Sunglasses are great for deflecting the sun, hiding hangovers, and spicing up your outfit, but it turns out they serve a greater function. If you wear the right ones, they’ll actually prevent wrinkles. Dr. Ava Shamban, a Beverly Hills dermatologist and author of Heal Your Skin, says there are two ways your shades can protect your face. “Wearing sunglasses will prevent squinting, and thus help prevent crow’s feet,” says Shamban. “They also block out UV rays so the fragile skin around the eyes is protected from sun damage. But, the glasses must have adequate UV filters in them.”
Reflective and ultra-dark lenses might seem like they let in less light and protect the delicate eye area more than light lenses, but Shamban says that’s not the case; UV filters matter most. In fact, wearing lenses without UV protection might actually cause you harm. “Aside from damaging UV rays getting through the lenses, they can hurt your eyes and vision,” says Dr. Shamban. “Lenses without UV protection can contribute to the formation of cataracts.”
The frames don’t matter (though the bigger the glass, the more skin you’re protecting). Look for a little sticker on the glasses or actually read the label or booklet included with any sunglasses you might purchase to make sure they offer adequate UV protection. “Wraparound styles generally give the best coverage because a lot of UV rays can still get at the eye area via the open sides of the frames,” she says.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should skip sunscreen. Make sure it’s on your nose and around the eye area before going outside.