A skin patch that allows people to keep track of their skin’s absorption of the sun’s UV rays has been designed.
Teaching about sun protection
MY UV Patch was launched at this year’s CES by beauty brand L’Oréal, and aims to “help consumers educate themselves about sun protection”, says the company.
It was developed by L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator with input from stretchable electronics company MC10 and sensor design engineers PCH.
The peel-and-stick heart-shaped patch is transparent, adhesive and can be applied to any area of skin on the body. It is 2.5cm2 and 0.05mm thick.
Dyes that change colour
It contains photosensitive dyes that change colour when the skin is exposed to UV rays, indicating different levels of sun exposure. The blue dye squares on the patch fade as UV exposure increases.
It is used alongside a mobile iOS and Android app, which will analyse the dye on the patch to determine how much exposure to the sun the user has received. This can also highlight times of the day a person is most at risk, and which areas of the skin are most susceptible.
Guive Balooch, global vice president at L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator, says that the advantage of the patch over other wearable tech devices is that it is “stretchable” and not “rigid”.
He says: “The key was to design a sensor that was thin, comfortable and virtually weightless so people would actually want to wear it.
“We’re excited to be the first beauty company entering the stretchable electronics field and to explore the many potential applications for this technology within our industry and beyond.”
Make people aware of skin cancer and pigmentation
The new technology aims to make consumers more aware of non-melanoma skin cancers, skin pigmentation and skin ageing, all linked with exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
My UV Patch will be released through L’Oréal skincare sub-brand La Roche-Posay. It is expected to launch at the end of 2016.