Do you have a pair of shades that make you look and feel as fly as Kendall Jenner did in Cannes? (Seriously, just look at her swagger in her white and black Kate Young for Tura sunnies.) You’re not alone. The accessory is a summer must-have — not to just make a look, but also to protect your peepers.
But what exactly do you need to make ’em last, all while keeping your eyes protected? Good question. In honor of National Sunglasses Day today, we caught up with Sunglass Hut’s VP of Product Jill Walters (a.k.a. the Ultimate Expert in Shades) to find out. Scroll down to learn her top tricks and tips.
1. Look for Lenses With 100 Percent UVA/UVB Protection
“Extended exposure to the sun’s UV rays has been linked to eye damage, so it is absolutely important that your sunglasses have 100% UVA/UVB protection,” says Walters. “Always ask about UV protection before purchasing a pair of sunglasses.” Follow Freida Pinto’s lead: Her Westward Leaning “Concorde” glasses feature 100% UV protection.
2. Take the Time to Clean Them Properly
“After you’ve invested your time and money in finding the perfect pair, it’s important to take good care of them,” she says. “Use a sunglass cleaning solution and microfiber cloth. Don’t fog the lenses with your breath and wipe them with a T-shirt, which can compound dust and dirt into the lens and cause scratches.”
3. Avoid Crazy Shape-Shifting
“To ensure your sunglasses have a long lifetime, don’t place them on the dashboard of your car as this can cause them to warp,” says Walters. “And try not to place them on your head like a headband — this will cause them to stretch out.”
4. Remember, You Need to Wear Sunnies on Cloudy Days, Too
It was late afternoon when Kate Beckinsale put on these Preen by Thorton Bregazzi circle frames. And even though the sun was setting, it was important that she kept them on. “UV rays can pierce through clouds causing harmful glare and affect our eyes,” she says. “It’s important to find sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection or try polarized lenses that virtually eliminate bright light from reflective surfaces and changes how you see. Plus, sunglasses help eliminate squinting on those cloudy days too, which means fewer wrinkles and crow’s feet. They’re like sunscreen that won’t wash away!”
— Sharon Clott Kanter