New sunscreen product aims to help protect user’s skin

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – The weather’s getting warmer, pools are opening up, and people are slathering on the sunscreen to protect their skin.

But dermatologists warn many people don’t wear enough sunscreen or don’t realize how quickly it can wear off.

A Chapel Hill man is working on a product he says can help people better protect their skin.

It’s called “Sunscreenr” and it shows exactly where sunscreen has been applied to the skin.

“It’s something that makes the invisible visible,” explained Dave Cohen, who is developing the product.

Through Sunscreenr, areas with sunscreen appear dark whereas other areas of the skin appear lighter.

This allows people to see areas they may have missed.

Cohen is running a Kickstarter campaign hoping to bring Sunscreenr to market by the end of the year.

Right now, the prototype looks like a small camera attached to a computer, but ultimately the device will be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

Cohen demonstrated how the product will work.

“You turn it on and you bring it up to your eye and by the time you get it to your eye the screen inside will be on showing you a live view of your sunscreen coverage,” he said.

It also records video so you can check your own sunscreen coverage.

Dr. Sinae Kane with Duke Dermatology emphasizes the importance of wearing sunscreen every day.

She says sunscreen can protect people from skin cancer, but it’s vital that all exposed skin is covered.

“The UV rays can get through your house window, your car window. Even just being outside a few minutes you’re getting exposed, so any part that is exposed needs to be protected,” she said.

Many people who wear sunscreen, or apply it to their kids, say it’s easy to miss spots.

Jodi O’Brien says her two daughters wear sunscreen most days, but sometimes she wonders whether they’re fully protected because it’s so easy to miss a spot.

“Maybe the next day they’ll have a burn mark and I’ll feel really bad about it,” she said.

Cohen hopes Sunscreenr will be in production by the end of the year.

He expects it to cost about $74 initially, but eventually he hopes to mass produce the device and significantly lower the price.

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