Soon, getting a lobster-red burn won’t be the only way to notice a suncare fail. The whizzes at L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator have created a first-of-its-kind stick-on skin sensor that monitors how much UV light hits the wearer over the course of up to five days. Revealed this January at the gadget-geek trade show CES, it will launch this summer as the La Roche-Posay My UV Patch.
The quarter-size smart sticker starts out clear but features photosensitive dyes that react to the levels of UV exposure on the baseline skin tone; the user then snaps a pic and sends it to the iOS/Android companion app to gauge their UV exposure.
As of May, the patch will be available free to Canadian consumers through dermatologists as well as via La Roche-Posay’s Become a Skin Checker events promoting skin-cancer awareness and prevention.
How Sun-Savvy Are Canadians?
When La Roche-Posay launched its global Skin Checker campaign last May, the brand also released the results of a 23-country survey. Here, a few insights into Canadian attitudes toward sun safety:
Only 32 percent of Canadians have ever done a self mole check—by comparison, the international average is 55 percent.
Why the need for mole checks? If caught early, 90 percent of melanoma skin cancer cases can be treated effectively. Since 2000, the incidence of melanoma has risen 75 percent in Canada.
- Just 56 percent of Canadians say they wear SPF when out in the sun. The Canadian Dermatology Association recommends using broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
- Only 20 percent of Canadians sport sunscreen all year-round, even though we’re exposed to UVA (invisible but still skin-damaging rays) in every season, not just summer.
A version of this article was originally published in the Spring 2016 issue of Cosmetics magazine. For more, download our iPad edition.