L’Oreal has partnered with researchers at the University of Illinois to create wearable skin patches that can detect fluctuations in skin elasticity and provide insight into the effectiveness of skin care products.

The patches, which are currently being tested on patients, can be directly applied to the skin surface using flexible elastic and contain microscopic piezoelectric actuators and sensors that can measure skin stiffness. 

They are likely to provide insight into the ageing process as well as a range of skin conditions, helping scientists improve their understanding of diseases like scleroderma, psoriasis, eczema, melanoma and other cutaneous disorders which involve changes in the skin’s elasticity.

The devices have been developed by a team of researchers of the University of Illinois including scientists from the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Northwestern University, MC10, L’Oréal R&I Incubator and the University of Arizona.

Lead researcher Professor John Rogers, commented, “Our human clinical tests demonstrate how this type of system can be employed in a hospital setting to assess different types of skin pathologies. We also illustrate how it can be used to determine which type of skincare is best for us – with respect to our age and skin type, for example.”