Current commercial products
Current commercially available sunburn warning indicators are usually expensive (> £0.5 each) and exhibit a gradual colour change, which makes it difficult to recognise the point in time when the wearer is near to their daily limit of solar UV.
The diagram on the right hand side illustrates the change in colour exhibited by a typical current commercial sunburn warning indicator as it is exposed to sunlight. The %red colour exhibited by the indicator increases smoothly – i.e. gradually – with increasing exposure to solar UV, thereby making it difficult to identify the point (i.e. the MED point) when any further exposure is likely to result in sunburn.
Usually, the current commercially available sunburn warning indicators come as a wristband or a patch. As it is shown in the right, the gradual colour change will make it difficult for customers to identify when is the accurate time to reapply sunscreen or seek shade.
The gradual colour change exhibited by the indicator illustrated here is common to all current commercial sunburn warning indicators and represents a major limitation. In contrast, as illustrated below, the SunGuageTM indicator exhibits a binary response to solar UV exposure – making it much easier to identify the MED point.
In contrast to current commercially available sunburn warning indicators showed above which indicates a gradual colour change – we are developing a binary, i.e. sharp, response sunburn warning indicator. SunGuageTM will change suddenly at or near solar UV dose threshold for the wearer, i.e. the MED for their skin type, as illustrated in the figure on the right. The indicator technology is tunable – so the wearer will be able to buy an indicator that is appropriate for their skin type.
The binary response sun exposure indicator is based on a UV-driven photocatalytic reaction that produces a sudden change in colour, once a certain UV dose has been reached; this dose is tunable – making it possible to make appropriate sunburn indicators for different skin types. The indicator will provide a clear, inexpensive and striking reminder of when to re-apply sunscreen or to seek shade and, in so doing and if acted upon, it will reduce the risk of sun damage, sunburn, photo-aging and the risk associated with skin cancer and melanoma.
Whether in patch or bracelet form, the binary response sun exposure indicator will be easy to use, child friendly, unisex and easily fit into the most active of outdoor lifestyles. With SunGuageTM, you can change your life style, have fun without fearing sunburn, and make sure you are safe under sun. The indicators will be: low cost (< £0.10 ea), easy to apply and interpret, will work with all sun creams, waterproof and non-toxic.