Eye Wear SPF!
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Over the next two weeks, The Weekly Beet will present a two-part series on the essentials of how to protect your body from the damaging effects of the sun. This week, The Beet Girls face the sun's powerful rays, seeing the importance of wearing 100% UV protective sunglasses.
The heat is on! With summer in full effect, we're all feeling the sun's rays on our skin, but how many of us are noticing its damaging effects on our eyes? It's easy to see when we're wearing the wrong sunglasses, but it's hard to see when the damage is done! Long-term exposure to the sun's powerful UV radiation without wearing protective eyewear can result in cataracts, irreversible damage to the retina, the lens, the cornea, and the conjunctiva, cancer around the eyelid, and what doctors even call 'sunburn of the eye', or flash burn! Through the years, the media has pushed the importance of using SPF on the skin, when they also should have pushed SPF for the eyes! Like SPF, sunglasses come in different factors or shall we say lenses. Each lens has a specific role in the protection of our eyes and a specific role in the reflection of light. Tinted lenses are good for reducing bright light, while polarized lenses are good for protecting against harsh glares and are to be used while driving or during any outdoor activity. Photochromic lenses change from light to dark according to UV light exposure, while reflective lenses reflect all light instead of absorbing it. To find out more about colored lenses, click here.
With so many brands now producing sunglasses, it's easy to get sidetracked with being cool before being practical. The Aviator, the Jackie O, and the Whitney are just a few of the many icons in sunglass style out there today! But, is there really a difference in sunglasses? Is an Oliver Peoples or a Maui Jim any better than a flea market special? The Beet Girls say, yes, there definitely is! Many cheap sunglasses do not have the required 100% UV-A and UV-B protective lenses. When shopping for sunglasses, play it safe and go for the gold. Head for a specialty store or your local optician. It's just worth it in the long run!
Here are the top 10 tips when shopping for sunglasses:
- Look for sunglasses with 100% of both UV-A and UV-B ray filtration. If the brand doesn't state this, don't buy the shades!
- If you buy cheap sunglasses, be aware that the lenses could be made of plastic with a thin protective coating. Wearing this type of sunglass can be more damaging than not wearing any at all!
- Always wear shades from the hours of 10AM to 4PM and always when on the beach or on the sea.
- Wearing sunglasses helps prevent irreversible sun damage to the eyes such as cataracts, skin cancer around the eyelids, macular degeneration, and further retinal damage.
- If there is not a CE marked on the frame of the sunglasses, don't buy! This symbol certifies the sunglasses fulfill quality regulations.
- Certain medications such as birth control, sulfa drugs, diuretics, and tranquilizers can increase your risk to eye damage from the sun. Wearing sunglasses will help prevent this!
- Sunglasses help to eliminate squinting. The less you squint, the younger the skin around your eyes will look.
- Scientists have recently proven that part of the visible light emanated by the sun known as blue light is also damaging to the eyes. The best lenses to filter blue light are medium to dark lenses with a grey, brown, or green tint.
- If you wear UV protective contact lenses, you must still wear sunglasses.
- Children should definitely wear sunglasses, as their eyes are still developing and are much more vulnerable to sun damage.
It's time to wear eye protective sunglasses! Don't miss a Beet. Stay tuned for next week.
PS. Mary Kent is wearing Ray Ban Aviators and Anthelios SPF 50 by La Roche Posay. Both sunglasses have 100% UV protective lenses.
PPS. Check out Erica Gragg, co-founder of Bikini Boot Camp and Amansala, on Ladies Who Launch.
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