit of a joke…couldn’t close my mouth around the straw, completely. And, I also got that “pinched” nose look. (patient with scleroderma).

Something askew with Anew

So, let’s start putting some of the pieces of this puzzle together. PLOD2 is a gene strongly linked to fibrosis, and Avon has a product containing something called AF-33 which expresses (turns on) PLOD2 so significantly that it “erases” wrinkles in weeks.  Furthermore, they tout that it cranks up the production of GAG’s and collagen, and changes collagen cross linking. Which are all known functions of PLOD2’s enzyme product, telopeptide lysyl hydroxylase.  (We will go into greater detail on the cross-linking chemistry in a subsequent post).

Would that erase wrinkles quickly? You bet. Crank up the pro-collagen and GAG’s (glycosaminoglycans; big proteins, they draw water to the matrix as well), radically increase collagen production, all leading to plumped up skin in record time. The problem is that the cross-linking of collagen that happens after its production is of the fibrotic type.

Now, suppose you love the effect of Anew (who wouldn’t) and want to continue to use this product not for weeks, but for months, or years. When your body turns on PLOD2 in response to a wound, under most circumstances it will peak in a few weeks to be replaced by “non-scarring” matrix cross-linking enzymes. Will Anew users know when to stop? Or will they continue to infuse  their facial skin with  fibrogenetic enzymes? And what will be the end result of that? It would seem likely that the collagen, cross linked in the presence of PLOD2’s enzyme, will become hard and stiff. The face will tighten.

Has anyone studied this with AF-33? No. That’s part of what bothers me. If you are inducing PLOD2, a known fibrotic enzyme, wouldn’t it occur to you that you should at least check to see if chronic use results in pathologic fibrosis? If this were a drug (well, actually it is a drug) Avon would be required to test for that, plus a whole lot more. But Avon calls it something else, and then claims that …

This is not dissimilar to what has been shown with other widely used ingredients in cosmetics. Furthermore, there is no evidence that these ingredients with a long history of use in cosmetics increase the propensity to develop scleroderma.

Now this is scary for several reasons. First, check the logic. “These ingredients” = anything that increase GAGs and pro-collagen. But wait, this is an entirely new ingredient. One not in general use. And one specifically associated with the gene whose product leads to fibrosis. Then they scare me further by saying there is “no evidence to suggest it increases the propensity to develop scleroderma.” Nobody said it does. What the medical science literature suggests is that anything that turns on PLOD2 continuously ought to lead to fibrosis. Further, there is evidence that  people with scleroderma had high levels of PLOD2 in their fibrotic skin. The answer given by Avon R&D  suggests that they don’t understand the difference between the disease (scleroderma) and the process (fibrosis).  Someone trained in medicine would never have said this, because he would have known the difference. So, are there no medical scientists involved in the development of this drug? I’m seriously worried.

Avon thumbs their nose at BFT doctors (and you readers)

Which brings us full tilt to the backstory on all this.  More pieces to the puzzle.  When I first learned about this, I contact Avon to try to gather more information, in the hope that they had done some testing to mitigate the known facts about PLOD-2 and fibrosis. Nobody seemed to want to reply to my e-mails, so I ended up contacting NeoStrata,  a cosmetic company that also does ingredient R&D. They had done the original work on AF-33 but then licensed it to Avon.

The people at NeoStrata explained that Avon had done all the work on PLOD-2. They also kindly shared with me a poster presented at a conference. It showed safety studies (none addressing fibrosis; the usual patch test things), skin thickness studies, some nice before and after pictures, and some rather remarkable photomicrographs of skin biopsies from subjects in the clinical trial. One was striking – a slide stained to show abundant GAGs in treated skin. A quick search revealed that the slide (from an AF-33 treated subjects) closely resembled textbook slides showing skin from people in early stages of scleroderma, accumulating pro-collagen and GAGs in their dermis.  By the way, the NeoStrata people were very helpful, and very forthcoming. They appropriately referred me to Avon, who they say had carried the work further and had done the PLOD2 studies.

