A Second Skin

MIT has a new invention for us all and it’s something everyone can use. Introducing skin! The substance, a silicon based polymer called XPL, is comprised of two clear gels you rub onto your skin, just like lotion. This will then create a second skin on top of yours. The applications are numerous and include:

  • Reshaping the bags under your eyes
  • Enhancing skin hydration
  • Retention of water more effectively than expensive moisturizers or petroleum jelly

The polymer is invisible, resists washing and rubbing, remains on the skin for around 24 hours and had no reports of irritation from any of the participants it was tested on. From here it can even be improved. If it is enhanced it can also provide UV protection and deliver drugs to heal skin conditions like eczema or types of dermatitis. The researchers involved had been developing this polymer for a decade, experimenting with 100 polymers to develop one just right for cosmetic and medical purposes. The team founded Olivo Laboratories, LLC, to develop the polymer further. The first stated objective is to develop the polymer into a treatment method for skin conditions.

My only concern is that the catalyst that activates the polymers into a skin-like state is a platinum catalyst. If it uses a substantial amount this could easily be expensive for a while. They did not mention this fact so I’m inclined to believe it isn’t a problem however we’ll have to be patient as it’s developed further. Additionally there could be further cosmetic and even fashion ideas by mixing the polymer with different dyes, including glow dyes. As usual I’ll keep monitoring them into the future and hopefully there will be a fortuitous number of updates.


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