L’Oreal made one of the most talked about digital health announcements at CES this year when the company unveiled an smartphone-connected adhesive patch that monitors a user’s UV exposure. Earlier this week, in an interview with Fast Company, L’Oreal shared more details about this new offering as well as the company’s entry into tech.
"There is an inherent disconnect between people and understanding really how much sun exposure they have," Guive Balooch, L'Oreal Technology Incubator’s global vice president told FastCompany. "They just don’t know how much exposure they’re getting on a day-to-day basis, which by itself is going to be like an epiphany.”
La Roche-Posay, L’Oreal Group’s skincare brand developed the adhesive patch, called My UV Patch, in partnership with medical sensor company MC10 and a custom product development company, called PCH. My UV Patch is approximately one square inch in area and 50 micrometers thick. The patch uses photosensitive dyes to assess the user’s baseline skin tone. It then changes colors based on the amount of UV exposure the user receives.
My UV Patch can be worn for five days and during that time, every few hours, the patch’s companion app, which will be available on iOS and Android devices, will prompt the user to scan the patch to get an update on their UV exposure. The app will also offer users recommendations on what lifestyle changes they can make as well as what L’Oreal products they can purchase that will help them protect their skin.
L’Oreal partnered with MC10 to develop the prototype of the product and then worked with PCH to create a plan for manufacturing and commercialization.
When My UV Patch launches, L’Oreal plans to give away the device for free so that people get accustomed to using the product. This won’t be the last venture into technology for L’Oreal.
"We want to build a series of products in coming years that are the link between technology and beauty," Balooch said. "That’s not only around just wearables. It’s around personalizing, customizing cosmetics."