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Understanding Limbal Rings And Why They Are Attractive

June 02, 2020 4 min read

Understanding Limbal Rings And Why They Are Attractive


Hazelnut, sea green, sparkling or amber? Whenever someone asks us about our favorite eye color, the answer comes in different shades. There seem to be thousands of shades, and people find one color more attractive than others. At least that's what we thought. But, recent studies are showing us a completely different answer. It's revealed that the color is not that important; rather, a dark circle calledlimbal rings on the eye can make all the difference!

Understanding Limbal Rings


Limbal rings, a quite uncommon term for the people, in general, are causing us all the trouble. It is a dark ring that separates the iris from the sclera. If you are looking for a more straightforward term, it is the ring that separates the colored part from the white part of the eyes. You might be thinking, why didn't you hear about this limbal ring then? Well, because, when people are talking about the attractiveness of humans, they seem to talk about face, color, hair, height, figure even body odor. And, there are thousands of researches about everything I mentioned (yes, body odor is one of them. Think about all the money you spent on deodorant and fragrances. That's the result of those researches), but not so much on eyes. 

The Reason behind Limbal Ring’s Attractiveness

Limbal rings make your sclera (aka whites) whiter, and make your iris more colorful because of contrast. Transparent iris makes them prominent and vice versa. That is directly involved with your health. The healthier you are, the limber ring is more noticeable. It is also true for age but reversely. A toddler has the brightest, and senior citizens have close to none. So, it can be an indicator of youthfulness, vitality, and, more importantly, beauty. Yes, you read it right,limbal rings make your eyes look beautiful, not the color.

Now, let's move to the real question: Why are limbal rings attractive? Well, Donald Hoffman, Darren Peshek, and their colleagues at the University of California tried to answer that. In their 2011 research of 45 subjects, they found both gender eyes with darkerlimbal rings in identical faces are attractive. Though, female subjects are more likely to choose a partner with a darker ring than the males. The study concluded the natural selection process makes the women choose a mate with better reproductive chances. And, as the limbal ring gives an involuntary sign of the health of the person, they tend to prefer them.

Why Limbal Rings are Important

In 2017, at the University of Southern Mississippi, Mitch Brown and Donald Sacco tried to understand the extent of the limbal rings on deciding partner. As expected, faces with darker limbal rings were the clear winner for both genders. But, when it came to deciding who they thought were healthier, women again inclined towards dark limbal rings. But for men, the result was not so limbal affected. This study suggested, the limbal ring is more important for women than men when it comes to choosing short term partners.

The reason is quite simple, a one night stand can bear consequences such as pregnancy, so their genetic code alerts them to find a better mate, whereas males are less concerned about picking a date as they don't have to face the burden of being pregnant.

If we dig deeper, we can see the whole point. The limbal rings can give an accurate indication of youth and health. The ring is prominent in the younger faces, and after the 20s, the limbal ring starts to fade. There are some exceptions, but that's what makes some people look more attractive than others. As the limbal rings fade with ages or medical problems like cardiovascular problems and glaucoma, it's a clear indication of a person's health. And as our unconscious mind answers to the primitive nature of our mind, they find a healthy and young person more reproductively desirable. These dark rings are hard to fake. So, that makes them a more apparent sign of beauty. As a result, a person with darker limbal rings is more attractive to us.

When we look at someone's face, everything happens quickly. You can take a look at someone's face, see their eyes, measure the shade of their limbal rings, and decide whether or not the person is attractive.  All of that can happen in the first 20 milliseconds! That means, it is purely an unconscious process. So, before you know it, you can find a person attractive or not because of their limbal rings, even without knowing what the heck is a limbal ring! And, that is applied to you too.

People Who Are not that Lucky

So, what can a person do, who has eyes without limbal rings or negligible limbal rings?  

As Darren Peshek and others found in their study in 2011, eyes with nonexistent or faint limbal rings are rather common. And, it is also common to find attractive faces with faint limbal rings.  Also, they found the ring is hard to detect on black or brown eyes. Eighty percent of people in the world are born with such dark pigmentation.  So, for these shades of eyes, limbal rings can be less influential.

As the dark limbal rings look more prominent and beautiful in lighter-colored eyes, they seem more attractive in the beholder's eyes. If you still think the limbal ring is making your date life somewhat challenging, there are some solutions available. Nowadays, some contact lenses can make your eyes look more prominent. In some parts of Asia, wearing 'limbal rings' contact lenses are more common than you would think. These lenses make the eye appear large and more refined, hence added attractiveness. But, these are not long term solutions.


As we earlier said, the limbal ring is an indicator of a person's health; it's better to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It will be a better solution to keep your precious rings for a longer period. But, even if you have eyes without limbal rings, you don't lose faith in yourself. The attractiveness related to limbal rings is a first impression thing, a matter of mere seconds. Your personality and other features are there to create a more long-lasting and prominent impression on others.  And, in the end, all of us are rooting for that in our life.  

You can even check the below link for a better understanding of what is a limbal ring.

Hope all of you have a pair of charming eyes!

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