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Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5)

Benefits: Hydration, Soothing
Categories: Humectant, Solvent

  • Hydrating ingredient famous for its ability to attract/retain moisture
  • May also help reduce sensitivity-induced redness in skin
  • Often referred to as pro-vitamin B5
  • Converts into pantothenic acid when applied topically
  • White, crystalline powder in its raw material state

Panthenol (sometimes referred to as pro-vitamin B5) is a popular humectant in personal care products due to its ability to attract and hold moisture. When topically applied, it converts to pantothenic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance within the body.

Studies show that 1% panthenol quickly increase skin’s hydration, while decreasing transepidermal water loss (the amount of water that evaporates through skin). The overall result is an improvement in the way skin feels and looks, including a more supple appearance.

Research also shows promise for panthenol’s ability to reduce sensitivity-induced redness in skin.

Topically applied panthenol in amounts between 1-5% has been reported to aid in healing and barrier repair.

It’s important to clarify that even though panthenol is the alcohol derivative of pantothenic acid, but it is a completely gentle and non-drying form of alcohol, unlike SD or denatured alcohol, which are known to be damaging to skin.

Panthenol is water soluble and “plays well” with many different types of ingredients, making it easy to formulate with for moisturizers, serums, toners, etc. It is also widely used in hair care products and can be found in makeup products, such as powders, mascara, and lipstick.

As a raw material, two forms of panthenol can be incorporated in personal care product formulas: D-panthenol is a viscous oil and DL-panthenol comes in the form of a white, crystalline powder.

According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review assessment from 2018, the highest reported concentration of panthenol in a personal care product was 5.3%, which was deemed safe in its use.

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