A group of researchers have created a 2 part cream that when applied creates a second skin capable of reducing the effects of ageing, returning skin’s natural elasticity and helping to retain moisture.

As we age the web of proteins, that creates the elastic properties of youthful skin, begin to breakdown and regenerate more slowly, this is how wrinkles and bags begin to form. By applying their cream, the researchers saw a 40% reduction in under eye bags for up to 24 hours and a 23% reduction in water loss by the skin in the same time frame.

The team used chains of silicon based polymers, a group of compounds frequently used in moisturizers and other beauty products, to create the first cream, and a platinum based catalyst to form the second.

The 2 step treatment, which lasts for up to 24 hours, works by applying the second cream on top of the first. When the first cream is combined with the platinum catalyst it will bind the silicon polymer chains to one another and form an invisible film. When the film is entirely dry it will be as much as 10% smaller, tightening the skin under it.

Perhaps more important is the yet untested potential that the treatment could have for people who suffer from skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. The ability to provide a protective barrier could dramatically reduce their suffering, simply by shielding their sores from aggravation.

In the future, the researchers have said, this may also be accompanied by medicinal treatments designed to release over time and provide further relief. Two of the researchers involved have already started a company to pursue medical options.

The initial research by the entire team was published in the journal Nature Materials and involved 22 people to test the capacity for dry skin reduction, 12 to test its effects on under eye bags and another 25 to test its durability.