Smart: A New Patch Will Tell You When It’s Time to Get Out of the Sun

Rachel Krause
PhotoNews International Inc./FilmMagic

PhotoNews International Inc./FilmMagic

A diligent approach to sunscreen is the only thing that stands between us and a gnarly burn (and its ensuing consequences such as skin cancer and premature signs of aging), and there’s too much conflicting information for us to know for sure how often we should be reapplying and how high the SPF needs to be to offer complete protection. A new wearable innovation from L’Oreal may help to alleviate at least some of that confusion: The beauty mega-brand has partnered with global tech company PCH to create My UV Patch, a stretchable skin sensor launching later this year as a La Roche-Posay offering.

L'Oreal

L’Oreal

My UV Patch comes in the form of a stretchy, skinlike silicone heart that can be placed anywhere on the body. Its 50-micron electronic fibers will be able to determine exactly how much UV exposure you’ve had—all you have to do is take a photo and submit it to the corresponding app. “Every time you take a photo of the patch, it will process the image of the heart and see what changes there have been in the color of it, and then the app will tell you how much UV exposure you have,” explains Guive Balooch, global vice president of L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator.

There are no details on distribution as of yet, but the sensor will be available free of charge, likely included as an add-on gift when you purchase other La Roche-Posay skin care. The goal is to actively educate consumers on the level of UV exposure they’re actually getting—that seemingly innocent summer afternoon sipping prosecco in the park might be just as effective in accruing unwanted sun exposure as a lazy day spent baking on the beach.

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