XPL Second Skin – Wearable Tech for Your Skin
Deep facial lines, dark circles and skin slackening need no longer be an inescapable part of the ageing process as scientists have now invented a wearable “second skin” that restores a young complexion, if even just temporarily. The team of medical researchers and chemical engineers at MIT has created the new material that “mimics the properties of youthful skin” with cosmetic and medical benefits.
It is a breathable, silicone based film that is not visible to the human eye. Known as XPL (for cross-linked polymer layer) it is elastic and durable yet fits stretched tight to the skin, creating a pressure that lessens the wrinkles’ appearance when applied.
Application of the “Second Skin”
The film is applied on the skin in 2 steps:
- First, a material known as polysiloxane (a see-through like silicone plastic) is gently coated on the skin in an extremely thin layer.
- The layer is then sealed by a second material, known as platinum catalyst that pulls the poly-siloxane tight by gathering its molecules into a firm grid. A freshly applied XPL layer is only about half as thick as a new $$ bill.
You can harmlessly peel away XPL at any time even though doing so looks unnervingly like peeling away your skin after a bad sunburn day. Nonetheless, you would not need to worry about your second skin ripping while you are wearing it, since XPL tears at just about the same force and pressure that would destroy human skin.
Implications – Short-Term Youth
People go to great lengths to remove and minimize wrinkles on their skin. They go for Botox, plastic surgery, tea extracts as well as homemade substances incorporating ingredients such as yogurt and honey. This wearable skin “tech” is likely to outdo some of these solutions that people seek to have a youthful skin. It sounds like the kind of thing that will have celebrities beating down the researchers’ lab doors.
However, there is a limit to its use. The catch is that the film is not permanent. People could use it to look flawless when going out to events, but it is not really going to smooth up their skin for all eternity.
Removing wrinkles is just one use for this, it could ultimately be used as a cream to treat medical conditions, such as dermatitis or to provide protection against ultraviolet radiation.
How It Fits Into the Current Health Tech Environment
Trying to produce a substance that behaves the same way the human skin does, perfectly molding around the face, and is also flexible, breathable and durable, yet invisible, has proven tricky for a long time. In tests with human subjects, they have time and again tried to find a material that was able to reshape “eye bags” under the lower eyelids and one to enhance skin hydration.
XPL seems to be the skin care solution that they have been tirelessly trying to create and their efforts have finally born fruits as it fits perfectly into the current health tech environment and a promising future too.
The Test Results Are Promising
The scientists performed several human studies in order to test the effectiveness and safety of their product. In one study, the material was applied to the under eye area where “eye bags” tend to form as aging kicks in. Eye bags are a result of fat pad protrusion on the underlying of the lower lid skin. Upon application, XPL created a solid compressive force which tightened the skin – an effect that lasted for close to 24 hours. The XPL was applied to the forearm skin in order to test its elasticity in another study as well. When the treated skin was bloated with a suction cup, it got back to its initial position faster than the untreated skin.
The scientists also carried out other tests to determine XPL’s ability to pass water. The skin treated with XPL experienced much less water loss two hours after application than skin treated with high-end commercial moisturizers. Petrolatum-coated skin was as effective as the researchers’ product in tests done 2 hours after treatment. After 24 hours, XPL-treated skin had retained more water. There were also no reports of any irritation from the study participants wearing XPL.
XPL – In Conclusion
XPL wearable skin tech has a great potential for both non-cosmetic and cosmetic applications, and is definitely a product we’ll be looking out for.
Now back to you, what do you think of XPL? Would you use it?
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