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Scientists make 'second skin' to hide wrinkles

Scientists claim to have developed an invisible elastic film that can be applied to the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and eye bags.

Once applied, the formula dries to form a film that "mimics the properties of youthful skin", Nature Materials reports after a series of small trials, according to BBC.

At the moment it is being explored as a commercial cosmetic product.

But the US scientists say their "second skin" might eventually be used to deliver medicines and sun protection.

The team from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have tested their prototype product on a handful of volunteers, applying the formula to their under-eye bags, forearms and legs.

The polysiloxane polymer was made in the lab using molecules of silicone and oxygen as the building blocks.

Although it's synthetic, it's designed to mimic real skin and provide a breathable, protective layer.

According to the researchers, the temporary film locks in moisture and helps boost skin elasticity.

They performed several tests, including a recoil test where the skin was pinched and then released to see how long it takes to ping back into position.

As skin ages, it becomes less firm and less elastic and so performs less well in this sort of test.

Skin that had been coated with the polymer was more elastic than skin without the film. And, to the naked eye, it appeared smoother, firmer and less wrinkly.

The researchers, who have a spin-off company that could eventually market their patented formula, say the film is essentially invisible, can be worn all day without causing irritation and can withstand things like sweat and rain.

But more studies are needed before then. The polymer would also need safety approval from regulators.

 

H.Z

 

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