There is so much to consider when shopping for sunglasses, from finding the right shape and size to knowing what tint is best and how much UV protection you need. The important thing to remember is that it’s all about what works for you. Your face is a unique work of art, so your sunglasses should be your “frame.” In addition to making you look like movie star, sunglasses are one of several important precautions you can take to help stay free from sun-damage while indulging in your favorite “sunnie” activities. We’re here to help you have fun navigating the wonderful world of shades in a stress-free way. Read on!
What To Consider When Buying Sunglasses
Sunglasses, shades or sunnies have been a fashion staple for decades; countless styles have come and gone but a handful have stood the test of time. Shades are a definite must-have fashion accessory for both men and women.
It might be tempting to buy the cheap-and-cheerful shades you see at a gas station or dollar store but you can’t trust the quality, even if they have UV stickers on them. Just remember when you spot a super-cool pair in the window that the primary purpose of your sunglasses is to help protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Dr. Brenda Li, one of midtown Toronto’s leading optometrists, tells us exactly why you shouldn’t trust dollar store sunglasses:
“Sunglasses are meant to help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays and prevent things like cataracts and melanoma. You should always purchase your sunglasses from a licensed seller, like your local optometrist because you know that you can trust the quality of their merchandise. While dollar store sunglasses may have UV stickers on them, the UV protection comes from a coating on the lens and if that protective coating is of lesser quality and starts to peel, melt or crack then your eyes will not be protected from the sun.”
When shopping for sunglasses, make sure they provide 99-100 per cent UV protection. Keep in mind that the more they wrap around your head, the better they will protect your eyes.
There are so many colors, shapes and sizes of sunglasses available in a variety of materials from plastic to light weight metal but some have become more popular than others because they tend to compliment any face shape. The best rule of thumb is to avoid shades that are too matchy-matchy with your bone structure. What does this mean? If you have round features, don’t choose rounded frames; if you have angular features, pointy styles like cat’s-eye and oversized geometric frames may not suit you best.
Aviator: The most notable features of aviator sunglasses are their curved lenses and linear brow-bar. Unlike other styles, they tend to flatter most face shapes because they are both curvy and linear.
Circular: Rounded frames come in many sizes from the classic John Lennon mini-circles to the oversized circular frames popularized by Audrey Hepburn. In general, rounded frames best compliment angular faces but because they come in so many variations don’t hesitate to give them a try regardless of your face shape.
Geometric: Sunglasses with geometric-shaped frames often fall into the oversized category and are meant to make a statement. The great thing about oversized frames is that the more they wrap around your head, the more they protect your eyes. Some prescription glasses wearers choose funky, oversized non-prescription sunglasses to wear over their regular prescription frames.
Wayfarer: What’s a wayfarer you ask? Think of the other classic Ray-Ban style, after aviators. In production since 1956, Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer design revolutionized the sunnies market by breaking away from metal frames and designing these plastic-framed shades that come in many colors and flatter just about any face shape.
Protection, Protection, Protection!
Once you have chosen a style of sunglasses that suit your face, there are still some important things to consider, like which tint is best.
Keep these tips in mind while shopping for your next favorite (and functional) fashion accessory:
- Sunglasses tints come in a variety of different colors: grey offers the most true-to-life color, while brown-tinted sunglasses generally provide better protection than the others.
- Wear sunglasses in highly reflective environments, such as water or sand, even when you’re sitting beneath a canopy, umbrella or sail.
- If you spend a lot of time in places where sunglasses can’t be worn, try UV absorbing contact lenses.
- Yes, contact lens wearers should wear sunglasses too!
What else can you do to stay sun-safe besides wearing shades? If you’re headed to camp this summer, check whether your camp has become a SUN AWARE certified camp by visiting the Melanoma Network of Canada’s Screen Me website. If your camp isn’t certified, let them know that any camp can register for free. And have a look around this site; there’s lots of valuable info here!