Innovation That Matters

Synthetic cream mimics suppleness of youthful skin

Sport & Fitness

Researchers from Living Proof and MIT have developed synthetic polymers that recreate the elasticity of youthful skin, forming invisible, water resistant layers upon cream-like application.

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We’ve seen the implementation of synthetic skin within the cosmetic industry before, where a 3D printed skin is being used in place of animal testing, and now researchers have developed a cream that can effectively recreate the appearance of youthful skin.


The team from cosmetics company Living Proof, MIT and others, use two polymers that combine to stretch out areas of the skin they are applied to, delivering a youthful elasticity while appearing effectively invisible. A ‘catalyst’ layer is first applied to the skin like a cream, with a second ‘crosslinking’ layer (XPL or ‘crosslinking polymer layer) then applied in similar fashion over the top, forming a tight, bonded material that can, for example, smooth out eye bags. The moisture-resistant layer remains effective for 24 hours after application, and, in clinical studies, none of the participants developed any signs of irritation. The research is reported in Nature Materials.

Being water-resistant, the second skin could be used to help treat dry skin conditions such as eczema — what are the other potential cosmetic and pharmaceutical applications of the cream?



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