An anonymous reader writes a report from CBS News: MIT researchers have developed a "second skin" that could be used to smooth wrinkles, protect skin from damage, or administer medications to treat skin conditions, such as eczema. "It's an invisible layer that can provide a barrier, provide cosmetic improvement, and potentially deliver a drug locally to the area that's being treated," Daniel Anderson said in a university news release. "We started thinking about how we might be able to control the properties of skin by coating it with polymers that would impart beneficial effects," said Anderson. "We also wanted it to be invisible and comfortable." The scientists created a library of more than 100 potential polymers, and they tested each material in order to determine which one would most closely match the appearance and characteristics of healthy skin. The "second skin" is applied in two steps. Both layers are applied as creams or ointments. Once on the skin, XPL is nearly invisible. It can remain on the skin for up to 24 hours, the study authors said. Researchers found the polymer was able to reshape "eye bags" beneath the lower eyelids, and the effect lasted about 24 hours. It also treated dry skin and improved hydration.