Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) – The Must-Have Ingredient in Your Skin Care Regimen


  • What is Panthenol?
  • The Distinctive Advantage of Panthenol.
  • How Panthenol fares on Sensitive Skin.
  • Benefits of Panthenol.

Panthenol is a pharmaceutical product that is used in various skincare products. Panthenol is the alcohol analog of vitamin B5 and is a very versatile ingredient that is often overlooked by skincare specialists and consumers alike. We use panthenol more often than we think, as it is a common ingredient in various creams, mascaras, and serums.

Let’s find out more about this multi-faceted product.

What is Panthenol?

Panthenol is a compound that is structurally similar to pantothenic acid or vitamin B5. It is also called Provitamin B5 as it gets oxidized into two compounds namely pantothenic acid and vitamin B5 when it is applied topically. Panthenol is a stable version of vitamin B5.

Since vitamin B5 has the capacity to hold onto water, it is loaded with moisturizing properties and hence can help soothe and repair the skin. Panthenol also helps greatly in managing frizzy hair.

Interestingly, the term panthenol has its roots in the Greek word “Pantothen” meaning everywhere. True to its meaning, Panthenol is a widely-used ingredient as it can be found in various skincare products and make-up products like moisturizers, lipstick, eye shadows, mascaras, and also in various hair care products like shampoos, conditioners including leave-in conditioners (on account of its emulsifying properties), hair sprays, etc.

The Distinctive Advantage of Panthenol

Unlike other common moisturizing substances like hyaluronic acid, panthenol has the distinctive advantage of being both a humectant and an emollient. Humectants attract and retain water in the skin while emollients seal any cracks found in it, thereby helping to keep the water locked in.

This distinctive advantage of panthenol makes it a popular ingredient in most skincare, eye care, and hair care ingredients. In fact, if you take a close look at the ingredient lists of the products used in your daily skincare regimen, you will definitely find panthenol in more than a handful of them. In case you are not able to find panthenol in the ingredient list, look for any one of its pseudonyms like provitamin B5, dexpanthenol, D-Pantothenyl, alcohol, butanamide, etc.

How Safe is Panthenol for Sensitive Skin?

Here again, panthenol scores big as it is quite safe on the skin and the FDA has given it the GRAS rating (Generally Recognized As Safe and Effective).

In addition to its moisturizing properties, panthenol helps in healing wounds by augmenting the creation of cells responsible for skin healing and barrier strengthening. Hence, it is an excellent choice for minimizing skin irritation and enhancing the skin barrier function.

Panthenol can also be found in creams that are made to treat insect bites, inflammation, poison ivy sores, and even simple diaper rash and shaving cuts. No, wonder it is so safe for sensitive skin.

Top Skincare Benefits of Panthenol

#1. Enhances Moisture Retention:

Though panthenol is an alcohol form of vitamin B5, unlike other alcohol derivatives, it does not dry the skin. On the contrary, it enhances its moisture retention. As panthenol is a humectant, it draws water constantly and helps the skin retain it. This, in turn, promotes youthful and healthy-looking skin.

#2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties:

The National Center for Biotechnology Information has specified panthenol as a skin protectant with anti-inflammatory properties. It helps soothe inflamed and red skin and also helps with irritable skin conditions like eczema, atopic dermatitis, and acne.

Panthenol is safe and fares better when compared to other commonly prescribed medications for skin conditions. For instance, hydrocortisone is a commonly prescribed medication for atopic dermatitis. However, when used for a prolonged period of time, hydrocortisone can cause certain side effects and irreversible skin damage. On the other hand, panthenol has no such side effects and can be safely used on a long term basis for various skin conditions.

#3. Anti-Aging Properties:

Thanks, to its amazing hydrating properties, panthenol is definitely the must-look-out-for ingredient when it comes to night creams and daily moisturizers that can fight the signs of aging.

Another benefit of panthenol is that it helps in hyperpigmentation. It also helps to even out the skin tone and fade dark spots.

Now you finally know the secret to defying one’s age and looking years younger!

#4. Wound Healing:

Panthenol is also great for healing skin wounds. Panthenol penetrates into the skin and stimulates a process called fibroblast proliferation. This process helps in speeding up the healing process and the formation of new tissues.

#5. Shiny Hair:

Panthenol can make the hair softer and shinier. It binds to the hair shaft and thus locks the moisture in the scalp. This property helps to protect the hair from environmental damage as well as from side effects of various styling products.

#6. Stronger Nails:

Panthenol is the perfect ingredient to maintain healthy and stronger nails due to its high similarity to keratin. Just like hair, the nails are also made from keratin proteins. So, panthenol can strengthen finger and toe nails. You can find panthenol in many cuticle oils and various hand creams. It is also used in various nail shining and strengthening treatments.

Wrapping Up

Panthenol is generally considered a safe cosmetic ingredient. Products containing this ingredient do not generally pose any harm or irritate the skin except when one is suffering from any allergy. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) has also certified that the amount of panthenol in cosmetics will not pose any harm when absorbed in the body as much higher levels of vitamin-B5 already exist in the food we consume. Hence, there is no significant evidence that topical panthenol will cause any side effect. However, if you do experience any irritation or redness, it is advisable to stop using the product and consult a dermatologist.

To try out our vegan panthenol products, visit here.

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