L'Oréal Advances Its Commitment To Promoting Sun Safety
L'Oréal, the global beauty leader that developed its first commercial sunscreen product in 1935, furthered its 80-year commitment to sun safety with the unveiling of two technology products at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. UV Sense, the first battery-free wearable electronic UV sensor, and a limited-edition of the award-winning My UV Patch, both provide consumers with crucial information about their individual ultraviolet (UV) exposure levels. Both technologies will be available from the La Roche-Posay brand this year.
"L'Oréal research shows that overexposure to UV rays is a top health and beauty concern of consumers worldwide," said Guive Balooch, Global Vice President of L'Oréal's Technology Incubator. "With this knowledge, we set out to create something that blends problem-solving technology with human-centered design to reach even more consumers who require additional information about their UV exposure. Whenever we develop a new technology, our goal is to make an enormous global impact by enhancing consumers' lives."
L'Oréal has long been dedicated to sun safety through research, product innovation, funding significant research with the Melanoma Research Alliance, and public education campaigns such as skin screenings, PSAs and social media activations. To underscore this commitment, L'Oréal's leading dermatological skincare brand, La Roche-Posay, launched the first-ever stretchable skin sensor to monitor UV exposure, My UV Patch, in 2016. Since the technology's debut, the La Roche-Posay brand has distributed more than one million patches to consumers in 37 countries free of charge to encourage sun safe behaviors.
Through consumer studies and feedback of My UV Patch users, L'Oréal learned that although users changed their behaviors – with 34 percent applying sunscreen more often and 37 percent trying to stay in the shade more frequently – they wanted a smaller wearable with longer wear and real-time data. Building on the architecture of the original patch, UV Sense allows further monitoring of UV exposure, to show trends of exposure over time with instant updates.
UV Sense is the first battery-free wearable electronic sensor to measure individual UV exposure and can store up to three months of data. The wearable is less than two millimeters thick, nine millimeters in diameter and designed to be worn for up to two weeks on the thumbnail. The sensor can be reapplied to the nail with additional adhesives, which come in the packaging. By putting this technology on the thumbnail – which receives optimal sunlight – consumers can increase wear time from several days with My UV Patch to several weeks with UV Sense.
Balooch continued, "Beauty trends show that adoption of wearable nail art accessories is on the rise, with a more than 65 percent increase in nail art trends over the last five years. Our innovation taps into this growing trend, while illustrating our deep commitment to sun safe behavior and protection."
Powered by the user's mobile phone and activated by UVA and UVB rays, UV Sense is the first wearable electronic UV sensor powered without a battery. The wearable has an accompanying mobile app, available on both iOS and Android, which translates and transfers data from the sensor using Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled technology. The app delivers consumer-friendly information detailing when the wearer should be mindful of UV exposure. Data is included in a profile within the app that outlines a user's exposure levels. Sun-safety habits – like spending time in the shade or reapplying sunscreen – are encouraged with facts about sun exposure and additional tips for protection.
"Design and technology are inextricably linked, and as products become more personalized to individuals, both elements are integral to providing people with seamless experiences," said Yves Behar, designer entrepreneur and founder of fuseproject. "By working with L'Oréal, we are able to pair deep expertise in beauty tech with an effective design that enhances consumers' wellbeing without distracting from their everyday lives."
Both UV Sense and the limited-edition of My UV Patch draw from research L'Oréal conducted in conjunction with MC10, Inc., a leading wearable technology company, and professor John Rogers at Northwestern University, through his portfolio of intellectual property (IP) and innovation around flexible, stretchable electronics. This research has provided valuable insights into the human skin, such as the calculations of personal daily safe UV doses around the skin phototype and minimal erythema dose.
"Proper sun precautions are vital to the health and appearance of our skin," added Dr. Whitney Bowe, a New York City-based Dermatologist. "According to a 2016 Ipsos study*, nearly half of Americans reported that they wanted to be better educated about their skin concerns. My UV Patch has demonstrated improvements in sun-safe behaviors and reduced sunburns among its users. That tells us that wearables can stimulate true behavioral change by helping consumers understand their actual level of UV exposure. It's a major breakthrough in changing our understanding of UV exposure daily and over time."
UV Sense will be available on a limited basis in the U.S. for the 2018 summer season with a global launch following in 2019. Details on where the limited-edition as well as the original heart design of My UV Patch will be available on www.laroche-posay.us. For more information and product availability, visit www.laroche-posay.us.