Many of us are good about using sunscreen; I never forget because it's already in my moisturizer. But if you're going to be in the sun, including just walking or driving, always wear a good pair of sunglasses. What's good? According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UV, or ultraviolet, rays and 75 to 90 percent of visible light. Yet only a few manufacturers carry the AOA's seal of acceptance. So what should you look for in a good pair of sunglasses that won't break the bank?
- Look for sunglasses that have the ANSI Z80.3 code from the American National Standards Institute. It means the lenses block more than 50 percent of UVB rays, the two kinds of ultraviolet light that reach us.
- Amber or orange lenses block some light but they make it hard to distinguish traffic lights, so for driving grey lenses make more sense. Green and brown-colored sunglasses are also fine. Make sure you don't get lenses that are so dark that you can't see curbs, etc.
- Many people like polarized lenses that reduce glare. Remember, though, that they don't block UV rays on their own; they must be specially coated.
- For those who wear prescription sunglasses, photochromic lenses darken automatically when you go outside. Just give them some time to adjust before you hop in the car or hit the beach.
- Large frames, which are all the rage (think Jackie O), are great because they allow less light to get to the eye, and wraparound styles are even better.
I'm a huge fan of the big, bug-eyed sunglasses. They are perfect for people that wear contacts. Unfortunately, when you wear regular glasses, unless you get the geek patrol lenses (ie. wrap around sunglasses) you're really not going to find a pair of sunglasses that clip onto your glasses and cover everything (correct me if I'm wrong).
I've found that wearing contacts almost forces you to get a good, solid pair of UV blocking sunglasses because I've noticed that when I don't, my contacts start to dry out and stick to the eye, making it difficult to see! YIKES! So, maybe contacts are the new sunscreen for the eyes because they force you to do something in terms of coverage.
Wouldn't it be great if someone invented a mascara that gently coated your eye with a non-irritant/poisonous sunscreen every time you blinked. Think about it, you science geniuses (and could I get a cut for the idea?)!!!