The $60 billion cosmetic industry may be about to get a facelift as researchers claim to have found a practical new solution for wrinkles and aging skin in an advanced polymer than can serve as an elastic “second skin.”
Scientists at MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital, alongside Living Proof and Olivo Labs, are currently working on a polymer that can tighten the skin and smooth out wrinkles by mimicking the youthful properties of healthy skin, reported Inverse.
Research published in the journal Nature Materials describes the silicon-based polymer as capable of instantly masking aging skin and even reshaping eye bags by simulating the elasticity of younger skin for up to 24 hours after its application. The polymer also allows the skin to retain moisture longer.
The product is applied in two steps: a cream containing siloxane, made up of silicon and oxygen, is applied on the skin, and then a platinum-based ointment is spread on top of it to create an invisible film.The silicon-based material has a matte finish that doesn’t draw attention.
While its potential to revolutionize the cosmetic industry is undeniable, Olivo Labs, the group spearheading the development, is looking more into its medical applications. Such benefits may include using it against harmful UV rays and as an alternative method for applying drugs for skin conditions.
“Developing a second skin that is invisible, comfortable and effective in holding in water and potentially other materials presents many different challenges, which we are now able to address,” said Dr. Robert Langer, co-author of the paper. “We are extremely excited about the opportunities that are presented as a result of this work and look forward to further developing these materials to better treat patients who suffer from a variety of skin conditions.”