When it comes to looking attractive, here's a part of your body you probably never thought to enhance. It turns out the more prominent your limbal ring (that's science talk for the black circle that separates the white of your eye from the iris), the hotter you appear. The news comes from a recent study conducted by the University of California at Irvine. Researchers showed volunteers eighty pairs of male and female faces. The faces were completely identical except for the darkness and size of the limbal ring. When asked who they thought was more attractive, the face with the larger limbal rings invariably won out.

These findings probably shouldn't be all that surprising considering limbal rings are usually thickest up until your early twenties, so they're an indicator of youthfulness. And, yes, marketers have caught on. Next time you get Botox or a boob job, consider picking up limbally-enhanced contact lenses while you're at it. Because you wouldn't want another bodily area to feel inferior. Especially one you didn't even know existed in the first place.

Commentarium (14 Comments)

May 02 11 - 4:04pm

That makes perfect sense to me. It's also about the attention contrast draws. Women put on mascara to make their eyes pop out, and the limbal ring does much the same thing.

May 02 11 - 6:46pm

The picture for this article is making me crazy. That mascara looks bad.

May 02 11 - 7:14pm

Wonder if they controlled for eye color within groups. Obviously, very dark eyes' limbal rings would be more difficult to discern than light blue eyes.

May 02 11 - 7:30pm

"the faces were completely identitcal" really? really? Is this real people we are talking about here?

May 03 11 - 10:02am

Photoshop exists.

Feb 02 12 - 4:18am


May 02 11 - 9:54pm

@amy - I think they probably just digitally changed pictures of one/more individuals so that one had smaller limbal rings and one had larger. So you would end up comparing an individual's picture with small rings against that same individual's picture with heavier rings within the series of pictures.

May 03 11 - 2:14am

Hmm. I do get a lot of compliments on my eyes. And I do have very thick limbal rings.

May 03 11 - 10:03am

YES! Finally a physical trait I've got the edge with! I didn't know that's what that area is called, but I have a rather prominent dark ring around my green irises, and my eyes are probably what I get complimented on the most, with regard to my looks. (Until you know me a little better, than it's invariably my rack.)

Jul 16 11 - 10:21pm

I love the limbal ring I always buy lenses with that ring around my airises but I wish I could get permanent if there is any surgery available.

Jul 20 11 - 12:18pm

As you know , there is a surgery to permantly make your limbal look bigger
that will be coming to the market soon made by a U.S. company called Stellar.

Nov 03 11 - 6:16pm
Tiny Limbal Ring

Meh, it's okay. I've got massive pupils to make up for it. Science says that's attractive too.

Feb 10 12 - 9:50am

Her limbal ring looks cool. I was wondering what would the case be in a person having more than one limbal ring. Because I have 3 and so do certain people i know in and out of my family.

Mar 28 12 - 10:56pm

do i have to travel out of state to change my eye color?