11th August 2014

Boots Opticians and Protect Lenses

By Get Lippie

By Get Lippie

I’ve been a glasses wearer for nigh on 40 years now, and, I’ll be honest, I hate wearing my glasses.  Years of being told I was an “ugly duckling” in my smeared pink plastic NHS frames (complete with eye patch for several years, to boot) as a child, followed by decades of movies and TV using “beautiful woman in glasses” as shorthand for “ugly woman in need of makeover” as a trope , has left me feeling far more comfortable when I’m not wearing my glasses.  I don’t feel “beautiful” in my specs, ever, so discovering long-wear contact lenses was a happy day for me.  I know other women don’t have this problem, and I see beautiful women looking amazing in their glasses every day, but I feel self-conscious in mine whenever I wear them.

Now, whilst I don’t feel beautiful in my glasses, what if you could use your glasses as a beauty aid?  Bear with me, it’ll make sense, I promise.  The skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin on your body, and as such, it’s the most vulnerable to sun damage, caused by UV rays.  We all know that sunglasses should also protect your eyes about UV rays, but did it ever occur to you that your everyday glasses should too?

I was invited to take an eye test at my local branch of Boots recently, and find out more about their services, and their now-standard “Protect” lenses.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Boots eye test, and I was pleasantly surprised at how thorough and professional their sight test now is.  I’ve always been a sufferer of both myopia (short-sightedness) and hyperopia (long-sightedness) after a series of operations on my eyes as a young child, but as I’ve got older, I’ve developed a touch of astigmatism (where the shape of the eyeballs is slightly irregular – rugby instead of soccer balls, if you will).

This time around,  Boots lead me to the – slightly depressing! – conclusion that I can add presbyopia (where the lens has trouble focusing on nearby objects) to that list too.  Simply put, this means reading glasses are now a necessity … I’ve been having trouble focusing on beauty product packaging for a while now, but reading glasses had totally passed me by as a possibility!    I refused varifocals though, I’m not that old.

The Boots eye test also checks for signs of  glaucoma, alongside high blood pressure, and diabetes, both of which can show signs in the eyeballs before the patient might notice any other symptoms. They also photograph the optical nerve and the blood vessels in the eyes to check on your general optical health too.  All of these tests checked out well for me, which is a great relief, but it’s good to know that Boots are prepared for all these eventualities.

New “every day” glasses by Givenchy.

But, back to all things beauty and UV rays.  Boots are now including their  “Protect” lenses in the price of all frames. Previously, they were only available for an extra charge of £40. Oh, and how happy was I to see that they now label their prices on their frames as the “complete price”?  It makes such a difference –  how many times have you picked out some frames, only to drop them in horror when the full price comes up?  Or is that just me?   Anyhoo: Protect Lenses.  They come with a special coating on both sides of the lenses which will stop UV rays getting to the skin around the eyes (which is ten times more susceptible to UV rays as anywhere else on the body) from both the front and being reflected off the back of your lenses from light hitting from behind you.  In effect, these lenses offer you an sun protection equivalent of SPF50, whether they are tinted or not!  They will also protect you from the UV rays given out from your computer monitors and tablet computers – they’re all ageing!

I’m fully dressed, I promise you.

These are my new reading glasses made by Kyusu, I went for a slightly bigger frame for these, as you tend to look down when you are reading.  In addition to UV protection, Protect lenses are also scratch resistant and reflection-free, which is good for reading, particularly on backlit screens. However, I went (as I always have to owing to my prescription difference), for the thin and light option on both my reading and distance lenses, for which you do still have to pay an extra charge.

Yup, fully clothed.  Honest.

For my sunglasses (Boots own frames) though, I didn’t bother with the thinner lens option, and I’ve not noticed them being particularly heavy in wear.  I like that you can pick the level of the tint you require, which is good, as I always simply just pick the biggest, blackest sunglasses you can get in the store, and presto, these were the result!

I’ve found the new lenses to be extremely (even remarkably) clear, and very easy to adjust to in wear. The thin and light lenses really are just that, and don’t leave red marks on your nose because of the weight of the glass in the frames.  I have other, smaller, glasses with so called “thin” lenses in them which I hate wearing for more than a couple of hours at a time because they leave a ridge in my nose!  None of the glasses featured here do that.  Of course, I may just have picked lighter frames this time …

An eye test doesn’t just test how well you can see, it can give you a health check at the same time.  Likewise your new glasses won’t just help you see better, they might just help save your skin too.  You will still need SPF facecream too though …  You can find out more about Boots Opticians and their lenses here.

The Fine Print: Get Lippie was a guest of Boots Opticians. The sight test and one of the pairs of glasses in this piece were provided by Boots for review purposes.  However, several pairs of the glasses in this feature were purchased at the author’s own expense.  This is NOT a sponsored post.

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