Smartphone Add-On Camera Lets You See Beneath the Surface of Your Skin


What if you could look right below the surface of your skin to see how damaged your skin is — and whether or not those expensive face creams are actually working? NURUGO’s SmartUV camera and app is hoping to do just that.

The Nurugo camera is a small accessory for your smartphone. Credit:

Visible light reflects off of the outer layers of the skin, but ultraviolet light (UV) goes below to the second layers. This slick smartphone add-on uses a UV-imaging camera to reveal what’s right beneath the surface of your skin.

NURUGO’s main intention is to help people monitor their skin health and catch early signs of potentially dangerous problems — such as melanoma — before they even become visible. It can also detect areas where you may have missed when applying sunscreen — an important part of a good skin regime. Since sunscreen is designed to block ultraviolet light, it appears black on the UV camera.

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Have you recently bought an expensive face cream that promises to erase sun damage? The UV camera, if used regularly, can show you how much your skin has improved — or hasn’t — over time.

The Nurugo attaches over your smartphone’s camera. Credit:

At the moment, NURUGO’s SmartUV camera is not widely available, but it is the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of $105 dollars will get you one of your choice. It’s available for both iPhone and Android and comes in two different colors — black and silver. When it does become available for purchase, NURUGO projects that its retail price will be around $195 per unit.


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