How to Test If Sunglasses Have UV Protection?

When you think of summer, you probably have sandy beaches, lapping seawater, and the sun bathing you in its nice and toasty sunlight.

Those do sound nice, I got to admit.

Now, what you’ll do next is to shove all of those down the trash because those are partly untrue.

Except for that “sunbathing” bit, that is. 

If you’re living in the tropics or you’re nearby the equator, you’ll know what that’s the way it is.

Just imagine most of the year, you have the sun bearing down your shoulders the entire time.

With this heat all the time, you’d think it’ll make everyone living there used to the summers.

But that’s where you’re mistaken.

Summer is a different kind of beast with too much sun and too little protection safeguarding you against it.

Because, yes, the sun is good for both your mental and physical health when you soak in as much Vitamin B as you can, no doubt about that.

But there’s a thing called “too much”, and that’s going to mess you up in the long run big time, especially if you’re not equipped to handle it.

Why UV Protection?

Other than being the cause of many skin cancers, too much exposure to the sun is bound to leave long-lasting damages to your eyes, as well.

Macular degeneration and a greater risk for cataracts to name a few of those outcomes for mentioned damages.

Enter: the Ultraviolet (UV) Protection.

This feature is common for sunglasses everywhere.

Or, well, the UV protection is commonly ADVERTISED for sunglasses everywhere.

It’s normal for marketing strategies to hype up a mundane thing with tons of jargon and flowery descriptions for it to milk as many wallets as it can.

Because of these, scams frequently get squeezed in-between the legit ones, so you better be on your toes when you’re eying some pairs of shades!

Luckily for you, here are some tips on how to test the sunglasses you chose for that authentic UV protection.

Consult a Professional

If you’re going to be careful, you might as well go straight to the source itself.

And that’s when the optician or the optometrist comes in!

An optometrist’s area of expertise is anything related to one’s eyes; be it an eye abnormality or eyewear.

Of course, consulting one will be much more straight-to-the-point as the optometrist has the complete equipment to examine whether or not your sunglasses have legit UV protection.

“Complete equipment” makes it sound like it has a bunch of tangled wires and motherboards involved, but the optometrist just needs one thing.

And it’s the spectrophotometer.

It kind of looks like a fax machine with its printer part or even the keypad!

But it’s going to do no such thing as a spectrophotometer that measures the exact measurements of the UV protection coating the lenses. 

Afterward, they’ll relay to you whatever the outcome is!

Of course, as the optometrist is also considered a doctor, you might need to pay a fee at the end of this consultation 

Know What They’re Made Of

A mere glance does not instantly tell you whether your sunglasses have UV protection or not.

This means you’ll have to dig deeper.

Right off the bat, if a brand is selling a pair of sunnies for maybe below a hundred bucks while it’s advertised to have UV protection, then it has a strong possibility for it to be a fake.

Okay, so maybe that’s too harsh. 

A cheap pair of sunglasses that features “100% UV protection” or “UV 400” doesn’t mean it has zero UV protection.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll get 40% if you’re lucky.

Bottom line: cheap sunglasses with 100% UV protection are more likely to be false.

Of course, just because that’s the way it is doesn’t mean expensive brands out there are as legit as they can be!

Normally, materials such as polycarbonate and Trivex are used to guarantee complete UV protection as they possess this innately.

Because of this, having polycarbonate or Trivex can stand alone when it already has UV protection!

But it’s due to this that these lenses are far more expensive than the usual pair of sunglasses.

So, if you’re set on having that reassurance for high-quality protection, then you’ll need to invest in it!

Flash ‘Em!

All right, do you know about that artificial light that goes across the length of your paper bills or your credit card to get some line of numbers from them?

Well, you’ll be needing that for this test.

To reveal the security codes built into them, you’ll need a flashlight that exclusively emits ultraviolet light. Through this, those codes will appear

Now, set your sunglasses on top of the paper bill or credit card.

If you flash the UV light on it without passing through the lens, then congrats! You have a pair of UV-protected sunglasses!

But, if you’re still able to read the code when the light passed through the lens, that’s a resounding failure on its part.

It’s fairly easy to do as the only thing you’ll need is the UV flashlight, unless that’s a thing that you don’t see a lot from where you’re from.

In that case, you are given good luck with your hunt!

Is the Dark Side on the Right Track?

Shockingly, having dark-tinted lenses does nothing to contribute to UV protection.

Why is that?

Okay, think of each time you’re in a dark area with little light around you.

Do you remember being able to see outlines of your surroundings after a few seconds of adjusting despite the minimal light?

Well, that’s your pupils dilating to take in as much light is available to somewhat see your surroundings, which is why your eyes tend to sting when you’re suddenly bombarded by light.

Now, if you’ll use a dark-tinted lens, your pupils will dilate without you knowing to reach for the light your lenses are filtering from you.

But that’s all those lenses are protecting from you: light.

So, you probably get the gist already on why dark-tinted lenses are bad for you.

Although it blocks you from sunlight, the UV rays are not filtered as they’ll cause more damage to your eyes now that they’re much more sensitive than usual.

It’s not good, that’s for sure.

Final Words

UV protection is a crucial feature that every pair of sunglasses should have!

As times are changing, the summers are getting harsher than the last, so you’ll need all of the protection you can get to fend off that harmful light.

Through these tests, you’ll be aware of what sunglasses you’re getting into and have an idea on which brand you should trust now that you know their inner workings.

You best use this knowledge wisely.

About Tessa Reynolds

Hey, I'm Tessa. I like to do makeup, especially eye makeup. So, I always take inspiration about how I can do better eye makeup that makes my eyes beautiful. Along with makeup, I'm also a big fan of sunglasses, and I always test new glasses that go with my curly hair.

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