So I tried calling Avon, and was referred to Claudia Schaum in their public relations department. Very nice lady, who tried to be helpful. I sent her the e-mail I had sent to NeoStrata, she forwarded it to the research folks at Avon. After several days of delay, she sent me the reply (a few sentences, abstracted above). I found it disturbing, as I said above, and replied back with some additional facts (a short form of this post). Plus this …

Does Avon have a medical director that I can speak to by telephone? A simple collegial conversation would go a long way toward assisting me in sorting through all this. Or can I at least speak with the executive in charge of research and development? Thank you in advance for your continuing assistance.

I was roundly ignored. No reply. No call, no e-mail, not even an acknowledgement.  As far as BFT is concerned, there is no “Avon calling”.

I have been a medical executive at Johnson & Johnson, and other medical companies. When physicians or scientists inquired about products, they always received the full attention of the medical affairs department. My conclusion is that Avon believes they can just ignore this. I find this response extremely short-sighted, and frankly arrogant. There are numerous concerns arising from this, not just about Avon, but about the industry in general.

Is Avon Anew just another fibrotic wrinkle cure?

Beyond AF-33, the most flagrant example to date, we here at BFT have some general concerns about anti-wrinkle ingredients that crank on collagen with no concern about whether it is of the fibrotic (inflammatory context) type, or non-fibrotic (anti-inflammatory) type.   This is just the introductory piece. We are going to turn this into a series of in-depth explorations of this topic. We are going to do some bench lab work of our own, and try to find some more pieces to this puzzle.

Meanwhile, I think there is enough evidence already present to raise an alarm about this particular Avon Anew product.  And about Avon itself – doe they really not know that it makes them look ridiculous to tout PLOD2 (the fibrosis gene) as a way to erase wrinkles? Or do they do they not even know what the medical science literature so clearly says on the topic?  Or that their users are just too ignorant to care about fibrosis?  Or, do they just feel that they are so big and powerful that they can do whatever they want, with no sense of responsibility to the scientific, medical, or user community?

Let’s see how this story plays out. More to come.


1. Identification of PLOD2 as telopeptide lysyl hydroxylase, an important enzyme in fibrosis. van der Slot, A.J., Zuurmond, A.M., Bardoel, A.F., Wijmenga, C., Pruijs, H.E., Sillence, D.O.,Brinckmann, J., Abraham, D.J., Black, C.M., Verzijl, N., DeGroot, J., Hanemaaijer, R., TeKoppele, J.M., Huizinga, T.W., Bank, R.A. J. Biol. Chem. (2003)

2. Collagen Cross-Links. Eyre, D.R., Wu. J. Top Curr Chem (2005) 247: 207–229

3. Differential expression of human lysyl hydroxylase genes, lysine hydroxylation, and cross-linking of type I collagen during osteoblastic differentiation in vitro. Uzawa, K., Grzesik, W.J., Nishiura, T., Kuznetsov, S.A., Robey, P.G., Brenner, D.A., Yamauchi, M. J. Bone Miner. Res. (1999)

4. Fox-2 protein regulates the alternative splicing of scleroderma-associated lysyl hydroxylase 2 messenger RNA. Seth P, Yeowell HN. Arthritis Rheum. 2010 Apr;62(4):1167-75.

5. Functional diversity of lysyl hydroxylase 2 in collagen synthesis of human dermal fibroblasts. Wu, J., Reinhardt, D.P., Batmunkh, C., Lindenmaier, W., Far, R.K., Notbohm, H., Hunzelmann, N., Brinckmann, J. Exp. Cell Res. 2006

6. Interleukin 4 and prolonged hypoxia induce a higher gene expression of lysyl hydroxylase 2 and an altered cross-link pattern: important pathogenetic steps in early and late stage of systemic scleroderma? Brinckmann J, Kim S, Wu J, Reinhardt DP, Batmunkh C, Metzen E, Notbohm H, Bank RA, Krieg T, Hunzelmann N. Matrix Biol. (2005) 24(7):459-68.

