Eczema? There’s an app for that

lifestyle January 11, 2019 01:00

By THE NATION

4,113 Viewed

L’Oreal unveiled a prototype of the latest innovation from the L’Oreal Technology Incubator at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. My Skin Track pH by La Roche-Posay is the first wearable sensor and companion app to easily measure personal skin pH levels and create customised product regimens.



My Skin Track pH has been honoured with a CES 2019 Innovation Award, named a “Best of Innovation” winner in the Wearable Technology Products category. The sensor was co-developed with L’Oreal’s skincare brand La Roche-Posay, which works closely with dermatologists to develop safe and effective skincare products and is committed to bringing scientific progress directly to consumers.

“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,” says Guive Balooch, global vice president of the L’Oreal Technology Incubator, an arm of L’Oreal’s Research & Innovation Division. “Our goal is to use this advanced technology to empower consumers with meaningful information about the underlying condition of their skin, so that they can find the products that are right for their individual needs. At L’Oreal, we know that health is the future of beauty and we are committed to leveraging technology to bring powerful insights and solutions to our health-conscious consumers.”  

The pH scale ranges from acidic to basic, on a spectrum measured from 0 to 14. Healthy skin pH exists within the slightly acidic range between 4.5 and 5.5. When pH balance is compromised, whether through environmental factors and underlying conditions, it can trigger inflammatory responses including dryness, eczema, and atopic dermatitis. Millions of Americans suffer from these conditions; according to the National Eczema Association, 1 in 10 Americans (31.6 million) have some form of eczema.  

As the first wearable to measure individual skin pH levels using microfluidic technology, it captures trace amounts of sweat from skin pores through a network of microchannels, providing an accurate pH reading within 15 minutes. While previous methods of measuring skin pH levels required rigid electronics and large sweat samples, My Skin Track pH captures, and generates accurate readings from, nearly imperceptible quantities of sweat.     “pH is a leading indicator of skin health,” says La Roche-Posay dermatologist Dr Thomas Luger. “It is something my clients ask about, but until now it has been very challenging to measure skin pH outside of a clinical lab setting. This tool has the potential to inspire consumers to adopt healthier skincare habits and empower medical professionals with an entirely new way to recommend treatment.” 

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