Anew's newest serum contains injectable-strength l-aspartic acid. Courtesy photo.

Avon scientists have turned to the world of experimental medicine for their latest anti-aging star.

Anew Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum targets dark spots and blotchiness with L-aspartic acid, which has previously been used in medical treatments to heal patients who are suffering from connective tissue loss as a result of other complications.

But the Avon team happened upon the cosmetic implications by accident.

"In our never ending quest for new ways to treat aging, we looked to medicine to try and find ingredients that could help provide anti-aging benefits when applied topically. Our cell biology experts surprisingly found that this injectable grade of L-aspartic acid is able to inhibit pigment production in cells that produce melanin," a spokesperson for Avon tells StyleList.

It was the small molecular size of the acid that led scientists to tinker with it in experiments, since it had the ideal formation for topical use. And Avon routinely tests new formulations to see if they improve the main anti-aging concerns of women -- wrinkles, sun spots and sag.

"While many women are concerned about combating wrinkles, dark spots and discolorations are also responsible for the appearance of aged skin," says New York dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Karcher.

The desire for skin brightening has picked up such steam in recent weeks that lightening launches by VMV Hypoallergenics, Vichy Laboratoires have lead the charge over the wrinkle creams of yesterday.

At $54, Anew's serum is lower-priced than the competitors, and claims that users will begin to see brightening results in as little as three days.

The box instructs an upward and outward application motion every evening on freshly cleansed skin, and says that a smaller amount should be used if you experience uncomfortable tingling from the potency of ingredients.

Sounds to us like a small price to pay for potentially real results.

To maximize the brightening, you'll want to slip on the sunscreen and ideally don Jackie O sunglasses and a straw hat to protect your hard work while out and about in summer's hot rays.

Looking for sunscreen ideas? Check out our gallery of the newest and greatest, that all meet The Skin Cancer Foundation's requirements for full protection.