Do all sunglasses provide UV protection?

Sunglasses and UV protection

There’s no doubt that sunglasses are a fashion statement, but that doesn’t mean they all provide complete UV protection. If you’ve bought a cheap pair of sunglasses, chances are they aren’t filtering out any of the sun’s harmful UV rays.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at the importance of UV lenses and how to tell if your sunglasses are equipped with them.

What is UV protection and why do I need it?

There are three different kinds of ultraviolet (UV) radiation: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. UV-C is absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer, but it’s still important to protect your eyes from harmful UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Short-term exposure to these harmful UV rays can leave you with sore, red eyes, while long-term exposure can lead to problems with your eyes such as cataracts and skin cancer of the eyelid. That’s why UV protection sunglasses are so important, they can protect your eyes just like sun cream protects your skin. If you’re wearing sun cream, you should also be wearing a good pair of UV sunglasses.

How much UV protection should sunglasses have?

You should always look for sunglasses that block 100% of UV radiation, like our UV400 prescription sunglasses for women and men. Good pairs of sunglasses will have this clearly labelled, but if you’re ever in doubt it’s best to ask the seller for more information.

Brooklyn Sunglasses in Gold

Brooklyn Gold Sun


Harley Sunglasses in Black

Harley Black

How can I tell if my sunglasses are UV protected?

If you’ve already bought a pair of sunglasses and don’t want to go back to the seller to ask, there are ways you can test for UV protection at home.

You’ll need a UV light and a bank card or £10 note. The trick is to shine the UV light through the lenses, onto the built-in security elements of the note or bank card. You might want to try this without the sunglasses first, so you can see where these elements are.

If they shine through your glasses, there isn’t sufficient UV protection in your sunglasses. However, if you can’t see these hidden elements, your sunglasses are 100% protected from UV rays.

Fun fact: Sunglasses are just as important in winter as UV radiation is often higher during the winter months!

What is the difference between polarised and UV protection sunglasses?

Polarised lenses eliminate glare and block 100% of UV rays, whereas standard UV protection sunglasses don’t eliminate glare. Polarised sunglasses are great for outdoor activities in which the sun can reflect from horizontal services, making them great for driving and outdoor sports.

All of our prescription sunglasses for men and women come with UV400 lenses as standard, with the option to add polarised or mirror lenses at checkout.

Finding the perfect pair of UV sunglasses

Now that you know what to look out for, finding your perfect pair of sunglasses should be a lot simpler. Here at Arlo Wolf, we’ve got plenty of stylish options to choose from. You can even pick out 4 pairs to try before you buy! Don’t forget to take a look at our face shapes guide to find the perfect frames for your face shape!