Unlike Canada, you can get a sunburn on Christmas Day in Queensland, Australia. The predicted forecast on December 25 could feel like 34℃ and come with an extreme UV Index of 12, meaning any person without sunscreen can expect a sunburn in as little as 15 minutes. It is, unfortunately, no surprise that Queensland has the highest melanoma (skin cancer) rate in the world. Waterloo-based startup Suncayr may hold part of the preventative solution, and it’s putting it into action.

Precautions like avoiding peak sun exposure, wearing wide-brimmed hats, and generously applying SPF 30+ sunscreen, are some of the ways locals and tourists protect their skin from the sun. A new product that will work in tandem with a broader sun protection plan are Suncayr’s SPOT UV stickers – these are the first clinically proven tool to indicate when sunscreen is no longer providing effective protection. Directly applied to the skin, each sticker changes colour when it’s time to reapply sunscreen. SPOTs are also durable, as they are water and towel resistant and only need to be applied once per day.

Suncayr SPOT sticker colour changingSuncayr’s SPOT sticker changing colour to indicate that it’s time to reapply sunscreen.

The stickers launch in Australia today during National Skin Cancer Action Week, an initiative run by Cancer Council Australia to bring awareness and education about skin cancer. Free trials of SPOTs are available through Suncayr’s website and will ship in time for the holidays. Made in Canada and packaged in Australia, the sticker designs are kid-friendly, and fun to use.

“Kids love watching the reversible colour change of SPOTs. It helps them learn about sunscreen hands-on. They instantly become engaged with sunscreen, and this will help them stay safe outdoors. We like to think that SPOTs make sun safety simplified.” – Andrew Martinko, CEO of Suncayr

The Suncayr team has put over three years and 30 skilled researchers into developing these smart stickers. The founders Andrew Martinko, Chad Sweeting, and Derek Jouppi are all University of Waterloo graduates and previously won a Velocity Fund $25K prize in 2015 and are one of over 80 startups currently working from the Velocity Garage startup incubator. Learn more about Suncayr.

“We’ve been developing this technology since May of 2014 when Velocity Science opened. This launch is not only important for our journey as entrepreneurs but for us it is an opportunity to thank and acknowledge everyone who has believed in and supported our team for the last 3.5 years. It feels great that we can deliver on our promises and finally send out an amazing product that can really help families and kids.” – Derek Jouppi, COO of Suncayr