Sunglasses | Buyer’s Guide
Buying a pair of sunglasses is not as simple as it seems. Getting those shades at the gas station or the grocery store might be fun and all, but you really should think twice before doing so.
A wrong set of shades can be extremely harmful to your vision. And in case you buy a poorly made pair, chances are they won’t last very long before the arms snap or the joints bend, causing them to hang crookedly across the bridge of your nose.
What is really interesting is the fact that most sunglasses in the world are either produced by or owned outright by one company. Luxottica of Italy is a monster responsible for well-known brands as well as lesser known brands.
Luxottica’s extreme market share means that prices aren’t always fairly set. In this guide we sought to find the sunglasses that represent the best value in terms of quality, a feat made difficult when different sunglasses are appealing to different people for different reasons.
So here are the main things you should consider before buying a pair of sunglasses:
As we’ve just pointed out, this is the most essential factor to consider, since ultraviolet rays are as damaging to your skin as they are to your eyes.
For that reason, always look for sunglasses with either the 100% UV protection or UV400 labeling. This last one means that all wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, including both UVA and UVB rays will be blocked.
Every face is different and although you’re totally free to choose whatever sunglass design you want to wear, there is a way to find a pair that works well with your face shape and complements your features.
So how do you pick the best sunglasses for your face shape?
There are four main face shapes: oval, round, heart, and square. First, you need to find out which one is yours. Simply look in the mirror or have a friend or a family member help you figure that out.
A good rule of thumb is that round faces (oval and round) go well with angular frames while angular faces (heart and square) go well with round frames.
Sunglasses lenses are made primarily using two materials: glass and polycarbonate.
So which one is better, glass or plastic lenses?
The clear winner here is plastic lenses. They are highly resistant to impact, therefore more long-lasting and safer for kids, lighter, more affordable, more effective in shielding your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, as well as more comfortable to wear over long periods of time.
However, glass lenses do come with some advantages too. They’re more resistant to scratching than plastic—although you can always apply an anti-scratch coating to your polycarbonate lenses—and they also provide the highest optical quality there is.
Polarized vs Non-polarized
Both of them do a great job in decreasing sunlight intensity. However, the difference between polarized and non-polarized lenses is that the former also reduce glare and provide sharper contrast, which results in increased visual clarity and comfort—which make them ideal for driving and water activities.