7. Tissue-specific expression and regulation of the alternatively-spliced forms of lysyl hydroxylase 2 (LH2) in human kidney cells and skin fibroblasts. Walker LC, Overstreet MA, Yeowell HN. Matrix Biol. 2005 Jan;23(8):515-23.

8.  Increased formation of pyridinoline cross-links due to higher telopeptide lysyl hydroxylase levels is a general fibrotic phenomenon. van der Slot AJ, Zuurmond AM, van den Bogaerdt AJ, Ulrich MM, Middelkoop E, Boers W, Karel Ronday H, DeGroot J, Huizinga TW, Bank RA. Matrix Biol. 2004 Jul;23(4):251-7.


  1. ceecee says:

    I cannot believe Avon is playing footloose and fancy free with fibrosis. I have scleroderma and I can tell you quite frankly that I wouldn’t wish my skin problems on anyone. Why is this not a drug? Shouldn’t they have to prove it doesn’t have long term side effects if it works through PLOD2 as they say it does? This is a scandal! Please keep pushing to get some answers.

  2. GM says:

    This makes me really angry. I cannot fathom that Avon would not even answer the inquiries of a doctor trying to get information that might help his patients or the public. Talk about putting profit before conscience. They should be ashamed of themselves. I am never buying another Avon product again.

  3. Geneticist from the East says:

    Hi, did Neostrata tell you the patent number of A-F33 ?

    Keep up the good work. Looking forward to the next article.

  4. Peter says:

    I’ll get to the bottom of this…I will be seeing McCoy in the next few months. In any case, I’ve initiated calls to insider personnel there. They’ve had enough problems as of late and I don’t see their new boss tolerating risk of any sort.

    • drjohn says:

      What could be riskier than whacky science, potential medical harm, and a refusal to answer inquiries from community physicians? This post has been read by many thousands. These folks need a rapid response team. Instead they just let the wound fester. Their lack of response prompts me to be speaking about it a sizeable conference today. Where is McCoy? This would never happen at J&J.

      • drjohn says:

        We hear this term a lot lately — “bashing”. Seems to have become part of the Nerium culture. If you question Nerium products or sales tactics, it’s called “bashing”, or you are a “hater”. The problem is us, obviously, because it cannot the the company or the product. They are beyond question. It’s very cult-like. As we state all the time, our mission is to uncover the truth as we see it. You may not agree with our conclusions, but to try to paint us as “bashers” and “threatened by Nerium’s success” is really quite silly. Can you not accept that there can be a diversity of opinion?

      • Peter says:


        McCoy is still trying to cool the fires after the Coty / Richmont buyout attempts (Coty was the only viable offer). Also, she came into a hornet’s nest of board discontent over the previous CEO, leading to shareholder panic.

        Some science layers down from her and development going back several years is probably why none of this is on her radar…yet. You’re right, once she sees this, she will be making a command decision or two. She’s too bright and scientifically rigorous to let this product direction go un-vetted.

        This is precisely why McCoy was the right choice for Avon – at the right time.

        • drjohn says:

          Peter, Your comment makes a lot of sense. If that’s the case, she needs to address this sooner rather than later, as this is already creating negative PR in the professional community (I attended a conference today). If you have access, why don’t you get her to call us. We would like to be helpful, but we can’t as long as we are stonewalled. Our next step was going to be an open letter to the board of directors and shareholders calling for action to voluntarily recall this product. Thanks.

