Is This High-Tech Patch The Future Of Skin Care?

You might already have a designer bracelet that tracks steps per day, or a gemstone ring that sends text-message alerts, or a sleek watch that tracks REM sleep. But if you're a skin-care geek, you're going to want to brace yourself for the latest innovation in the wearable-tech world — we'd hazard to say that it might just be the most exciting yet. Meet My UV Patch from La Roche-Posay, which was created in the L'Oréal Technology Incubator, the same place that brought us an app for virtually trying on makeup and 3-D bio-printed skin. Think of it like a temporary tattoo, if a temporary tattoo functioned like a second skin and stood up to swimming, lotion, soap, and sun exposure for three to five days.
That last point, BTW, is key: The heart-shaped patch is designed to work as a color-changing sensor that monitors your UVA and UVB exposure in real time when you take a photo of it through the app, sending you notifications when you hit peak hours of exposure, offering protection tips and product recommendations, and connecting you with nearby dermatologists.
The best place to wear it is on your hand, since you can pretty much guarantee the sun will be hitting that area whenever you're outdoors (and what a good reminder to apply SPF everywhere), but we dare you to slap it on your cheeks if you want to measure how much exposure your face is getting during a day at the beach. Eager to snag your own My UV Patch? It'll be available on La Roche-Posay's site beginning July 18 and at select physicians' offices across the country (kill two birds with a mole check while you're there), and it's free, which makes protecting your skin that much more accessible. But beyond the patch itself — which is totally cool — what we're really excited about is what the technology behind it could mean for the future of preventative skin care. Imagine being able to track your skin's pollution exposure, hydration levels, reparative quality...all through a sticker and a smartphone. It might just convince us to put down the wine, go to bed earlier, and move out of NYC. Well, maybe not that first one.

More from Skin Care

R29 Original Series