L’Oreal Debuts First Sun Exposure Patch at CES

Posted by at 9:44 pm on January 8, 2016

hand_spread-lorealA tiny, heart-shaped monitor may be joining sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats in the fight against sun damage.

Named My UV Patch, the sticker-like monitor was created by cosmetic company L’Oreal and debuted at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to a press release from the company, the groundbreaking stretchable skin sensor is designed to monitor UV exposure. The monitor is a transparent, adhesive patch that adheres to the skin and measures about one square inch in area, according to the release. It is also very lightweight, with a thickness about half that of a strand of hair.

“Previous technologies could only tell users the amount of potential sun exposure they were receiving per hour while wearing a rigid, non-stretchable device,” said global vice president of L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator Guive Balooch in a statement Wednesday. “The key was to design a sensor that was thin, comfortable and virtually weightless so people would actually want to wear it.

The patch reportedly works by using photosensitive dyes that change colors when exposed to UV rays, indicating levels of sun exposure, states the release. The wearer can determine their level of exposure by taking a photo of their sticker and uploading it to a mobile app.

“Why would L’Oreal be interested in this? When you think about our products, the people apply them all over their body,” Balooch told BBC. “Being able to have this technology to measure properties of the skin in real life anywhere you want allows us to develop really new testing methods for future products.”

L’Oreal’s U.S.-based Technology Incubator developed the patch with MC10, Inc., a company specializing in stretchable electronics, according to the release.

“I think it’s great. This falls in the category of photo protection and it’s another tool to help the general public enjoy the sun safely,” Manhattan-based dermatologist Dr. Barney Kenet told ABC News. “The catch…is it’s [got] to work for mechanical reasons and practical reasons for where you’re going to wear it.”

Kent says it is important that wearers apply the patch to a piece of skin that gets a lot of sun exposure, such as the lower neck, face and back of the hands, reports ABC News. He said he hopes technology may one day develop a more cosmetically pleasing device, such as a clear patch.

Even with the use of the patch, basic sun protection practices such as applying sunscreen are still highly suggested.

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