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- SpotMyUV is a small business in Canada making products to help protect you from the sun.
- Its hero product, UV Detection Stickers ($15), changes color when it's time to reapply SPF.
- I tested the UV stickers to find out if the spots were legit or just a gimmick, and they worked.
The last time my husband and I went to the beach, I applied a liberal amount of SPF but forgot to touch it up when we hit the boardwalk for lunch. The consequences were severe: rosy burns on my cheeks and a tomato-red chest. It's too bad I didn't know about the back then because clearly, I could have used them.
If the name doesn't ring a bell, SpotMyUV is a small Canadian-based business that was co-founded by Andrew Martinko, Chad Sweeting, and Derek Jouppia. The group of graduates from the University of Waterloo's Nanotechnology Engineering Program each has family and friends that were impacted by skin cancer. The brand's UV Detection Stickers are their contribution to the sun protection market, with the hope that their product can help others avoid developing similar conditions.
As someone with very sensitive, pale skin that burns within minutes of stepping into the sun, I had to put SpotMyUV's stickers to the test. Two trials and minimal errors later, I can attest to their genius.
How the SpotMyUV UV Detection Stickers let you know it's time to apply more sunscreen
The purple stickers adhere directly to the skin, and the directions suggest applying them to the upper arm or any other skin exposed to the sun. Once you have your sticker in place, the next step is to cover the purple spot with sunscreen, along with the rest of your body. The directions say to wait 30 seconds, rub the sunscreen into the spot, then face the spot towards direct sunlight.
After a minute or so, the spot should turn clear. This indicates that you've applied enough sunscreen to the exposed area. From there, your only job is to keep a close eye on the spot's color. A light purple spot means your skin is partially protected from harmful UV rays. A dark purple spot means it's time to reapply ASAP.
My experience with the SpotMyUV UV Detection Stickers
The first time I used the SpotMyUV UV Detection Stickers, I was going for a swim in my parents' pool. I applied a sticker to my upper right arm per the instructions and watched in awe as the dark purple spot became almost invisible against my skin.
Though a majority of the pool is covered in shade, the sun was shining with a vengeance this day, and the sticker let me know it. I had to reapply sunscreen twice in just under a two-hour period. I couldn't tell if I wasn't applying enough to begin with or if the product was just absorbing super quickly, but either way, the spot alerted me I needed more sunscreen.
Post-swim, I hung out on the patio which is shaded by an umbrella, so the UV sticker stayed clear for the remainder of the day. It also stayed secure on my arm, despite getting wet in the pool and rubbing up against the sleeve of my T-shirt. I initially stuck it to my arm around noon and it was roughly 9 p.m. when I peeled it off like a Band-Aid.
I also used the stickers on a sunny trip to the zoo. Most of the exhibit wasn't shaded, and though I applied sunscreen twice before even heading in to see the animals, the sticker stayed pale purple the entire time.
Cons to consider when using SpotMyUV stickers
I went into this experiment assuming that when the UV sticker turned purple, I should reapply sunscreen all over my body. However, I could see how some people might assume they only need to reapply in that one specific area.
Also, because the sticker is so lightweight and non-irritating, you don't feel it and might forget it's on your skin. In that case, I would suggest placing the UV sticker in a spot you're likely to have eyes on throughout the day, like your forearm or outer wrist.
The bottom line
I can honestly say I'm impressed by the SpotMyUV UV Detection Stickers and will absolutely be using them again. Unlike my trip to the beach, I came out of both scenarios with rosy cheeks, but no sunburn. The stickers stay stuck to the skin for hours and are quick to change color when it's time to reapply sunscreen.
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