  5. True Scientist says:

    After thoroughly reviewing your ‘whining’ that is in regards to the cellular and physiological responses elicited by the product of interest (mentioned above), I could not help but to categorically conclude only one thing — you do not fully comprehend the scientific literature that was referenced in your ‘skewed’ opinion. I vehemently recommend you to do your home work thoroughly — re-reading those scientific reports — before you ‘askew’ the public’s opinion with your prejudiced ideas and ulterior motives. Misinforming the public by misrepresenting the scientific facts poses a grave danger to not only Scientific and Medical communities but also to the general well-being of our Society. Doing the right thing by truly following your conscience will be in the best interest of not only your self but to the whole community at large. That’s what makes us Human. In medical parlance, please follow the Hippocratic Oath.

    • drjohn says:

      Here we have someone who is a self-described “True Scientist” who quite clearly does not grasp, or who blatantly disregards, the well established rules of civil debate, in science or any realm. He (or she) beings and ends with ad hominem attacks, attempting to negate the truth of a claim by misconstruing legitimate science questions as “whining”. He/she makes the sweeping and fallacious claim that we did not understand the scientific literature, but then failing to bring one fact to the table, indicating that the individual lacks even basic knowledge of the science we discuss. We are told we should re-read the literature because our opinion is wrong. Wrong where? Offer an example? Clearly, they cannot. When a critic comes along who doesn’t even bother to to use logic and facts, it is hard to imagine that they bring anything of value to the debate. And of course “doing the right thing” is exactly why we are here. Yes, we expect to be challenged. Sadly, we often get these attacks that are more tantrum than discourse. We would certainly welcome some real debate. This comes from an IP address within a stone’s throw of Avon headquarters, which may or may not be relevant.

  6. lana says:

    dear All – I am an avon representative and a big fan of their products. I am very happy using them for the last 7 years and recommending them to my friends / clients. Reading this article left me worrying about potential problems and reading the discussions below actually helps! At least to understand that it is a debate and not 100% certain. Perhaps a best approach will be to use this cream only for a short period of time to activate a bit of collagen production but to avoid long-term problems???

    • drjohn says:

      That’s actually a very insightful comment, lana. While we talk about the dangers of long term inflammatory stimuli to the skin (inflammaging) we also know that in the short term damage & inflammation can stimulate a healing cascade that can be beneficial. That in fact is how lasers, lights, dermarolling and other physical modalities work. Could a chemical do that too? Sure. But the key thing would be to use it for a limited period of time, then stop long enough for healing to place. Now this will also be age dependent (healing capacity deteriorates as we age). What this doesn’t do however is give reassurance that Avon Anew Wrinkle Corrector with AF-33 is a good thing, since induction of bad collagen cross links (fibrosis) is not good in any healing paradigm (other than maybe emergent wound healing where a scar is better than a non-healing wound).

  7. Kim says:

    Just happened across this article…it seems the FDA has problems with the Anew line as well…

  8. Paul maguire says:

    I have just read this article with interest. I had used this product for 5 days and experienced stinging and reddening around the eyes. It is now 2 days since I stopped using it. I am applying moisturiser, the redness and stinging has started to reduce however it has left me with extremely large ‘bags’ under my eyes the lines being that pronounced that it looks similar to scarring. All my friends have commented how tired I look.
    Has anyone else experienced this and could anyone reassure me that these ‘bags’ will reduce now I have stopped using this cream? Any other advice? Many thanks

    • Cheryl says:

      In response to Paul Maguire I have also been using this product and experienced the same. Around my eyes are red, stinging and sore but the bags are horrendous. My friends and family too have commented how tired I look. I have raised a complaint with Avon to to date have not received a reply. Since stopping using the product the redness is lessening and the bags do seem to be reducing too. I hope the same happens with you. This is very concerning for a skin care product.

      • angela says:

        i’d also like to add, i used it for 3 days and it was ok for the first 2 days, and yesterday my face was burning and all tightened up like i have been in the sun for too long. my skin is not normally that sensitive. why do i have this reaction? this is very strange

        • drjohn says:

          Could be a sensitivity reaction. Possible with any cosmetic formulation. If it persists after discontinuing , see a physician.

