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Is This UV Patch That Tracks Sun Exposure Brilliant or Unnecessary?

Sun protection is going high-tech. But does it need to?
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Jul 2017
UV patch -- blue heart sticker on hand
Image: La Roche-Posay via Facebook

There’s nothing inherently difficult about regularly applying sunscreen. It’s just a huge pain—and your kids might not sit still long enough for you to do a good job. Like most problems nowadays, this one can be solved with a smartphone. Introducing L’Oréal’s new wearable UV patch that syncs with your phone to track sun exposure.

The My UV Patch, a part of L’Oréal’s skin care brand La Roche-Posay, was actually first introduced last summer. But this year’s version is a bit more kid-friendly; it’s heart-shaped, it’s waterproof for up to three days, and the app comes with a cartoon-style game.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the capabilities of this thing. Thanks to photosensitive dyes, it changes color when exposed to UV rays to indicate different levels on sun exposure. To get specifics details about those levels, you can scan the patch with your phone. The app will tell you if you’re in a risky zone—and if it’s time to lather up again.

That’s pretty cool. But parents on Facebook seem skeptical.

“Is it just me, or does this seem like one of those helicopter parenting things?” one comment reads. “Are you too dumb to apply sunscreen and know when it should be reapplied? I can only imagine the group of overly-anxious mothers chasing their kids at the pool trying to ‘measure’ the UV rays with their app.”

Another dad commented the ultimate burn:

“The most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen—and I have a ginger family.”

Still, physicians are believers. Allure reports that when the patch first came out, many doctors offices were giving it away for free.

Of course, high-tech solutions will do you no good if you’re applying sunscreen incorrectly. Get a quick refresher course for all ages here.

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