Designer sunglasses and ophthalmic frames are always fashionable, and the newest styles keep us up to date with the latest fashion trends, but have you ever stopped to think whether the eye wear on your face is authentic? More and more stores and sites are emerging selling fakes of major eye wear brands to unsuspecting customers.

What’s the danger you ask? Well besides the fact that being hoodwinked into buying knock off products is infuriating enough, these products are made with inferior quality materials, they are put together poorly and will not give you the performance that your eyes deserve. Fake sunglasses have cheap lenses that do nothing of use. Many people confuse shaded lenses as offering sun protection, but actual UV protection has nothing to do with how shaded the lenses are. In fact, clear optical lenses can be UV protected. Further than this, because fake lenses are shaded, it causes your eyes to relax and your pupils to dilate, allowing even more damaging UV light into your eyes. We know it’s tempting for some fashionistas on a budget to overlook the worry of their “bargain” designer sunglasses being fakes if it saves them a little money.

Here are some pointers on how to identify fakes when buying designer eye wear. Firstly, look for markings. Many high fashion brands place specific markings on their products to show authenticity. For example, Ray Ban etch ‘RB’ on the lenses of their sunglasses. ‘RB’ is also inlaid into the nose pads. The absence of these, or markings that are easily scraped off are often a good indicator that the product is fake. Secondly, get to know the brand you are after. Find out their country of origin. For most Italian fashion houses like Gucci and Prada, the products are manufactured in the country and are stamped on the eye wear – ‘Made in Italy’. If the product states some other country of manufacture, then this too may indicate a knock off on your hands. Thirdly, fake designer sunglasses are generally lighter than originals because of the inferior materials used to construct the eye wear. While ‘weighing’ the product may be more difficult if you don’t have an original to compare it to, you can also look at the overall finish. Are the hinges flimsy? Is the frame peeling or discolored? These may all be tell tale signs. Finally, check the model number online. The results should show an identical match on other retailer sites. The prices should also be similar, remember, if the price is too good to be true then you know how this ends.

Take these precautions when purchasing eyewear and you will be rewarded with the satisfaction that your hard earned money is being invested in true merchandise with genuine quality that you were looking for.