          • Caroline says:

            I also used the cream for several days skin felt and looks sunburned,it is also dry,tight and flaky,left me with fluid bags under eyes and looking really tired,it is 4 days since I stopped using it and skin is just starting to calm down

    • Sue G says:

      I’ll add my comments as well. It’s now December 2016 and the AF33 range is still being promoted by Avon in Australia. I recently purchased the moisturiser, serum, eye cream and targeted filler. I’d used the serum and eye cream 6 months ago with no problems (though I should mention it was passed onto me from my sister who developed redness and peeling skin within the first week of use). Now however, after only 3 days use of all products (except the filler) my eyes look puffy, the skin is peeling and flaky and – most pronounced, are the new under eye bags (which just further accentuates the lines under my eyes). I look worse instead of better! This is infuriating seeing as under the eyes was the area I’d hoped to treat. Other parts of my face are also flaky and peeling (so bad that even after exfoliating I’m having to use tweezers to lift off all the remaining flakes!!). This is NOT the result I wanted from skincare now in the same price bracket as Clarins, Estee Lauder et al. I don’t know whether this is a temporary effect that will lessen over time with continued use or not, and currently I’m not sure whether to persist. Perhaps I’ll try using it only every second day and see what happens.
      You would think that with such serious concerns raised (as per this website and others) from back in 2012 that the product would have been recalled by now if those claims were found to be substantiated. It would be interesting to know which countries the product is still being sold in (& probably more telling, which countries it ISN’T). Would an American FDA finding to desist apply globally or just in the U.S? Could they still sell and promote these products unimpeded outside of the U.S?
      I sold Avon for a few years from about 2008 and yes, their marketing claims for their higher-end skincare were very exaggerated and outlandish. And always along the same lines – “within a day you’ll see this, within a week you’ll see this and within a month Voila! (16 again)”. When it takes skin anywhere from one month to three (depending on age) to fully turn over, (and likely to be the longer of the two based on the age of AF33’s target market) effects of using a new product really won’t be seen for some months (and definitely not within just 2-4 weeks!!).

  9. Fiona says:

    do you have any further conclusive research on this product?

    • drjohn says:

      We have not performed any research of our own. The company has never acknowledged our concerns in any way. We stand by our original conclusions.

  10. Susie says:

    Hi, just read all of the posts….I used the products a couple of weeks ago and had to stop after 3 days as my face suddenly started to burn/flake and feel sore. It is still the same now and I can’t use anything on my skin but double base to get some relief. Please someone tell me this will stop…or there is something I can do! I am very annoyed there was no warning with the product.

  11. SUE ELLIOTT says:

    YES – VERY SORE,RED AND ITCHING SKIN AFTER A WEEKS USE !!!!!!!!!!!! Never experienced before in using creams over the last 40 years. Looked like sun burn. Is thiscream really safeto use ??

    • drjohn says:

      Your comment sounds quite similar to a number of others (above). Still no response from Avon.

      • Conor says:

        I used this product, mainly under my eyes and along the lines of the ‘crows feet’, for a few weeks it seemed like an absolute miracle cream and I looked much younger, the lines were very visibly reduced and I believed I’d found the answer to my prayers.. However after a few weeks of use, just last week, very noticeable lines, like ‘bags’ appeared under my eyes, slightly below the area I had been treating, I used a little but extra cream thinking it would correct these very quickly, but it has got steadily worse, to the point were my skin beneath my eyes, as mentioned in previous users posts, as became flaky, sunburnt like and dry. The ‘bags’ over the last few days have became horrendous and embarrassing, I haven’t went out.. I appeal to anyone who has had this experience to let me know what I do here. Do i leave it in the hope it will get a bit better, or do I use a moisturiser to help the process?.. Will this get better in fact, or is this ‘disfiguration’ more permanent?, my eyes look ten times worse now than they ever did!!

