7 January 2016

L’Oréal launches stretchable skin sensor that measures sun exposure

Model wearing a My UV patch.
Source: L’Oréal. Model wearing a My UV patch.

L’Oréal has unveiled My UV Patch, the first-ever stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure and help consumers educate themselves about sun protection, at the Consumer Electronics Show. The new technology arrives at a time when sun exposure has become a major health issue, with 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers being associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sun* in addition to skin pigmentation and photoageing.

To address these growing concerns, L’Oréal Group’s dermatological skincare brand, La Roche-Posay, is introducing a first-of-its kind stretchable electronic, My UV Patch. 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. 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.

Consumers will be able to take a photo of the patch and upload it to the La Roche-Posay My UV Patch mobile app, which analyses the varying photosensitive dye squares to determine the amount of UV exposure the wearer has received. The My UV Patch mobile app will be available on both iOS and Android, incorporating Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled technology into the patch-scanning process for Android. 

“Connected technologies have the potential to completely disrupt how we monitor the skin’s exposure to various external factors, including UV,” says Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator. “Previous technologies could only tell users the amount of potential sun exposure they were receiving per hour while wearing a rigid, non-stretchable device. 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.”

The stretchable, peel-and-stick wearable unites L’Oréal Group’s scientific research on the skin and expertise with UV protection with the technological capabilities of MC10a stretchable electronics company that creates intelligent, stretchable systems for biometric healthcare analytics, and PCH’s 20-year experience in product development, manufacturing and supply chain. My UV Patch was developed by L’Oréal’s US-based Technology Incubator, a business division dedicated entirely to technological innovation, alongside MC10, which contributed physiological sensing and pattern recognition algorithms to measure skin changes and PCH which design-engineered the sensor.

"With My UV Patch, L'Oréal is taking the lead in developing the next generation of smart skincare technology powered by MC10's unique, stretchable electronics platform, that truly addresses a consumer need," said Scott Pomerantz, CEO of MC10. "This partnership with L'Oréal marks an exciting new milestone for MC10 and underscores the intersection of tech and beauty and the boundless potential of connected devices within the beauty market." 

“Together with La Roche-Posay dermatologists like myself, we share a mission to help increase sun-safe behaviour,” added Dr Alysa Herman. “La Roche-Posay recently commissioned a global study in 23 countries, which surveyed 19,000 women and men and found a huge gap in consumer behaviour...With the new My UV Patch, for the first time, we are leveraging technology to help incite a true behavioural change through real-time knowledge. ”

Recommended by more than 25,000 dermatologists worldwide, La Roche-Posay offers a unique range of daily skincare developed with dermatologists to meet their standards in efficacy, tolerance and elegant textures for increased compliance. The products, which are developed using a strict formulation charter, include a minimal number of ingredients to reduce side effects and reactivity and are formulated with effective ingredients at optimal concentrations for increased efficacy. 


My UV Patch is expected to be made available to consumers later this year. 

*Source: Skin Cancer Foundation 2015