You’ve seen at just about every level of sports played. The professionals rock it, the high school athletes utilize it, and those little leaguers and peewee players want to look just like their favorite players. Its become a staple when it comes to being game-ready. But, that begs the question, does it actually work?
Before we dive into the subject, let’s have a look at what it is…
Eye black, also known as anti-glare is paint or grease used under athletes’ eyes and actually has multiple purposes. First, it’s used to help prevent glare from the sun and stadium lights. Second, it’s worn to help increase contrast—to be able to pick up a white baseball against a similar colored background. Third, as an intimidation factor. There is just something about eye black that says I’m game-ready and you better watch out.
So, does it actually fulfill its three purposes?
To answer this question we have to discuss how the eyes, light, and color work (at a very high level). The eyes contain a type of cell that helps us see color. They are called cones. The color of an object depends on the object’s frequency and how it’s absorbed or reflected. In the simplest terms possible, when frequencies between the object and light waves match, the colors are absorbed. When they don’t match, the colors reflect. For example, when you see a blue object it reflects blue frequencies and absorbs all others.
Think about what happens when you are trying to see something that is competing with a bright light. That bright light produces glare and the object you are trying to see becomes difficult to see. This glare also impacts the light frequencies which have a bit of a blur effect because the object is less defined.
Let’s apply this same concept to a ball field. Whether you are in a stadium under bright lights or the blazing sun there will be some sort of glare (due to the imbalance of light sources), especially when looking up to catch a fly ball.
This is where eye black comes in.
Antiglare and Contrast
Remember how light absorption and reflection cause the color of an object. Well, the color black absorbs almost every light frequency. So, when an athlete applies black swipes of paint under their eyes that black absorbs the excess light. In theory, this helps reduce the glare from the bright lights and increase contrast to better define the ball.
Last, but not least there is the intimidation factor. Whether it’s a single swipe under the eyes or a more creative design, a little black paint adds an extra flair to an athlete’s uniform. It sends a message to the opponent letting them know that player means business.
So, does eye black actually work?
Based on how the eyes work paired with the thousands and thousands of athletes who utilize it, we say yes. It’s a multipurpose tool that can help the athlete perform better and add a little extra flair to their uniform.
Remember, not all anti-glare eye black is created equal. Many paints on the market are made with low-quality, synthetic and harmful ingredients (things you really don’t want to put on your skin). These ingredients are known to cause skin irritations and breakouts. When you switch to an all-natural anti-glare eye black you will notice those skin irritations simply don't exist and you can focus on your game and only your game.
At Nature’s Paint, we are dedicated to providing 100 percent natural sports eye black that you can depend on to keep though bright lights at bay throughout your game and come off with the swipe of a towellet at the end of the day. Learn more about Nature’s Paint!