  12. Kath says:

    You wrote in this 9/2012 article: ” We are going to turn this into a series of in-depth explorations of this topic. We are going to do some bench lab work of our own, and try to find some more pieces to this puzzle.” Why even bother? Your article seems to tell it all to readers: Just don’t use this stuff. And done.
    Good job.

  13. Julie says:

    had 2 bottles of this ‘miracle’ cream on order and have cancelled! Decided my wrinkles were not bad enough to risk any long term harm. My well meaning Avon rep tried to talk me out of my decision by reading verbatim from the catalogue and quoting the ‘dermatologist’ involved in their advertising campaign. I have told her that I was not prepared to take the word of the company who stand to make many millions from this product esp seeing as they have not addressed your concerns. Let us know if and when you hear from them please 🙂

  14. KristaBee says:

    What you are saying in this essay is that this product contains enough of this ingredient technology to create biological action in the skin? If so, then it should be classified as a drug and not a cosmetic — and therefore, undergo FDA regulatory testing.

    If there is not enough ingredient to create biological action … well, then, it is a cosmetic and will not really affect much in the skin. But Avon can sell the heck out of the marketing story!

    • drjohn says:

      Avon provides laboratory evidence and clinical testing to back up their claim that it works, and that it works by upregulating the PLOD-2 (fibrosis-related) gene. The FDA has already gotten after them for the product we reviewed, as well as some others, suggesting that they are drugs, not cosmetics, based on how they are marketed.

  15. Louis says:

    I’m shocked at the evidence! Not buying from Avon Again what else are they hiding what if ive ruined my face? im spreading the word!

  16. mary says:

    My mother was an Avon representative for many years. She used their products. She died last year of Idiopathic Pulmanary Fibrosis. Otherwise in excellent health. Could there be a connection here?

  17. alejandra says:

    Hi, I’m a biologist and I own a beauty blog. I’m quite worried about this product. I received a sample and, as I couldn’t spot the AF33 ingredient (not identified, either in avon’s webpage or the product’s package) I started googling. The lack of information is astounding. Finally I suspected about acetyl tirosinamide, the only “strange” ingredient, and then I found (in neostrata’s page) it really was the “revolutionary” AF33. It was difficult to find any more information (other than the chemical sheet of acetyl tirosinamide, which gave me the chills). I had to dig a lot to find your post and now I’m really worried. I’ll share your findings in my blog, I’m translating and commenting your post (because my blog is in spanish and is read by people with no scientific background) and I hope the news start to spread. I’d like to be in touch so you can update me about your findings, as I feel a strong commitment to my readers and I want them not to put their safety at risk.
    Also, I can’t find the poster you mention in this post, which I’d like to see, so if you still keep a copy (I bet you do!) can you please send it to xxxxx I’d really like to show all the information I can get so I convince my blog followers to throw away this *$#!@# cream and spread the news…


    • Balbi says:

      Hola, si voste es profesional o bioleg l’animo a descobrir o destapar aquests profucte Avon que esta produint aquests sintomes tan desastrosos per la pell i per la salut. Jo mateixa ho he patit en la pell de la cara, fa una setmana encara tinc unes marques vermelles i inflamacio com si fosin cremades. Voldria que fesin quelcom perque ningu mes ho torni a patir i ho retirin del mercat per sempre.

      google translated:

      Hi, If you are professional biologists encouraged to discover or uncover these Avon products that are producing symptoms so disastrous for skin and health. I suffered myself in the skin of the face, a week ago I still have some red marks and swelling just like it burns. I would like fesin something because nobody else around and I suffered severely forever.

