A miracle polymer has instantly erased years from a study’s participants’ wrinkled faces in a pioneering experiment. The polymer is a highly flexible artificial skin that can be attached to real skin to make it smoother, more flexible, and more youthful-looking.
Scientists said that their facelift can erase wrinkles and eye bags in the blink of an eye. The formula can be stored in a bottle and applied directly onto the skin. When the polymer dries it morphs into a flexible film that looks like natural, youthful skin.
Study authors now plan to monetize the polymer as a commercial cosmetic product. They also hope to develop a system that can deliver medicines and protect sensitive skin from the sun.
The polymer was developed by a joint group of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School. The product has already been tested on several volunteers.
The team explained that their beauty product is based on oxygen and silicone molecules. Although it is artificial, it allows real skin to breathe while it also protects it. The mechanism that makes the skin look younger relies on hydration.
The polymer retains water and boosts skin’s elasticity, which is lost as the skin ages. Researchers even tested the ability of the fake skin to recoil when it is pinched and released.
Tests showed that the plastic skin gave aging skin a more natural, flexible, less wrinkly look. The skin also looked smoother when coated with the wonder product. Study authors noted that the second skin doesn’t wear off, it can be worn all day, and it is water- and sweat-proof.
But before turning the finding into a full-fledged commercial product, the polymer needs to be further tested. Trials had shown that it can fix eye bags too. Dermatologists explained that these bags appear as the person ages, but they represent no health risk.
Eye bags are created by fatty deposits under the skin. Some people remove them through surgery. Dr. Tamara Griffiths, a British dermatologist who was not involved in the experiment, noted that the results brought by the polymer were “comparable” to cosmetic surgery.
Furthermore, the plastic skin doesn’t involve any of the risks of surgery. Dr Griffiths deemed the findings “very promising,” though she acknowledged that more research was needed.
Prof Robert Langer, leader of the MIT team, noted that an artificial skin that can retain water and other materials holds great potential.
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