Fountain of Youth Found With ‘Second Skin?'


A "second skin" that instantly erases wrinkles with application sounds like science fiction, but  scientists at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital, Living Proof and Olivo Labs have made it a reality.

The team developed a new material—called “second skin”—that temporarily tightens, protects and smoothes skin. With further development, the material could help deliver drugs to help treat skin conditions, such as eczema, according to

“It’s an invisible layer that can provide a barrier, provide cosmetic improvement, and potentially deliver a drug locally to the area that’s being treated,” said Daniel Anderson, an associate professor in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering and a member of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES). “Those three things together could really make it ideal for use in human skin.

How "Second Skin" Works

The two-step process begins with a clear cream or ointment placed on the skin which contains a silicone-based polymer. The second step is adding the catalyst cream or ointment that causes a cross-linking reaction that lasts 24 hours. It makes an adherent layer on top of your skin, and it’s soft, but yet mechanically strong and invisible. The “second skin” is resistant to washing and rubbing.

What it Can Do

In tests with human subjects, the researchers found that the material was able to reshape “eye bags” under the lower eyelids and also enhance skin hydration. This type of “second skin” could also be adapted to provide long-lasting ultraviolet protection, the researchers added.

“Creating a material that behaves like skin is very difficult,” said Barbara Gilchrest, a dermatologist at MGH and an author of the paper. “Many people have tried to do this, and the materials that have been available up until this have not had the properties of being flexible, comfortable, nonirritating and able to conform to the movement of the skin and return to its original shape.”

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