Our relationship with the sun is tricky. Sunlight is our best source of vitamin D and it also can feel wonderful. Many of us go to great lengths to get the deepest tan we can so we’ll “look our best.” On the other side of the coin, according to WebMD, most of the changes in our skin that we accept as the inevitable reward for growing old are actually damage caused directly by the sun.
Aesthetics aren’t the only concern, however, because beyond how we look, of greater concern is what the sun can do to our health in the form of precancerous and cancerous lesions and tumors. So we’re drawn to the sun, and a little bit is good for us, but too much can make us sick, possibly kill us, and definitely ruin our looks.
So we can put on sunscreen and wear hats and sun blocking clothing, but none of those protections actually tell us when we’ve had enough. A new product still in development by skin care company and dermatology laboratory LaRoche-Posay may help.
My UV Patch will have two components when it finally comes to market. The physical part is a small patch one square inch in area and only 50 micrometers thick, about half the thickness of an average strand of hair according to the company’s website. The patch, which is in the shape of a small heart, has photosensitive dyes that change color with different levels of sun exposure. According to the company the baseline color of the wearers’ skin is factored into the exposure reaction in the dyes, but chances are that it doesn’t matter because the patch is worn on top of the skin, not beneath it.
An accompanying app promises to help determine your skin type and track whether or not you wear sunscreen and the current UV index for your location. If My UV Patch changes color accurately in accordance with sun exposure, that’s really all you’ll need to know when you’ve had enough sun. So when it comes out, if it works as promised, My UV Patch could be useful to track sun exposure for oneself and for family members and friends. (Note that there other UV tracking devices that we’ve covered in the past, including the one made by MC10 for Loreal.)