I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
As someone who never leaves the house without sunscreen, I hate to admit that I’m both lazy and forgetful when it comes to reapplying as frequently as I need to. Enter La Roche-Posay’s My UV Patch, a thin, water-resistant skin patch that works with an in-phone app to not only measure how much sunscreen you’re wearing, but also remind you when it’s time to apply.
When the La Roche-Posay team first told me about their new My UV patch, my jaw dropped. Imagine sticking a thin, bandaid-like sticker onto your hand that has the capability of detecting how much sun you’ve been exposed to and how much sunscreen you’re wearing. Now imagine linking that sticker with an app on your cellphone, which will then inform you of all of this information, plus let you know when you’re unprotected. We’re not looking into the future. This actually exists — and it’s free.
On my way to the beach for a long weekend, I eagerly applied the blue, heart-shaped patch onto the top of my hand, where it would remain for the rest of the weekend (it’s totally water, soap and sunscreen-resistant, and didn’t budge for a full three days). Then, I downloaded the My UV Patch app and began personalizing my sun profile, which couldn’t be easier — it asks simple questions like your skin type, eye color, and how easily you tan or burn. I then input my location, and the app instantly told me the temperature and the UV index that I’d be dealing with that day. Finally, I scanned my patch, linking it to the app.
Now, the fun part: Tracking my sun exposure. I applied sunscreen all over my body, making sure to apply it thoroughly on my hands as well, because the patch can detect how well it’s covered. Next, I scanned, and learned that I was safely covered with a “Good job!” message that appeared. The app stored my “score” and scheduled my next reading — a reminder would pop up when it was time
The verdict: I’m not sure if it was due to the challenge of staying protected all day or having a fun new app to play with, but using My UV Patch was one of the most entertaining experiences I’ve had while simply laying out at the beach. But even better than the entertaining factor was that it actually kept me on my sunscreen-applying toes all day, and I never missed a re-application. Will I use it again? 100%. Plus, it was a great conversation starter — everyone wanted to know why I had cute blue heart stuck to my hand all weekend.
My UV Patch and the app is available for free (!!) on laroche-posay.com.
This post originally appeared on people.com: We Tried It: A Patch That Monitors Your Sun Exposure; Jillian RuffoOther stories from People you might be into: