Tanning mate

Ed Phillips, a final year Product Design student at BrunelUniversity, has designed an innovative, handy-sized tanning mate called mytan.


The device accurately measures sun strength before providing the correct strength of sunscreen to protect the user. As if this was not enough, the handy tan mate warns a sunbather if he or she is in danger of getting sunburnt. mytan could be set to revolutionise the way we tan.


mytan determines a person’s skin type, the sun’s intensity, the time they plan to spend in the sun and dispenses the necessary strength sun lotion to prevent them from burning.


Skin type is determined in three steps. Firstly, the user enters information about their skin colour, hair colour, eye colour, quantity of freckles and colour of skin when tanned. Secondly, mytan measures the sun’s intensity with an inbuilt UV index sensor. Finally, the user enters the amount of time that they plan to spend in the sun. Using this information, mytan dispenses the necessary strength sunscreen to help people tan safely.


“Many of us consider a suntan to be the number one summer accessory – they feel better with one, and so they forego the risks that are associated with tanning. This is where mytan helps, as it’s designed to cut the risk of burning, whilst still enabling a person to tan. It’s simple – it just makes sure that people apply the correct strength sunscreen to stop them getting burnt,” says Phillips.


mytan dispenses one of 6 different sunscreen factors ranging from 15 to 30 by mixing different ratios of high and low factor sunscreens. When the user needs to reapply or increase the level of sunscreen that they are using an alarm goes off to warn them that the pre-set time is up.


Ed continues: “mytan is portable and small enough to hold comfortably in your hand. It alleviates the need to carry various bottles of differing strength factors and it is refillable, making it more environmentally friendly than traditional sunscreen containers. In addition, mytan holds up to one week’s worth of sunscreen and it can be easily re-filled with sunscreen sachets.”


“mytan is a product of Ed’s enthusiasm and dynamic thinking combined with his foresight to identify a product that people could really benefit from. It could signal the demise of the flocks of sunburnt Brits we see every summer on the beaches and in the parks,” says Paul Turnock, Design Director at Brunel’s School of Engineering and Design.