Digitised sun protection latest in beauty tech

SUNSCREEN: Visitors learn about L'Oreal's La Roche-Posay My UV Patch during the China Beauty Expo in Shanghai.


    Jun 06, 2016

    Digitised sun protection latest in beauty tech


    WEARABLE devices have just ventured into a new area: beauty.

    French cosmetics giant L'Oreal recently released the La Roche-Posay My UV Patch, which combines sun protection with digital technology, at the 21st edition of the China Beauty Expo in Shanghai.

    Called an "Internet on paper" invention, the device comprises a heart-shaped paper skin sensor that changes colour depending on the level of ultraviolet (UV) light exposure, thanks to UV-sensitive dyes.

    The sensor can be scanned using a compatible smartphone app that has been developed based on data collected from 400,000 users in real time and real-life conditions.

    The app then advises the wearer to take sun protection measures according to his or her skin condition.

    The patch, which is thinner than the breadth of a human hair, is stretchable and waterproof. It can last for three to five days.

    "We have to look to the future... breaking through the digital age on a worldwide scale," said Sanford Marshall Browne, vice-president of research and innovation at L'Oreal China.

    "It's about personalisation, so people will be able to get what is customised for them. This is the essence of a connected beauty device," he adds.

    For now, the product will be offered free for educational and informational purposes, complementing La Roche-Posay's sunscreen product.

    The product is part of the company's endeavour in beauty electronics and sensors.

    The company has a technology incubator that works with local and international start-ups to develop new technology.

    Last year, it released Makeup Genius, a virtual make-up app, venturing into augmented reality and personalisation technology. The app has been downloaded millions of times.

    Research into 3D bioprinting is also underway.

    Meanwhile, Sun Qiuning, chief physician and director of the Dermatologist and Cosmetology Center of Peking Union Medical College Hospital said that as overexposure to sunlight can cause skin ageing and wrinkles, sunscreen is the most practical and convenient way to stay sun-safe compared with other devices.

    "From the medical point of view, the UV patch is a precise reminder of when and how much sunscreen you should apply," said Dr Sun.

    Sun protection, along with moisturising and cleansing, are the most important steps to maintaining good skin, she said.