Fashion & Accessories

By Candace Bryan

We know we’ve got to protect our skin from the sun, so before we head outside, most of us lather up with sunscreen. But how often do we think about protecting our eyes? Sunglasses can be a great accessory, tying together an outfit or hiding our eyes that haven’t had too much sleep. But sunglasses are also important for our health, and wearing them on a regular basis can prevent serious eye damage.

I asked Dr. Richard A. Norden, an eyecare specialist and renowned celebrity Lasik surgeon for some advice about what kind of sunglasses are ideal, and what are healthy sunglasses-wearing habits.

“Sunglasses are the first line of defense from the summer sun, but not just any sunglasses will get the job done,” he emphasized. “Most quality sunglasses have adequate (95-100%) UV light protection and do the trick. For that reason, they should be worn at all times while outdoors (even on a cloudy day).”

Most of us probably don’t think about sun protection on a cloudy day, but as Dr. Norden points out, the sun’s harmful UV rays are present, even when the sun itself is not. Dr. Norden also reminded me that, “Sunglasses also help to prevent squinting and loss of elastin, both of which accelerate development of crows’ feet (wrinkles) around the eyes. They can also protect against squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma (the most common type of skin cancer), sebaceous gland carcinoma and melanoma.”

If you want to go a little more funky and casual, look no further than these floral Stella McCartney frames. Available at Stella McCartney boutiques

So clearly sunglasses are more than just an accessory, but when you wear sunglasses, you (obviously) want to look stylish, too. Fortunately, there are a lot of beautiful sunglasses that also have the necessary UV protection. Here are just a few trendy, UV-protection sunglasses from some of our favorite eyewear brands.

Originally published July 2013
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