In a pioneer effort that is sure to bring a smile on the faces of all who are perpetually looking for a solution to retain their youthful looks, scientists have developed an invisible elastic film that can be applied to the skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and eye bags.
The formula developed by the scientist dries up to form a film that “mimics the properties of youthful skin. ”
The findings were reported in Nature Medicine after a series of small trials.
The product is currently being explored as a commercial cosmetic product, but the US scientists who developed it said that the product might be used to deliver medicines and sun protection.
A team from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the product.
A Look Free Of Wrinkles
The research team has tested their prototype product on volunteers, with an application of the product to their problem areas that are prone to wrinkles, such as under-eye bags, forearms and legs.
The polysiloxane polymer was developed in the lab using molecules of silicone and oxygen as the building blocks.
Prof Robert Langer, who led the work at MIT, said,
“Developing a second skin that is invisible, comfortable and effective in holding in water and potentially other materials presents many different challenges.
“It has to have the right optical properties, otherwise it won’t look good, and it has to have the right mechanical properties, otherwise it won’t have the right strength and it won’t perform correctly.
“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.”
Designed To Mimic Real Skin
The prototype product, although synthetic, is designed to mimic real skin and provide a breathable, protective layer.
According to the researchers, the temporary film will lock in moisture and enhance skin elasticity.
The researchers performed several tests, and the results showed that skin that had been coated with the polymer was more elastic than skin without the film and also appeared smoother and firmer.
The researchers said that the film is almost invisible, can be worn all day without causing irritation and can tolerate things like sweat and rain.
Dr Tamara Griffiths of the British Association of Dermatologists said that bags under the eyes were a result of the fat pockets associated with ageing.
Dr Griffiths said,
“The results [with the polymer film] appear to be comparable to surgery, without the associated risks. Further research is needed, but this is a novel and very promising approach to a common problem. I will follow its development with interest.”
However, more studies are needed before the researchers can market their patented formula. The polymer would also need safety approval from regulators.