CES 2016: L’Oréal Debuts Stretchable UV Skin Patch


L'Oréal My UV Patch

In a sign of how much CES has evolved to include new players, today in Las Vegas L’Oréal unveils My UV Patch, the first stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.

As sun protection becomes increasingly important, L’Oréal Group’s leading dermatological skincare brand, La Roche-Posay, has created the flexible transparent patch adhesive that adheres directly to the skin, measuring one square inch and 50 micrometers thick, half the thickness of an average strand of hair.

The sticker measures UV rays while the wearer basks in the sun, and marks the global company’s first foray into wearable tech.

How it works: Photosensitive dyes in the patch factor in the wearer’s baseline skin tone and a heart shape on the patch changes color when exposed to UV rays, signaling levels of sun exposure. Consumers can snap a photo of the patch and upload it to the La Roche-Posay My UV Patch mobile app for analysis to determine UV exposure.

“Connected technologies have the potential to completely disrupt how we monitor the skin’s exposure to various external factors, including UV,” stated Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L’Oréal’s US-based 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.”

Balooch and colleagues worked with MC10,  a leading stretchable electronics company, and PCH to design-engineer the sensor.

L'Oréal My UV Patch

To highlight the need for smarter SUV protection, L’Oréal cites a recent La Roche-Posay-commissioned global study by Ipsos that surveyed 19,000 Americans, women and men—and identified a huge gap in consumer behavior when it comes to sun exposure awareness and safety.

“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,” stated Dr. Alysa Herman, sharing her experience as a dermatologist. “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.”

The patch can be worn several days in a row but Balooch cautions, “The issue is not when to reapply, the issue is how much exposure do I have.”

The My UV Patch mobile app for iOS and Android will be available to consumers in 16 countries later this year. And unlike existing wearable technology, My UV Patch is disposable, reports Refinery29. “It’s something you can use and learn from without spending hundreds of dollars.”

Beyond Las Vegas, L’Oréal is prepping for the Golden Globes in Las Vegas on Sunday, January 10th. The brand’s #WorthSaying social media campaign hopes to use the red carpet as a platform to change the conversation to what’s important to women—and get beyond the typical “Who are you wearing?” awards show chatter.

“L’Oréal Paris has always believed in the individual beauty and intrinsic worth of every woman,” said Karen Fondu, president of L’Oréal Paris, as reported by Adweek. “The #WorthSaying campaign is rooted in the brand’s iconic tagline, ‘Because You’re Worth It,’ and the belief that all women have something worthy to say.”

The brand’s celebrity spokeswomen including Julianne Moore, Freida Pinto and Eva Longoria will spread the word on their social channels, supported by L’Oréal’s full-page ad in the Hollywood Reporter, which you can see below.

L'Oréal #WorthSaying