Poppy Topping, a recent Product Design and Technology graduate, is the brains behind ‘Sunny’, an innovative sun cream applicator and monitor that is designed to show you in real-time where you might have ‘missed a bit’.
Recognising the alarming statistics that 40-50% of total UV damage occurs before the age of 20, Poppy felt compelled to address the issue by creating a device that not only protects children but also provides them with a sense of ownership over their sun protection habits.
Poppy’s astronaut-themed product – designed as part of her final year project – comprises two applicators and a docking station.
The applicators are equipped with airless pumps that deliver a precise 2.5ml of sun cream per pump through integrated brushes, ensuring a mess-free application.
The inclusion of two applicators allows adults and children to apply the cream simultaneously so learning can be promoted through imitation.
The astronaut applicator.
The docking station features an integrated UV camera and a screen that provides a live feed.
The screen displays a black and white image, allowing assessment of the child's sun cream application, with darker areas on the screen indicating better coverage. Once full coverage is achieved, the screen magically transforms the child into an astronaut ready for adventure.
Of the inspiration for Sunny, Poppy said: “Skin care and sun protection has always been important to me, especially growing up and learning more about the consequences of UV exposure on skin and the importance of correct sun protection.
“When you’re a child, your sun protection habits are influenced by the adults around you, and they can have such a big impact on your skin later on in life.
“I thought it was important to give children ownership over sun protection and learn about UV exposure from a young age so they can take this into adulthood. I felt there was a gap in the market for this.”
Poppy has created a working prototype for the applicator, which involved 3D printing components, and an electronics prototype of the docking station that mimics what a user would see when they use the UV camera.
The different components that make ‘Sunny’.
Of the ultimate goal for the product, Poppy said: “In a dream world, I would want to take Sunny to market.
“I’d love to see children aged four-to-six use it on a daily basis, empowering them with a sense of responsibility and ownership in protecting their skin, therefore reducing the potential risks of future skin cancer development.”
Sunny was showcased in the School of Design and Creative Arts Degree Show and Foundation Exhibition Student Showcase 2023.
Further information on the product can be found on the exhibition’s dedicated webpage and in the below video.