People with skincare conditions such as dryness, eczema and atopic dermatitis will benefit from L’Oreal’s first wearable skin pH sensor, launching at CES 2019.

My Skin Track pH is a small thin, flexible sensor, using microfluidic technology that catches trace amounts of sweat from skin pores through a network of micro-channels to produce a pH reading within 15 minutes.

Earlier methods of measuring skin PH needed rigid electronics or large sweat samples.

The sensor is worn on the inner arm for five to 15 minutes and then the wearer needs to photograph it with a My Skin Track pH app.

The app reads the pH measurement and the wearer’s local sweat loss using an advanced algorithm and then recommends the necessary L’Oreal products.

A healthier skincare regime

Professor Thomas Luger, head of the Department of Dermatology, University of Münster, Germany said: “pH is a leading indicator of skin health. It is something my patients ask about, but until now it has been very challenging to measure skin pH outside of a clinical setting.

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“This tool has the potential to inspire consumers to adopt healthier skincare habits and empower medical professionals with an entirely new way to recommend skincare regimens.”

My Skin Track pH is planned to be introduced to the public through La Roche-Posay dermatologists in the US, a L’Oreal brand.

The beauty brand hopes to ultimately launch a direct-to-consumer product.

The sensor also promises to help L’Oreal research the science of skin and contribute to the rest of its product development.

The well-known link between pH and skin conditions

“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’Oréal Technology Incubator, an arm of its research and innovation division.

“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.

“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.”

A healthy pH balance

According to L’Oreal the pH scale runs from acidic to basic on a spectrum from zero to 14, with healthy skin pH at a slightly acidic range between 4.5 and 5.5.

pH balance can be compromised through environment or underlying conditions and can trigger skin inflammations.

This can lead to or contribute to skin concerns such as eczema, which is a group of medical conditions that cause red and itchy skin.

According to the National Eczema Association, 1 in 10 Americans suffer from some form of the frustrating condition.