It sounds like something out of a futuristic science fiction film. But it’s actually a real product that could be on pharmacy store shelves sooner than you think. It’s a product called Second Skin, and it basically does what it says: adds a layer of real-looking, second skin to your existing skin to cover it up and beautify you, able to hide wrinkles, saggy eyes, dark under eye circles and even redness.
Scientists at Harvard and MIT have been working on this project for a while and published a report in Nature Materials about their progress with 170 participants in their trial studies.
Nobody has had an allergic reaction to this false skin yet, and the researchers say that it’s made from FDA approved compounds. What’s more, you can apply sunscreen and even lotion without worry, and the false skin patches can be used to cover up skin disorders like eczema while retaining moisture and helping to treat them.
Second Skin is created from siloxanes, which when chemically altered forms specific polymers. Scientists were able to modify these compounds in a specific manner to make them imitate real skin. Varying elements of permeability have been considered so that simpler to remove applications can cover areas like the under eye area while other, more durable solutions can cover tougher areas like the arms, able to be easily removed with a simple solvent.
As of right now, the teams are preparing to submit their invention to the FDA for approval. It’s not that farfetched to predict that in the near future they will garner the stamp of approval from the FDA. Once that happens, it’s only a matter of time before we’d see branded products hitting store shelves.
Of course, don’t expect to see the MIT logo on any of the products. Universities routinely sell or license such patents to large companies like Proctor & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Dupont for distribution, retaining either a one-time fee or ongoing royalties that further fund their research efforts.
As far as how much a product like Second Skin might cost, it’s anyone’s guess. Although, I must say that it’s pretty cool to see how technology could someday reshape the way that makeup is approached and worn. This could just be a step in the right direction.