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Tiny Sun Sensor Can Protect You From Sunburns And Prevent Skin Cancer

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Skin cancer is scary: According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, more people in the U.S. are diagnosed with skin cancer than all other cancers combined.

One in five Americans will develop skin cancer by age 70. One person dies of melanoma (a less common skin cancer that is more likely to grow and spread) every hour.

These statistics won’t stop millions of Americans from spending time outdoors this summer, though it’s important to realize that we all could and should be better about protecting our skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

Now, L’Oréal has a new product that may make it a whole lot easier: It’s called UV Sense.

The cosmetic company teamed up with Northwestern University professor John A. Rogers to create a small wearable device, called UV Sense, that can precisely measure a person’s exposure to UV light from the sun.

If you’ve gotten too much exposure, the app linked to the sensor will let you know.

The device is powered by the user’s phone, and activated by UVA and UVB rays. It’s waterproof and can be attached to almost any part of the body or clothing.

Users can monitor their exposure by using the app, which would warn them when to be mindful of UV exposure.

L’Oréal launched a similar product in 2016 called My UV Patch, a stretchable skin senor to monitor UV exposure.

The company has distributed over one million patches to consumers in 37 countries for free, to encourage sun-safe behaviors.

So far, it’s worked: 34 percent of users applied sunscreen more often, and 37 percent tried to stay in the shade more frequently.

Engineers built on the design of My UV Patch to create UV Sense — and hope it will be just as effective in promoting sun safety.

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Pass it on: New Scientist

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