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What is a HYBRID sunscreen?

Updated: Nov 10, 2022

You may have noticed in our marketing and on our packaging that IntegoPro is a hybrid sunscreen formulation. Many people have asked us what this actually means - so we thought our first mini-blog would be a good chance to let you know.

It is widely understood that sun protection is hugely important to protect you from the damaging effect of UV skin damage from the sun and the risk of skin cancer, as well as other problems such as premature aging. There is an overwhelming variety of sunscreens, with an equally overwhelming variety of results and performance. Different ingredients have different benefits, as well as often having downsides. Creating a product that really works is an incredibly complex science. Some ingredients make the product hard to apply and can leave the skin white and ghostly, others can cause irritation and sting your eyes if you sweat or become wet. These are all important considerations to balance when creating a product and considering who the user will be and why they are using it.

At Intego Sun Protection our development team has spent many years considering all the options and trying to create a product that works for sports users. We know our sunscreen needs to last as long as possible, especially considering that an athlete will often only have one chance to apply it at the start of the day. It also needs to keep working in a wet or sweaty environment, such as sailing or on a long bike ride. We have found that in order to achieve this level of performance a hybrid sunscreen is one of the most powerful solutions.

So what is it? Hybrid sunscreen is a product that contains both mineral and chemical active ingredients. Most sunscreens only contain one or the other. Hybrids combine the UV-reflecting properties of mineral ingredients which sit on top of the skin and the UV-absorbing and altering abilities of chemical ingredients. This combination in one formula is more effective in preventing skin damage than either type on its own.

Mineral sunscreens contain either zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. The zinc oxide ingredient is often chalky, which many people don’t like due to the white cast it can give the skin, especially when they have darker skin tones. The mineral ingredients form a barrier on the skin, reflecting the harmful UV rays.

Chemical sunscreens, which can be composed of a number of different kinds of chemical filters. Some of these can cause all sorts of negative effects such as eye burning and irritation for more sensitive skin types, but we actively avoid using these ingredients. Some are even banned in countries across the world, mainly because of their damaging effects on the environment, specifically to aquatic life. There are a great deal of pro's and con's with chemical filters, but these ingredients generally apply more easily and are virtually clear on the skin.

Testing has shown that the combination of chemical and mineral filters in what has come to be referred to as a hybrid sunscreen, results in a greater SPF. Often with lower concentrations and therefore a reduction of the negative effects from each.

Dermatologists tend to recommend that you use sunscreen with at least 7% zinc. This mineral ingredient will not only reflect a lot of the UV, but it also has skin-calming benefits that help when we get sun exposure.

So give IntegoPro a try and see how you get on. It's a little thinker than other types of sunscreen, but you just need to adjust the way you apply it. Once applied it should be virually invisible and will give you the protection you need to got out there and enjoy your sport..

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