You might already own a multitude of high-tech gadgets that do everything from monitoring your heart rate as you exercise to cleansing your skin six times as effectively as your regular face scrub. But if you’re into skin care and sun protection (as we all should be) the latest innovation in the wearable tech world might be the most exciting (and important) one yet.
Enter La Roche-Posay’s My UV Patch, the self-proclaimed future of sun education in Australia and the first flexible, ultra-thin and connectable UV sensor designed to measure sun exposure.
The wearable, heart-shaped sensor functions like a temporary tattoo that works to measure exposure to harmful UV rays in real time. To find out more about the new technology, we spoke to its creator, scientist and L’Oréal Global Vice President, Guive Balooch.
Balooch says that as the patch is so thin (approximately half the thickness of an average strand of hair) and has been designed to be worn for up to five days, wearers can sleep, exercise, shower and swim with it on, without interfering with the technology.
There’s also no need to change up your normal skin care routine as you can apply sunscreen, moisturisers and perfumes over the top, as the patch is “breathable and interacts like a part of your body. When you apply something over the top, it will go directly through onto your skin,” says Balooch.
The sensor works through the use of photosensitive dyes, which change colour when exposed to UV radiation. “This colour change is then quantified by the My UV Patch app to calculate a personal UV dose,” says Balooch. The app, which is free to download, also takes into account your skin tone, UV sensitivity, ozone concentration, location and eye colour before providing a personal UV protection recommendation.
Balooch says the purpose behind creating the comfortable and virtually weightless patch was to increase the number of people aware of their daily exposure to UV radiation with the hopes that it will “inform consumers on how to protect against them.”
This is especially important here in Australia as not only do we have the highest incidence of skin cancer worldwide but melanoma is also projected to be the fourth most common cancer in Australia this year.
You can get your hands on a free patch by visiting a participating dermatologist, or when you purchase a La Roche-Posay sunscreen product from more than 800 pharmacies Australia-wide including Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and Terry White Chemist chains from October, as well as online.
Kate started working for BEAUTYcrew in early 2016, first as a contributor, and was then named Beauty Writer in 2017. She loves picking the brains of the industry's top experts to get to the bottom of beauty's toughest questions. Bronze eyeshadow palettes are her weakness and she's forever on the hunt for the perfect nude nail polish to suit her fair skin. Her words can also be found in Men's Health magazine, and she now works in PR.