I have to admit, I had no idea that a sticker the size of my thumb can detect my sunscreen exposure and protection levels. So imagine my surprise when my editor asked if I would like to try My UV Patch from La Roche-Posay. Of course I would, I said. I’ve always been good at applying and reapplying sunscreen, but it would be interesting to know whether my sunscreen-applying skills are up to par with La Roche Posay’s standards, which should be high considering one of its top sunscreens, Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk, has been rated a perfect 100 score by Consumer Reports for third year in a row!
Inside the small silver package laid a blue-and-white, heart-shaped sticker with an ultra-thin texture. The directions informed me that I had to install the corresponding My UV Patch app in order for the patch’s technology to activate. I was able to find and download it quickly on my smartphone, and over the next three days, I used it to scan the UV patch. The patch was strategically placed on my left hand, which I fully saturated with my Anthelios 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk (a nice, creamy formula that quickly dissolved).
Once the app was installed, I set up my profile with my skin type and tone, gender, age and sunscreen type preference. The app automatically factors in your location and time of day for the most accurate reading. With each scan, a ‘’report card’’ was generated by my selected avatar, Helia, who told me either ”Good job, keep wearing your sun protection.” or ”Caution, you are approaching lobster territory.” Well, not exactly, but it was something in that vein.
Day 1: Overcast, low-to-mid 60s, slightly drizzling, moderate UV levels.
I woke up pretty early to get coffee, did a mile-long walk, then proceeded to run errands for a couple hours. I scanned the patch and noticed it wanted me to reapply sunscreen within the first 20 minutes, which was surprising considering the gloomy, cool conditions, plus I was wearing a long sleeve top. But I also remembered that UV rays are present even during cool or cloudy days, so I proceeded to add more sunscreen to my arms and onto the patch. Helia informed me that my next scan would be in another 30 minutes. I scanned again and all was good.
Day 2: Overcast, low 60s, low to moderate UV levels. Evening thunderstorm.
Beach walk in the morning followed by a trip to the farmer’s market. Today’s weather was slightly cooler, and the clouds more ominous. And by late afternoon, it started pouring rain, so naturally that kept me indoors for the rest of the evening. I checked my notifications and scanned when prompted, and I didn’t need to reapply for the rest of the night.
Day 3: Dark and cloudy, low 60s, mid-high UV levels.
Back to work, so indoors mostly until lunchtime. I packed the sunscreen in my purse, just in case I needed to reapply. By noon, the sun was out and the temps were slightly warmer. By the end of my lunch hour, the app instructed me to reapply, which I did. Later that day, I scanned once more after my hour-long drive home to find that my levels were still pretty good.
What I Loved About It: The cute little avatar, Helia, (who looks like the offspring of a comic superhero) that gave me a thumbs up whenever my sunscreen levels were optimal, or a side-eye when I was reaching the danger zone (aka sunburn territory).
What I Didn’t Love: The app notifications. At times, especially while I was enjoying my outdoor excursions, I felt rather taken out of the moment. However, I realize the importance of its feedback and feel that these notifications could greatly benefit those who are more prone to sunburns or those who may not be as diligent about applying sunscreen.
Overall Experience: It was a fun experiment and a great conversation starter. The app stayed on securely even during showering, which was a relief, and I loved how easy it was to apply. I learned that my sunscreen practices are fairly safe and consistent with the recommendations for my skin type. I am definitely someone who applies more protection during hotter temps and when spending greater amounts of time outdoors.
READERS—Want to try La Roche-Posay’s My UV Patch? Get this free with any La Roche-Posay Anthelios purchase!