With Aussies living well and truly through the summer season right now, the message around sun protection is always heard – apply the sunscreen and wear a hat. Wearing sunglasses sometimes comes in third or just isn’t mentioned. It should be mentioned more often and there is some real advice around the right pair for you, and we don’t mean fashion advice.

Sunglasses can be found for $10 or even $500, some are priced high based on brand or style but those $10 service station sunnies are just nasty. Here are some reasons why you should be investing in a decent pair.

Mark Visser – Maui Jim Ambassador

Allow you to see better in the dark. No, not by wearing your sunglasses at night. It’s about the time it takes your eyes to adjust from light to dark. Bright sunlight bleaches the photoreceptors and lengthens the time it takes your eyes to adjust to the dark. Normally, your eyes should adapt fully to the dark within 30 minutes. Being in bright sunlight for two to three hours can delay the adaptation by hours though so by protecting our eyes, you shorten that adaptation period making us better night drivers, skiers and dog walkers!

Wearing non-protective sunglasses is actually worse than going without. If sunglasses offer shade but don’t offer UVA and UVB protection, they’ll cause your eyes to dilate (pupils get larger) which exposes your eyes to more of those harmful rays. To combat the harmful effects of the sun, we should wear a pair of quality polarised sunglasses because they block out harmful UV rays and eliminate glare.

Where’s the one place you can’t apply sunscreen? Your eyes!! This leaves the thin, delicate skin around your eyes, as well as your eyes themselves, unprotected. In fact, 5 to 10% of all skin cancer occurs around the eyes. Look for the Skin Cancer Foundation seal the next time you shop for sunglasses, and select a high quality pair of polarised sunglasses to help protect the area around your eyes from harm.

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Age-proof your eyes! Leaving the eyes exposed can cause premature ageing. Potential damage from UV rays includes sunburns on the eye’s surface, cataracts, macular degeneration and even cancer of the eye and surrounding skin. In addition, this delicate skin is the first place we form wrinkles so protecting the eye area keeps us younger for longer.

Safe doesn’t mean ugly. With all of the above in mind you would assume that to be safe and protected you’re giving up on fashion. That is not the case. Many major sunglasses brands offer adequate sun protection and you’ll look great wearing them still. Only one major brand though has the Skin Cancer Foundation’s seal of approval. Maui Jim sunglasses have been recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation as an effective UV filter for the eyes and surrounding skin. They also have our seal of approval for great looks.