You probably hear about all sorts of strategies for looking younger, but did you know that certain types of contact lenses may have this effect? The lenses enhance a particular feature of the eyes that is associated with a more youthful appearance.
The Limbal Ring
The dark ring around the iris is medically known as the limbal ring. In relation to facial attractiveness, the ring creates a definitive border that makes the whites of the eyes and the iris look brighter.
This feature tends to fade and become thinner as people get older, which also can happen to people who are in poor health. The effect can make the eyes look a bit washed out; the person may look tired.
A study published in 2011 found that faces in which eyes had a more prominent iris border were generally considered more attractive by viewers. The researchers determined this by showing participants in different groups the same faces with different eye characteristics.
A person in one group would see a face in which the limbal rings were dark and pronounced. A person in the other group viewed the same face, only with the rings missing. This effect was accomplished by using photo-modifying software.
Limbal Ring Enhancing Contacts
Contacts can make the limbal ring look more prominent because of the way they fit over the iris. Some of these products also have enhancement effects on the iris itself, making it look brighter and sparkly. Nevertheless, these lenses are intended to look entirely natural.
Limbal Ring Enhancing Contacts vs. Other Cosmetic Lenses
Contacts that enhance this circular border aren't the same as colored contacts, which give the eyes a different color. They also aren't the same as non-prescription decorative contacts that have noticeable designs, or circle lenses that appear to increase the size of the iris.
Decorative contacts have been available online and over-the-counter in novelty shops and other venues for years. However, wearing lenses that aren't approved by the Food & Drug Administration and without having your eyes evaluated by an eye doctor can be dangerous. It can lead to eye infections and permanent vision problems.
Appearance-enhancing contacts that you get from your eye doctor are just as safe as other FDA-approved soft lenses, as long as you care for them properly.
Ask an Optometrist
When you're ready for your next vision test and eye exam, call optometry clinics and ask if they have started selling these products. The lenses were initially only available from limited providers, but as popularity increases, you'll be able to find them more readily. Contact a company like Martin Eye Clinic, P.C. for more information.