The secret to sunnies

Sunglasses will be a vital piece of your summer survival kit. We use them so often that we don’t even think about them anymore, but there’s more to these accessories than meets the eye—the whole point of them is to protect your delicate eyes from the harmful rays of the sun, something that’s particularly important given the scorching temperatures we’ve had of late, but do you know how they actually manage to do that? No? Then read on for the secret to sunnies…

Sunglasses have been specifically designed to block bright sunlight, blue light and harmful UV rays from entering your eyes, covering both visible and invisible light to provide complete protection. But, the most important aspect of them concerns ultraviolet radiation—excessive exposure to UV rays can cause both short- and long-term damage so it’s vital to have that level of protection in place, but they’re also used to reduce glare and block out high-energy visible light (blue light) with a lot of manufacturers tinting the lenses accordingly.

In order to provide suitable protection you should look for sunglasses that block a high level of radiation, and ideally they should filter out or reflect 95-100% of UVA and UVB light with wavelengths of up to 400mm. You’ll be able to tell this by looking at the label—glasses that meet this requirement will often be labelled as “UV400”—but make sure to consider the style as well.

Oversized shades aren’t just a fashion statement but can offer a high level of protection, completely covering the eye area to ensure no stray light gets in (if you get the fit right), and look for those that have broad temple arms to offer additional protection. Don’t be fooled into thinking that darker lenses means more protection either—it’ll all about the filtration value, and dark shades that aren’t high-quality could actually do more harm than good as they’ll encourage the pupil to open wider which could, in turn, let in more harmful rays.

Of course, whilst sunnies are practical items at the most basic of levels, they can be a core part of your look too. They’re the ultimate summer fashion accessory and can be the perfect way to complement your style, and with so many designs to choose from there’ll be something for every look necessary. Whether you’re after the cool style of the aviator or want a bit of retro chic with oversized or cats eye frames you can’t go wrong, so next time you whip out your sunnies make sure to remember their secret and you’ll have a newfound appreciation for your summer accessory.