Best Sunglasses for Asian Faces


One of the great and beautiful things in this world we live in is diversity. While we can have wonderful unity in diversity, this doesn’t mean a one-size-fits-all solution is right in every situation. Different genetic groups around the world are expressed differently in their physiological makeup, and nowhere is this more pronounced than it is in the facial area. Check out this great article on the different facial feature groups in the world.

Framing a Different Structure

Most sunglasses shape and structure are made to the widest common denominator, to fit and appeal the broadest audience. The genetic structure of an Asian face, though, defies this convention and needs a different shape of frame. Although there are many different types of Asian, generally an Asian structured face will have higher cheekbones than most other genetic groups, a much less pronounced nose-bridge, and typically a wider face than the average sunglasses buyer.

The Problems of a Bad Fit

There are three problems of poor fitting frames for the Asian sunglasses buyer when they are not able to find sunglasses specific to their features. One is the constant and consistent tendency for the sunglasses to slip down the nose. This is because of the low to non-existent nose bridge of the average Asian face.

A second problem is that most of the sunglasses do not take into consideration the relief shape of the face, and will touch the cheek of the average Asian wearing them. This is not only uncomfortable, but continually moves the sunglasses and exacerbates the problem with the sunglasses slipping down the nose.

The third major problem Asian sunglasses buyers face is head pinching. Due to the slightly increased width of the facial structure, many sunglasses push on the temples much more than the average wearer. This can create headaches and cause the glasses to ride up on the face. Check out what Zeiss optics has to say on the subject!

Asian Fit Sunglasses

Yes, they are out there! Also called alternative fit and low bridge fit, these sunglasses are specifically designed for the Asian face in mind. They all have the same basic features. The first feature is a wider fit. This eliminates the problem of head pinching, and helps keep the glasses in the right place. Along with this wider fit, the arms of the frames are usually pretty grippy and have a slightly more pronounced extension after the ear bend in the frame. This gives better stabilization of the frames.

The sunglasses will also sit higher on the cheeks, and take into account the different relief structure of the face, the higher cheekbones. The lenses are also set more perpendicular to the arms than regular sunglasses, pushing out the bottom of the lens frame from the cheekbones. Some manufacturers push the entire lens frame area away from the face just a tiny bit, others make them slightly more narrow to make sure that they clear the cheekbones at their high spots.

The third and perhaps most important difference is higher nose pads. A nose pad is where the sunglasses touch your nose. Higher and nearly universally better gripping nose pads are ubiquitous in all alternative fit sunglasses, eliminating the slipping problem and keeping the sunglasses exactly where they should stay. A narrower nose pad area helps as well, allowing for a larger grip surface.

What About the Lens

You may ask at this point: what about the lens? Our answer? The world is your oyster. There is no lens that makes the right sunglasses for the Asian face shape, though the normal protections should apply! This means choose sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB protection. One thing to heavily consider, though, especially if you want to cut down on glare, is that polarized lenses are a great choice. Because of the specific shape of low bridge fit sunglasses, i.e. more perpendicular to the face, glare and reflections from the sides is a bigger problem than other sunglasses. The polarization will make it easier on your eyes, and reduce the strain which will be introduced from light coming in the sides. Make sure that they have an anti-reflective coating on the inside as well. This is perhaps the most vital factor here, as otherwise these special fit sunglasses become nearly unusable in really bright light. Check out this article at Glaucoma.org to read more about protecting your eyes from ambient light.