This New L'Oreal Patch Measures Sun Exposure

Nancy Crotti

August 10, 2016

3 Min Read
This New L'Oreal Patch Measures Sun Exposure

Cosmetic giant L'Oreal launches skin patch to measure harmful rays--and it has an app, too.

Nancy Crotti

My UV Patch L'Oreal

Not long ago, the catchphrase was, "There's an app for that." In healthcare these days, the new saying could well be, "There's a patch for that."

Patches for smoking cessation and pain relief are old news. More recent introductions include patches that and monitor fevers and vital signs, while others that would fight obesity and diabetes are under development. Now, a skincare company has launched a device that combines high technology and protection against the sun's harmful rays.

My UV Patch, which manufacturer L'Oreal says is the first stretchable skin sensor, is designed to monitor UV radiation in real-time to give wearers a heads-up about their personal sun exposure. L'Oreal is introducing the patch under its dermatological skin care line La Roche-Posay, known for its mineral-based sunscreens that filter UVA and UVB rays.

The patch is a transparent adhesive that, unlike the rigid wearables currently on the market, stretches and adheres directly to any area of skin that consumers want to monitor. The water and sweat-resistant patch can be used up to three days during all outdoor activities, including swimming. Measuring approximately one square inch in area and 50 micrometers thick - half the thickness of an average strand of hair - the patch contains photosensitive dyes that factor in the baseline skin tone and change colors when exposed to UV rays to indicate varying levels of sun exposure.

Just to bring things full circle, there's an app for the patch, too. The My UV Patch mobile app (available both on iOS and Android) will be able to track results and provide a personalized report on the UV exposure received once the consumer uploads an image of his or her patch, according to the company. The app analyzes the varying shades of the photosensitive dye and determines the amount of exposure the individual has received since donning the patch. This analysis also takes into consideration skin type, whether sunscreen was applied, and the UV index in the user's location.

La Roche-Posay did its own research on sun awareness, commissioning a global study that surveyed 19,000 women and men and found "a huge gap in consumer behavior," Miami dermatologist Alysa Herman, MD, said in a company statement. "Even though 92% were aware that unprotected sun exposure can cause health problems, only 26% of Americans protect themselves all year round, whatever the season. With the new My UV Patch, for the first time, we are leveraging technology to help individuals manage their sun exposure behavior through real-time knowledge."

Herman is an instructor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed.

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[Image courtesy of La Roche-Posay]

About the Author(s)

Nancy Crotti

Nancy Crotti is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected].

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