How To Lighten Your Eye Color

How To Lighten Your Eye Color
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(Last Updated On: June 7, 2021)
Your eyes are often the first thing that people notice about you. Our eyes are extremely intricate and full of beautiful colors with piercing blues, soft browns, and stunning greens. While other people may like the color of your eyes, sometimes you may have a desire to change your eye color. If you are one of those people, there are some natural and safe things you can do to lighten or change the color of your eyes.
person with brown/gray eyes

Eye Anatomy

Before we look at how you can change your eye color, it can be helpful to understand the different parts of an eye and what your eye color actually is. The clear, dome-shaped cornea is the part of the eye that filters light. Sitting behind the cornea is your iris – the colored part of your eye, and your pupil – the black dot in the center. The iris and the pupil will either widen or narrow depending on how much light is being shone your way.

The natural eye pigment of your irises depends on your genes and the melanin levels in your body. Melanin is the natural pigment that determines the color of your eyes, hair, and skin based on the production of melanin in the body.

Your eye color can even change slightly from the color that they were at birth, sometimes becoming lighter or darker as you age. This can be because infants often lack melanin in their bodies. So, once the production of melanin increases as you begin to age, it will slightly change the iris color.

Sometimes, people are born with two different eye colors, which is called heterochromia. This phenomenon is usually the result of a medical condition or malfunctioning pigment transport.

The most common iris colors include green, blue, and brown, but other shades like olive or hazel eyes are also possible. Darker colors are usually more dominant than lighter colors, so brown eyes and green eyes will likely win over blue eyes.

blue, green, and brown eyes

How To Naturally & Safely Change Your Eye Color

If you aren’t in love with your natural color or shade of your iris and want to change it, there are ways that you can do so. While you can change your eye color permanently with a laser or with eye surgery, there are often side effects and risks associated with these methods, like vision loss or glaucoma.

When it comes to changing your eye color, there are a few natural remedies that are safer for your eyes and overall health and that can bring temporary changes in eye color.

Wear Colored Contact Lenses

One of the first and most common options for color change is contact lenses. Regular contact lenses are used as a substitute for glasses and are meant to aid your vision. However, there are also contacts that can be used to change the appearance and color of your iris. Maybe you have dark green eyes but you want vivid blue eyes.

You can purchase a set of contacts that, when inserted into the eye, make them look blue. While these contacts won’t naturally change or lighten the pigment of your irises, they can be used for temporary changes. This is a relatively safe method for eye color changes, but it is not permanent.

These kinds of contact lenses can also be used to mask a disfigured iris or pupil, like with horner’s syndrome. This syndrome, which is caused by damage to the nerves in your face, can make the eye look droopy.
Sometimes people may be self-conscious about how their eyes look because of common eye-related conditions like glaucoma. In these cases, wearing contact lenses that match the natural color of their eyes may help to cover any blemishes.

Some Associated Risks

When you wear these dyed contacts, it’s important to make sure that your vision isn’t being impaired while wearing them. Regardless of how great they look, it is vital that you can still see properly so that you don’t injure yourself or others while wearing them. If worn incorrectly, the contact lenses may also cause permanent damage, like vision loss or other medical conditions, to your eye.

You may also want to avoid cheap colored contact lenses and these may irritate the eyes and also impair your vision. If you are thinking about using contact lenses to change your eye color, it may be beneficial to consult a medical and eye doctor before you begin using them.

three colored contact lenses

Change Up Your Lifestyle

Believe it or not, your eye color can change depending on your lifestyle. If you’re looking way to naturally lighten or enhance the current color of your irises, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to make your eyes lighter.

Lifestyle and diet-related habits can affect the whiteness of your eyes and cause the iris to look brighter and more vivid to others.

Drink More Water

The health benefits associated with drinking more water are numerous. Along with the positive health benefits, drinking more water throughout the day can brighten the look of your eyes and make you feel more awake.

Eat Healthier

The whiter your eye is, the more bright and light your iris will be. Eating a lot of fatty, junk foods can cause the white around your eyes to turn more yellow or red. If this happens, the iris color surrounding your black pupil will usually appear darker and dull. A healthy diet can naturally and safely lighten the color of your eyes while also benefiting your overall health.
woman drinking water for eye health

Use Makeup and Clothes to Enhance Your Eye Color

Makeup has been known to turn heads with dramatic styles. There are even things you can do with your makeup that make you look older or younger.

Eye makeup and clothes can not only bring your look together, but they can also enhance the natural color of your iris. While makeup won’t change eye color, it can have a somewhat magical lightening effect and bring out a different hue or shade in your eyes that is usually subdued and overlooked. Clothing can also have a strong effect on the natural color of your iris, especially when paired with your skin tone.

For Brown or Gray Eyes

If you have dark or light brown eyes and want to accentuate their natural honey or hazel undertones, there are a few makeup tips that can help you achieve a lightening effect. For brown eyes, you are going to want to use some charcoals or dark green colors to make your iris color appear lighter.

The brown will stand out against the darker makeup in the background. If you want to bring out some of the lighter honey or hazel undertones in your brown eyes, you can use a bit of silver around the edges of your eyes to bring out those tones that are sprinkled in your eye color.

Gray eyes, like brown, can also benefit from dark accents like makeup and clothing. To make your gray eyes become the focus, you will want to play around with blacks and silvers in order to achieve a stunning eye color.

lightened brown eyes

For Blue Eyes

For those of you with a lighter eye color like blue, you may be under the impression that brighter makeup looks are better. But, this is not always the case. To brighten and lighten a blue iris, we want to think back to our elementary understanding of complementary colors.

Blue’s complementary color is orange. So, to achieve a lighter-looking eye, you will want to wear colors and use makeup that is in the shade of orange. You won’t want to go for a bright, vivid orange color, but rather use shades that have undertones or glimmers of orange – like bronze or champagne. These can have a lightening effect and make your blue eyes appear brighter.

For Either Green or Hazel Eyes

If you’re blessed with hazel or green-colored eyes and you want them to look brighter, you will likely find help from red tones like mahogany and wine palettes. Similar to blue, a green iris can pop when paired with their complementary color, which is why shades and tones of red can lighten and brighten the look of your eyes.
green eyes with red makeup

Honey Drops

One other option that you might consider is to use watered-down honey drops to change or lighten your eye color. While raw honey should never be put in your eye, there are some who believe that honey drops have a lightening or changing effect on your eye color. This option should only be put into action after speaking to your doctor or healthcare professional.

The Last Straw: Laser Eye Surgery

If you’re really set on changing the natural color of your eye there is laser eye surgery that creates permanent eye color changes. This surgery involves destroying melanin cells in your eye, thus creating a lightening effect and could take your brown eyes to blue or gray within a few weeks after the procedure.

While the surgery might not impair your vision, there are other possible side effects that could disrupt the pupil or cornea that need to be considered before you decide on getting eye surgery.

laser eye surgery to change eye color

In Summary

Changing the natural color of your eyes is a hard task, but there are some things that you can do at home to lighten and brighten the appearance of your eyes. These safer methods include using contact lenses, wearing specific makeup or clothing palettes, and changing your lifestyle.

Vision loss, age, glaucoma, health changes, and conditions like horner’s syndrome are all things that can affect the look of an eye. If you are looking for a way to affect the color of your eyes, it is recommended that you speak to an eye doctor before proceeding with any of these methods.

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