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Made To Order Skin

A layer of protective skin can tighten up areas under the eyes. It has other benefits as well.
A layer of protective skin can tighten up areas under the eyes. It has other benefits as well.

A layer of protective skin may eventually do everything from tightening bags under your eyes, to shielding you from the sun's damaging rays to delivering drugs and vitamins. The product is now under development at Olivo Laboratories. Scientists at MIT, Massachusetts General Hospital and Living Proof worked on the product initially.

Researchers explain that over time skin loses its elasticity and this can be exacerbated by sun exposure. According to MIT, "This impairs the skin's ability to protect against extreme temperatures, toxins, microorganisms, radiation and injury."

The  second skin, a silicone-based polymer which becomes invisible when dry, is delivered in a two-step process. First there's a cream followed by a catalyst that induces the polymer to form a strong film that lasts 24 hours.

Olivo CEO Amir Nashat says his company will initially focus on medical applications like treating skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. Nashat says the skin can also shield scars.

A paper describing the second skin appeared in the May 9 online issue of Nature Materials.

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With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.