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Jun 22, 2017
by Vivant Skin Care
Your most important fashion accessory this summer is not the bag that has a built-in wine pouch and secret pour nozzle. It’s a pair of sunglasses.
And not just because they make everybody look celebrity-chic. Sunglasses provide essential protection from UV exposure that causes age-accelerating photo-damage and eye disease.
The skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate making it more susceptible to damage caused by the sun’s rays. Things like fine lines, crow’s feet, and age spots. The area is also vulnerable to skin cancer. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, “despite their small surface area, up to 10 percent of all skin cancers occur on the eyelids.” 1 Additionally, sun exposure can lead to macular degeneration, cataracts, and other diseases of the eye.
All these issues make your favorite sunnies far more than a fashion statement. The choice of which pair to best protect your visionary assets should be based on more than aesthetic appeal. Here’s what you need to know before purchasing your next pair of sunglasses.
The most important thing to look for is UV rating. If they don’t say 99% to 100% UV protection, they don’t have the protection you need.
A darker lens does not equal more UV protection. UV filtering is done through a chemical process in the glass and has nothing to do with the color of the lens.
Want to see the world through rose-tinted glasses? Go for it. The color doesn’t affect the level of UV protection. What color does do is shift contrast. Rose-tinted glasses increase visual depth, reduce eye strain, and are particularly good for road visibility. Gray lenses keep color true while reducing brightness. Brown increases contrast. Here’s a chart that will help you choose the ideal color based on your activity needs.
Know the difference between polarization and UV protection. Polarization reduces glare for greater comfort especially when you’re around water or other reflective surfaces. UV protection, on the other hand, blocks the sun to avoid photo-damage.
When it comes to sunglasses, size matters. Bigger glasses cover more of the delicate area around eyes. A wrap around style is a good option to minimize sun sneaking in at the periphery.
Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better protection. Cheap sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection guard against photodamage just as well as expensive brands. A higher price tag may get you better quality materials, enhanced clarity. Or it might just get you a designer name.
For added pizzazz and UV protection, make sure you’ve got a great hat to go with your sunglasses. Wide-brimmed is best. And, of course, no discussion about UV protection would be complete without a mention of sunscreen, skin’s top defense and daily requirement.
1 While only a small number of basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs), and melanomas are lethal, eyelid skin cancers can cause significant tissue damage and blindness, and can spread into the nasal and orbital cavities (the area behind the eye).
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