Harvard Women's Health Watch

“Second skin” reduces eye bags

Research we're watching

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There may soon be a nonsurgical alternative for alleviating those bothersome eye bags. Researchers at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have reported the development of a product they are calling "second skin" from siloxanes—oxygen-silicone compounds that can be modified to have various properties, including elasticity and permeability. Second skin is applied as two creams. The first contains the molecules that form the base of the film; the second, a catalyst that links the molecules into place. The result is a durable, transparent elastic layer that smooths the underlying skin.

The team tested the product on 12 volunteers with noticeable eye bags who were randomly assigned to use second skin or a placebo under their eyes. Trained observers graded the subjects on the appearance of their undereye skin. According to the judges' ratings, the appearance of those who received second skin improved by two points on a five-point scale, compared with no improvement for those in the placebo group. The report was published online May 9, 2016, by Nature Materials.