The beauty world is constantly looking for ways to give women (and men!) a more youthful appearance by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Check any beauty store now and you'll find countless anti-aging products available in the form of creams, facial massagers, LED light machines, and chemical peels. (Check out these Anti-Aging Solutions That Have Nothing to Do with Products or Surgery.) And that's not even considering what happens when you go into a derm's office, where you'll find all sorts of procedures and potions promising smoother skin.
However, there may be a new way—a non-invasive way, at that—to treat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It's called "second skin."
Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School teamed up to develop an invisible, elastic film that can be applied to the bags of eyes and dry into a "second skin" to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and eye bags. The study, which is published in this week's issue of Nature, had subjects test the polysiloxane polymer product (the lab-made, skin-like prototype, which is primarily composed of oxygen and silicone) on their under-eye areas, forearms, and legs. It was designed to mimic real skin, as mentioned, but also provide a breathable, protective layer and lock in moisture, boosting skin elasticity. (Psst... This Vitamin Can Slow Down the Aging Process.)
To examine the efficacy of the "second skin" (because polysiloxane polymer is a mouthful), the team performed several tests, including a recoil test where skin was pinched and then released to see how long it takes to ping back into position. (A baby's skin will bounce right back, but your grandmother's, well, not so much.) The results found that 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. Cool, right?
However, in order for a new product to get FDA approval, many more larger-scale studies need to be done (this one included just 12 subjects). Not only for replication purposes, but also because the study itself was funded by a cosmetics company looking to spin-off the product, natch.
That being said, we're excited there could be hope for smoother skin across the board—especially with a non-invasive technique like this. But there's a long way to go with "second skin," so for now, we'll just be doing facial workouts over here.