Deal or Dud: Spot My UV

Summer fun in the sun is no fun at all when your skin is not properly protected.

But too many of us forget to apply that second round of sunscreen. So how about a colorful reminder?

Consumer Reporter Steve Noviello puts Spot My UV to the Deal or Dud test.

School's out for Shelley Collora's kids: Ava, Nico and little Elle. 

So how do you keep them entertained? The folks at the Gaylord Texan's Paradise Springs Aquatic Park say come on down for plenty of family fun. Just pack your sunscreen.

The first application is a breeze. But if you forget to reapply, you might get burned.

"You really don’t know how bad you missed until you get home later that evening in the bathtub," Shelley said.

That's why we asked Shelley and the kids to help us put Spot My UV to the Deal or Dud test.

Biopolymer technology is advertised as being inside each UV detection sticker. It tells you when it’s time to reapply. 

The stickers start purple on your skin. The instructions say apply to your upper arm.

Shelley applied them on each of Ava's arms. 

Next, apply sunscreen on top of the patch but wait 30 seconds before you rub it in. Once your sunscreen is applied, expose the sticker to the sun and it will turn clear after one minute.

The waterproof stickers are supposed to last 12 hours and will indicate when it's time to reapply sunscreen by turning back to purple.

But after about five minutes, both of Ava’s sticker fell off.

"It was right here," Shelley said. "Maybe I need to do it on super dry skin or something."

Derek Jouppi is one of the product's inventors and says, while the instructions don’t call for it, the skin needs to be prepped in advance.

"You want it to be clean. You want it to be dry," he said.

Jouppi also recommends to put the sticker on the back of a kid’s shoulder instead of putting it on their arm. It was another tip not listed.

No big deal. We've got more this time. 

Noviello and Shelley both tried it out this time instead. They prepped their skin, let the sunscreen soak in and then rubbed.

The product turned clear, but Shelley noticed something.

"As I wiped away the sunscreen a little of the purple color came back," she said.

Jouppi says that's an indication the product is working, and they were not using enough sunscreen. So they added more.

"The second I wipe it, it’s clear," Shelley said. "But once you take the sunscreen off, it's slowly fading to purple."

So they added just a little bit more and Noviello’s sticker stayed purple.

"Maybe I'm not using the right SPF," he said.

"The research supports that people don’t use sunscreen properly, and that's what caused us to create this product in the first place," Jouppi said.

Which is kind of the "burn" here. People don't know how to use sunscreen. But Spot My UV, which is only effective when sunscreen is used correctly, offers little or no instructions on how.

"All of the answers that you’ve been asking are available on available on our website,," Jouppi said.

"Well, but they’re not," Noviello said. "We read the FAQs, and it doesn't say apply to clean dry skin."

It also doesn't say put the sticker on a kid’s back or remind folks that they need to allow their sunscreen to dry for up to 20 minutes to avoid what Shelley experienced.

"It faded clear. And then I went and splashed around the water for a second, and it started turning purple" Shelley said.

"It's called Spot My UV. What do you think? Deal or Dud?" Noviello asked.

"It’s a dud," Shelley said.

Jouppi’s rebuttal?

"It's going to take a little bit of a learning curve to get used to the first time you use it," he said. "But by the second or third time, it will become brainless to use."

Spot My UV has been clinically tested to work best under specific circumstances. But as we discovered in our test, it can use a few more instructions.

The inventor seems to agree.

Following FOX 4’s interview, Jouppi contacted us to say they had beefed up the instructions on their website and are considering adding new instructions to their packaging next year, which would address the difficulties we had, like best placement, and recommended wait times.