Wearable skin patches with microfluidic sensors can monitor various biometrics from sweat. Professor John Rogers from Northwestern University’s Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics is one of the leaders in the field. Last year we wrote about Rogers’ work with the Feinberg School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology to validate the clinical relevance of the approach for patients with atopic dermatitis. In 2016 we wrote about Rogers’ concept of a “lab on the skin.”

Rogers and cosmetic company L’Oreal won an innovation award at CES 2019 this month for My Skin Track pH, a waterproof wearable patch that collects small amounts of sweat to determine skin pH. L’Oreal’s interest in healthy skin and in skin is directly related to its business. As the patch accumulates sweat, colored dots appear on its surface. When a user sees the full set of dots, that indicates the pH analysis is complete; healthy skin pH ranges from 4.5 to 5.5. Knowing one’s skin pH level also helps when applying or using skin cosmetics.

My Skin Track pH is still in the prototype stage, but L’Oreal and Rogers continue to work on the product to bring it to market. Rogers and Washington University Professor Roozbeth Ghaffari are partners in a company formed to create commercial products from microfluidics technology so we’re likely to keep hearing about new things we can learn from sweat.