  18. Linda says:

    Hello drjohn
    I have used this product for about three weeks and in this time I have had (what I thought was) 3 separate eye infections (actually each time it looked as though I had been punched; red weeping eyes, swollen skin all around the eye socket and horrible fluid filled ‘bags’. This last time has been the worst so I decided to ‘Google’ my symptoms and check details of the only make up I use; mascara, Simple face wipes and Avon AF33 – this is how I found your page and I’m so glad I did! The cream is in the bin and I will never buy from this company again. You have my support and thanks

  19. I have been reading with great interest the comments posted re: avon anew and oleander cream. I have been selling and using avon products for over 10 years. Avon had a wide variety of skin care, cosmetics, jewelry, clothing and household items. Hmm,Makes me wonder how a company can be that diverse and sell good quality skin remedies. Additionally, I have been using their infinity lift for neck tightening for over 30 days and noticed recently that I had developed small bumps on my neck. I scratched them of till my skin was raw when showering. Perhaps I should stick to not buying their skin products. Thanks for the info!

  20. Trish says:

    Me thinks we may be causing our own problems; in the frantic & obsessive rush to obtain extraordinary youth & beauty, we are so eager to have “the next big thing” that we fail to use caution or to do the time consuming task of researching a new product. Keep in mind that companies which sell products are doing so to make a profit, thus it takes a lot of integrity to put the good of the consumer above the dollar. I wonder if the folks who have had an adverse reaction to a product have returned the product for a refund? This action should always be taken whenever there is a problem–request (DEMAND if need be) a full refund of your money as money talks & DO NOT buy from a company which will not do that. Wish for a speedy recovery to those folks who have had a bad experience with any drug or cosmetic.

  21. Tracy says:

    I have a great results with my SkinCare company now especially we have 2 Scientist explain about the products in my language ( big help), for my people ! Both of them were working for big company and Jonh Hopkins hospital …

    • drjohn says:

      Tracy – Please ask them to contact us. Any language is OK. I keep hearing about the hundreds of scientists who work for Avon, and yet despite public and private invitations, none would do us the courtesy of explaining to us (physician-scientists) how upregulating the PLOD-2 (fibrosis) gene could possibly be good for skin. Not very good public relations with a community you would think they would want to be informed, right?

  22. Marie says:

    I used the Avon PRO Line corrector treatment with A-F33 in for 4 days. The first 3 my wrinkles under the eye looked much better. However on the fourth morning on the left under eye area my skin was sore ,red and slightly swollen and burning. I decided to google and found this page. I would rather have wrinkles thankyou than waste £30 on this muck that should not be on the market horrid stuff.

  23. mizz says:

    This particular article was fantastic.
    I was looking for some independent reviews on this product as in Australia, it is still marketed as miracle treatment A-F33 with ” 100 % of women showing visible improvements in the look of fine lines in just two weeks *customer study 149 participants”. I dont really have any issues with wrinkles as such, just one line across the centre of my forehead (possibly from raising my eyebrows at all these “miracle fads” every week). I though about trying this product but, after having issues with every avon cream I tried, I decided to reasearch. This product over here is marketed quite convincingly. Phrases like “inspired by NOBEL PRIZE winning research to bring you a game changer”, “A-F33 wotks unlike AHAs and retinol to help the look of ….” and, “the anti aging breakthrough of the century”. All marketed as high quality, no risk legitimate new medical breakthrough (somewhat like the garcinia cambogia marketing storm). In fact, I’m looking at my catalogue now and I can feel myself feeling comforted and reassured because
    “anthony gonzalez,
    senior manager, global product development
    avon global research and development”
    is implicated as the developer and as a medical professional, is implicated as endorsing it as safe.
    There’s even a picture of him smiling in a doctor coat (thry forebore the stethoscope or lab pic with goggles

  24. Deborah Bundy says:

    I have been using this cream since it was introduced when a friend gave me a sample pack. I have been using it on and off ever since (some months it is simply too much of an extravagant purchase!). Believe me, on the months when i do use this and for some time afterwards my skin looks radiant and very much younger. I am 42 years of age and would recommend this product to any woman who is fighting the ageing process. I certainly have not developed more wrinkles or ‘skin of steel’ as a result of using it!!!!

