Calling On Avon


Wallpaper of the lipstick department

In a reversal of roles, the AVON Lady wasn’t calling on me. I was calling on her, or rather them, though not to buy or sell, but instead to learn about the science behind their newest anti-aging product, Anew Reversalist. I was part of a small group of journalists recently invited to the Research and Development headquarters in Westchester to meet some of the research scientists and learn more about skin care……one of my favorite subjects.

PF Alby Doll

A little history…

Avon was created in 1897 and has been a pro-women company from day one, and their Avon Lady one-on-one sales approach allowed women to independently earn an income before we even had the right to vote. Their very first sales lady, PF Alby went on to become a sales manager for the company, a position so few woman could even hope for 100 years ago. Today, the CEO is the dynamic Andrea Jung, and 50% of the Research and Development team are women. Just for good measure, it should also be noted that to date, the company has donated 775 million dollars for breast cancer research.

The location we visited, the new R&D center is the home to over 300 scientists – no ding-dongs here – and is on the site of the original Avon headquarters. The building, a striking glass and steel design has ultra modern yet inviting interiors. There are spaces with small couches and chairs all around where scientists can easily find a spot for a quick brainstorm with co-workers.

We got lab coats. Tres adorable! And a most interesting lecture about skin

Let’s get to the science…

Our two tour guides, research scientists Glenn and Anthony, started out with giving us an understanding about how skin works to repair itself. One of the key factors in aging is the accumulation of micro injuries to the skin. Young skin has the ability to repair itself quickly, while older skin….not so much. Look at the difference in healing time from a scrape between a child and an adult, which illustrates the point; it’s Activin, a protein found within our bodies that activates the repair process. As we age, our Activin levels don’t change, however the growth protein in our blood molecules decreases, and that growth protein is what triggers Activin to repair. Hence, our own natural repair system is slowed down and our skin ages, and visible signs of it are noticeable. Hate that!

Now for the good news…

After five years of research, AVON scientists have patented Acvitinol, which is the basis of their new Reversalist Serum and Night Cream created to boost the Activin in our skin. Their research shows 75% of test participants had positive results after using the serum and night cream combo every day for two weeks with comments ranging from they felt like they had new skin to a lessening of wrinkle appearance. Not bad! My own use showed that my skin felt very silky; and a dry patch on my cheek (a result of weather suddenly turning cold) was gone after two days. The products have the usual pleasant Avon scent that many of us know, and the feel of the products is the typically smooth and silky dimethicone (silicone) found in many skin care products. My only negative comment about Reveralist is the serum’s container. Similar to an umbrella handle with a push button on the side, I find this awkward to use and advise you not to use at a time your nail polish isn’t totally dry.  Also, since the container is opaque and can’t be opened,  there’s no way to know how much product you have left until you’re completely out of it.

Not only have I been using the Reversalist on my face, but on my neck and hands as well. Remember, skin care doesn’t end at the chin!

For more information on Reversalist go to

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