In this day and age, it seems like you or someone you know has an iPhone. That little invention from Apple has spawned thousands of apps, many of which are forgettable and do little but waste your time. However, there are some with an emphasis on skincare (including Truth In Aging's own app), we decided to take a look at some of the more promising downloadable applications that are meant to help you protect yourself from UV damage. These apps can be used all year round, yes, even in winter (sunlight can reflect off the snow and cause skin damage) and can be helpful in the right hands. But since you’re probably too busy playing Angry Birds on your smartphone, we’ve decided to weed through them and give you some background on some of the major ones.

Coppertone MyUV Alert: Not much going on here as it is more of a marketing stunt than anything useful. The only thing I can use from this one is the UV level (which is very nicely done from a graphic standpoint) and reapplication reminder which will make a noise when I need to reapply. However I have to work it out myself and that doesn’t seem very helpful; I could easily just use a kitchen timer instead of this reminder. Coppertone may be one of the best selling brands because of its commercial appeal but we don’t think much of it and the same can be said about this app.

EWG: I was excited to see an application from the EWG (Environmental Working Group) but then quickly disappointed when I realized that it didn’t do much. All it seems to do is give the ratings behind the best sunscreens, something that I can do on their site.  The point of an app is to go above and beyond what a site can do, it is supposed to add another dimension to the user experience. On the EWG app they do list ingredients to avoid but they don’t even say why, they need more information regarding chemicals and the effects on the body. If they spruced up this app a bit and made it more interactive, people might become more aware of what they’re putting on their skin.

Sun Alert: You have to pay for this one but it is probably worth it and if you aren’t willing to spend the cash, there is a free (also known as LITE) option with fewer features. It is beautifully designed with three options: Skin Type, SPF, and Environment. You start by picking your skin type (color) from a group of options. Then move on to how much SPF you’re applying, and finally choose the environment you’re in. You can even choose if you’re at the beach with the umbrella or without one which is a super neat feature. Finally you hit start and it’ll let you know when you need to reapply. Simple and well thought out and a good way to finally know when you need to reapply.

UV Monitor: This one comes from Olay and it fails, miserably. First, it is only for people in Australia and New Zealand, which I can sort of understand. Australia has some strong UV rays due to it being right under a hole in the ozone. But then it only lets you choose set places on Australia and New Zeland, iPhones come with built in GPS so why not have a GPS tracking system which would allow people the chance to pinpoint their location more precisely instead of limiting users. Like with Coppertone, this is more of a marketing tool as they spend more time trying to sell you Olay products than anything UV related.

My UV Alert: This one from La Roche Posay first asks you to choose your skin color then your skin type. They have the basics, from dry to acne prone. Finally, it lets you know when you’ll need skin protection. So if the UV outside goes above 4 (and that’s apparently my recommended protection level) my phone will let me know that its time to cover up with a notification. The app as a whole is beautifully made with more emphasis on advice and sun care and less on trying to sell me products.

Which leads me to my final point, none of these apps are complete as it seems like they are all missing something. From looking at them, your best bet is to first find a proper sunscreen using EWG, after that you can delete it as you’ll probably never use it again. Heck you don't even need that, just see what we recommend here. And, excuse us for tooting our own horn, the Truth In Aging app has a whole section on sunscreen ingredients. Next, download the Sun Alert and My UV Alert apps as they’ll make a good tag team. My UV Alert can be started and it’ll let you know when to cover up. Then turn on Sun Alert and it will let you know when to reapply sunscreen with the built in timer. Or if you have .99 cents, you can buy the full version of Sun Alert that also comes with added features that equate to what you’ll get from the tag team. The choice is yours, two free apps or one deluxe app for .99 cents.

The biggest downside however is that if you’re a mom trying to monitor kids at the beach, one might be in the sand and the other might be in the water, it would be too hard to monitor all of them and their skin care needs with these apps. And not everyone has an iPhone or is willing to deal with the constant updates, which is why there is something called My UV Sense, which you can expect a review of in the near future. Hope these reviews helped you make the most out of your iPhone and try digging around for skin care apps, there's a bunch of them in there.