As the cold winter months are fast approaching, with the promise of brisk air brushing up against the face, many women are getting ready to alter their skin care regime to prepare for the season’s harsh effects. This winter women can ditch the cream and lotion applicators, and opt for a simpler solution that only requires a pill and water. Perfectil, a daily pill containing micro-nutrients, could protect the skin against the fine lines and roughness caused by winter, according to a recent clinical trial.

The change of the seasons always affects the skin, especially during the winter months. The skin tends to feel dehydrated, flaky, and rough with exposed areas, such as the face more prone to dryness in the so-called "T-zone area", which consists of the nose, chin, and forehead. Excessive dryness is often an indicator that the skin needs extra moisturizing and protecting from winter’s harsh effects. Discovery Fit & Health says in extreme weather — both hot and cold — climate can exacerbate existing skin conditions and even cause new ones. Natural oils from plants, seeds, and nuts help moisturize, replenish and provide the skin with protection to maintain a healthy looking glow all winter.

Researchers wanted to investigate the efficacy of a daily beauty supplement in preventing the negative effects of winter weather on skin quality. Eighty healthy female participants, aged 35 to 55, with phototype II–IV skin — a range of skin that burns easily to skin that burns minimally — were randomized to have either two tablets of Perfectil or a placebo administered once daily for four months at the University Hospital of Saint-Jacques in Besançon, France.

The micronutrient supplement contains biomarine collagen, flavanols from pine bark (to boost collagen production), anti-oxidant rich grape seed extracts, lycopene and alpha lipoic acid, according to The Telegraph.

The participants’ skin evaluation included skin microrelief by Visioscan as the main outcome, and the secondary outcomes were results on standard macrophotography, skin tension by Reviscometer, skin high-frequency ultrasound, and self-assessment at the end of the supplementation period. The women were assessed again after they finished taking the tablets.

The findings revealed women who took the supplement were protected against a marked deterioration in skin structure or volume of fine lines. The high-frequency ultrasound on the exposed skin revealed that skin thickness was significantly reduced in the control group during the winter, but was found to be stable in the supplement group. In addition, the control group developed 2.5 times more volume of fine lines, compared to the experiment group.

"The results of this trial show that women wishing to protect their skin against the winter should consider a supplement such as Perfectil. The dry and cold winter weather has a great influence on the condition of exposed skin, affecting the face the most,” said Professor Philippe Humbert, head of dermatology at the University Hospital of Besancon, and author of the study, according to the Daily Mail.

The dry and cold winter weather greatly affects exposed skin, especially on the face. Increased exposure will lead to changes in the skin’s texture, thickness, and elasticity, contributing to visible aging.

Vitabiotics, the beauty supplement’s manufacturer, told the Daily Mail that this the first time a pill has been clinically proven to protect against winter’s negative effects on the skin.

Perfectil is available for sale in the U.K. for £23.95, or $32.24 online.

For natural ways to protect your skin this winter, click here.

Source: Elkhyat A, Fanian F, Guichard A et al. Efficacy of Micronutrient Supplementation on Skin Aging and Seasonal Variation: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Study. Clinical Interventions in Aging. 2013.