Scientists at Newcastle University have identified that the activity of a key metabolic enzyme found in the batteries of human skin cells declines with age. A study, published online in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, has found that the activity of mitochondrial complex II significantly decreases in older skin. Mitochondria have been known to have an important function in skin ageing, they are looked upon as the batteries in the skin cells that run down with age. This shows itself as fine lines and wrinkles. This discovery brings experts a step closer to developing powerful anti-ageing treatments and cosmetic products which may be tailored to counteract the decline in the enzyme’s activity levels, paving the way for skincare developments Findings may also lead to a greater understanding of how other organs in the body age, which could help along the way for drug developments in a number of age-related diseases, including cancer. Mark Birch-Machin, Professor of Molecular Dermatology at Newcastle University, led the pioneering study with Dr Amy Bowman from his research group.