Having This Feature On Your Eyes Could Make You More Attractive

Ever wonder why Jennifer's Lawrence's eyes are so attractive? Or Chris Hemsworth's? Or Natalie Portman's? These celebs draw us into their gazes in every photo and they all have one thing in common when it comes to their eyes: limbal rings. A limbal ring is a dark circle of pigment that surrounds the iris, which is the colored part of the eye (per Healthline). While it isn't just celebrities who have limbal rings, not everyone gets these eye features, and not everyone who was born with them still have them.

Most, but not all, people are born with limbal rings. There's nothing wrong with not having them, and it doesn't mean that a person whose eyes are ring-less is any less healthy than someone who has them. Nor does it mean that having rings helps us see better. Early in life, from infancy through young childhood, limbal rings tend to be most pronounced. They give babies that innocent, wide-eyed look that causes us to fall in love with them.

Limbal rings tend to fade with age, often sometime in the early twenties, although some people retain them throughout adulthood. Light-eyed people have rings that are more prominent — and may last longer — than those who have darker-colored eyes. There's nothing you can do to prolong your limbal rings. Genetics and medical conditions have the final say.

What limbal rings bring to a face

When you meet a stranger, chances are you're not consciously looking for limbal rings — although maybe now you will. It takes about 20 milliseconds to decide if someone is attractive, and during that time, your brain is noting the size and shade of the person's limbal rings (per Psychology Today). You'll probably be captured by their eyes if the rings are thick and dark. Such rings make people appear younger and healthier, by enhancing and brightening the whites of their eyes.

There were two notable studies conducted to determine how limbal rings affect a person's perceived attractiveness. In the first, researchers at the University of California at Irvine showed participants pairs of nearly identical photos. In each pair, one photo showed a face with eyes that had dark limbal rings, and the other showed eyes with no rings. Both men and women picked as more attractive the faces with the ringed eyes. A second study found that women participants in particular rated the faces of men with ringed eyes as healthier and more desirable as short-term mates. The study's author, Mitch Brown of the University of Southern Mississippi, told PsyPost that even subtle facial features are able to influence our perceptions of people and our behaviors.

If, after reading this, you're unwilling to let your limbal rings fade away with time, there's the option of wearing "limbal ring" contact lenses. While they may make your eyes look bigger and more defined, they certainly don't have the ring of truth.

Are some eye colors more attractive than others?

Limbal rings aren't the only eye feature that people find attractive. Certain eye colors have been found to be more appealing than others, according to Mindbodygreen. Specifically, rare eye colors seem to be the most attractive. In the words of clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, Ph.D., this makes sense because our minds tend to notice things that are unique and different because they are "rooted in primitive survival mechanisms." This means that rare eye colors, like gray and green, tend to be perceived as the most attractive while brown eyes tend to be the least attractive.

This doesn't mean that more common eye colors are worse, by any means. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE, for example, found that people with brown eyes are often considered to be more trustworthy. Various studies have connected certain eye colors with unique traits, although these will certainly depend on the person. Cultural factors, like the longtime praise of light-skinned people with blue eyes, can also affect how attractive someone is perceived. That all being said, we all know that it's truly what's on the inside that counts.

Other facial features that we find attractive

We look at more than just someone's eyes when we're deciding whether or not we find them attractive. And while unique traits, like limbal rings and gray eyes, can increase someone's attractiveness level, one of the most desired facial features is on the other side of the spectrum: symmetry. Various studies, including one published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, have found that both men and women prefer symmetrical faces. Scientists aren't quite sure why this is the case, although it may be a subconscious belief that symmetry in a face is an indicator of good health and/or good genes, according to Business Insider.

And if you've ever felt bad for having what you consider to be average looks, don't. This is another trait that people generally tend to find more attractive. An average face is considered to be one that looks like the majority of the population. A study published in the journal Human Nature found that people are indeed attracted to averageness, and believed it might be because a subconscious part of our brains looks at average faces and think they represent a hearty gene diversity. This may be seen as a genetic advantage because everyone responsible for creating that face was able to fight off a variety of diseases and other challenges to get here. Whatever the true explanation is, have some pride in your average features.