Mega-beauty brand, L’Oreal unveils a groundbreaking stick on UV patch to monitor your sun exposure. Via an app, track just how much sun you’ve been exposed to, so you can make safer choices and keep looking youthful (can I get an amen?).

Front page news:

Virtually every industry is colliding with tech these days…food, fashion and now the beauty industry. Making headlines at CES (aka the Consumer Electronics Show) and sharing airspace with Samsung, Qualcomm and other tech titans, L’Oreal unveiled the My UV Patch, the first-ever stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure.

The 1-inch patch is transparent and adhesive, unlike other rigid wearables out there like the Apple Watch and Google Glass.  It stretches, bends and is just 50 micrometers thick – half the thickness of an average strand of hair. The science lies in the photosensitive dyes that factor in the baseline skin tone and change colors when exposed to UV rays to indicate varying levels of sun exposure.

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Wear it on your hand, shoulder, even on your back; basically any part of your body constantly exposed to sun.  Then share data collected by this wearable “sticker” by taking a photo of it and uploading it to the Roche-Posay My UV Patch mobile app. Based on the colors of the photosensitive dye squares, the app will tell you how much UV exposure you’ve had – indicating it is time to head for shade or reapply sunscreen at the very least.

Read between the headlines:

This is such an important breakthrough on many levels.  First, L’Oreal is betting its money on a new kind of wearable technology: band-aid like stickers that give us feedback on our bodies.  In fact, it is developing 10 different types of this wearable tech in the coming future.  The biggest challenge with the category right now is that devices like GoPro, FitBit and Apple Watch are so hard, rigid and noticeable.  Sensor stickers are the next chapter in wearable technology. More subtle, more sleek and a little harder to get lost, these patches – like those powered by technology made by firm mc10can do things like monitor heart performance or provide data on motor skills via hidden stickers you wear – adding a new dimension to data. This is the future of true wearable technology.

Second, this can help save lives by preventing skin cancers through behavior changes. In fact:

“La Roche-Posay recently commissioned a global study …found a huge gap in consumer behavior: 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 incite a true behavioral change through real-time knowledge.” – Alysa Herman, MD

What’s next:

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