L’Oréal unveils skin pH sensor

L’Oréal has unveiled the world’s first wearable sensor that measures skin’s pH level at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Developed by L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator and La Roche-Posay, My Skin Track pH uses “microfluidic technology” to capture trace amounts of sweat through a network of micro-channels.

The wearer places the sensor on their inner arm for 5-15 minutes (until the two centre dots change colour) and then photographs it using the My Skin Track pH app on their smart phone. The app reads the pH measurement as well as the wearer’s rate of perspiration “to assess skin health”, provide an accurate pH reading and recommend suitable La Roche-Posay products.

Although the sensor only recommends the French brand’s products its core function – pH reading – could be a ‘game changer’ for people around the world with skin issues such as eczema and atopic dermatitis that often require regular pH testing for effective treatment.

Currently such testing is typically carried out in medical clinics as it requires electronic equipment and large sweat samples, but the new sensor would mean such testing could be done almost anywhere with “imperceptible quantities of sweat”.

L’Oréal Technology Incubator global vice president Guive Balooch says “the scientific and medical communities have long known the link between skin pH levels and common skin concerns that millions of people experience every day”.

“Our goal is to use this advanced technology to empower consumers with meaningful information about their skin, so that they can find the products that are right for their individual needs.”

My Skin Track pH will initially be introduced in 2019 through select La Roche-Posay dermatologists in the US with the goal of amassing new research and ultimately launching a direct-to-consumer product.

The unveiling of My Skin Track pH follows the company’s launch of My UV Patch (the first stretchable skin sensor designed to monitor UV exposure) and My Skin Track UV (the first battery-free wearable electronic UV sensor) at the same show in 2016 and 2018.

“At L’Oréal we know that health is the future of beauty and we are committed to leveraging technology to bring powerful insights and solutions to our consumers,” says Balooch.

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