  25. Marty says:

    I just bought this product today and my face was tingling and tightening immediately, that’s when I googled the product and found this site. After reading the comments for about 30 minutes and my face was still tingling I got up and washed it off. I’m going to return this product since I have a 30 day guarantee according the AVON rep. Whew… that was a close call thanks for all the info. I’ll stick to Dead Sea Minerals.

  26. Jay says:

    Is Neostrata using AF-33 in their products? Or any other ingrediants that may be potentially deleterious to my long term well being? I ask, because I now and then use some of their products.

    • drjohn says:

      I believe it was developed there, but the PLOD-2 gene work was done at Avon. Of course, Avon should have told Neostrata — and they should have responded either to refute Avon’s science or to explain why fibrosis is a good thing aesthetically.

  27. Jay says:

    Is this the AF-33 substance?
    Aminofil® s Acetyl Tyrosinamide, a novel, amino acid (tyrosine) compound that targets the skin’s matrix to volumize, plump and firm skin. This ingredient was developed and patented by NeoStrata/Exuviance to help reduce the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles, as well as lift and sculpt skin’s texture and matrix.
    Thanks for your reply, Jay

  28. Michelle Salvatore says:

    The Doctor’s writing these articles have a vested interested in Cellese, a skincare company…no wonder they are bad mouthing other brands

    • drjohn says:

      Here we go again. Anyone who “has a vested interest” is not allowed to have an opinion. Right – so that eliminates about 99.8% of all physicians who work in aesthetics. News flash — There is no National Institute of Wrinkles giving out grants, Michelle. We all have biases (yes, even those in academia). Since we have product connections or are paid to give opinions then our criticism must be ignored in Michelle’s eyes. Mind you, paradoxically, Michelle writes her criticism from inside Avon (yes, she has an Avon e-mail address, which will keep private) and so I suppose we could say the same of her – e.g. how dare you (Avon employee) criticize us when you have a vested interest? But we won’t. Instead we will use this as an opportunity to point out that Michelle is the only Avon person who ever contacted us in response to our hard biting journalism (and phone calls and letters) regarding the absolute stupidity of advertising that your product turns on the PLOD-2 gene which any physician or clinical scientist can tell you is the one that is closely associated with fibrosis – scleroderma is a disease caused when that gene is turned up (just as Avon claims). As dramatic as that is – Avon not only doesn’t respond to doctors and scientists, they continue to market the same product. Really. What do doctor’s know? They are just biased anyway. Except they only have to look at published medical journals to know we are 100% right. I guess it’s easier to just kill the messenger than to do the right thing. Avon, you continue to disappoint.

  29. Bernadette says:

    Hi I haven’t tried my sample yet. It is explicit in saying don’t put near eyes. You need to imagine a skeleton or feel the eye socket and don’t put anything within. There are eye creams but you wouldn’t need more than a rice grain amt. on both eyes Most creams blow up the eye skin so don’t go there
    I am not rigid with everyday use of products and will probably try it 2 or three times a week and stop it if there is any irritation. I would use a tiny amount – using orange stick or the like to portion. Make sure moisturiser used after as advised. Maybe the backs of the hands would be a good start

    I am 62 and pass for 45 as I have negligible wrinkles I’m told so am very cautious.

    I will advise my results. I mainly have some neck craping and backs of hands

  30. Michael G says:

    As you did great research on Avon products- which personally I appreciate a lot – I would like to ask you for your opinion about different subjects but still about the rejuvenation of skin.
    What do you think about stimulating collagen by Radiofrequency device and Cavitation device?
    I will really appreciate your time!
    Thank you!
    Michael G

    • drjohn says:

      Hi Michael, RF is a well proven energy modality for skin rejuvenation, and will result in increased generation of collagen. Cavitation is used to disrupt and destroy tissues such as fat. Like for treating cellulite on legs. You wouldn’t want to do that to your face.

  31. Michal G says:

    Thank you:)!

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