Panthenol - Tried & True and Good For You

I have had a request to write a bit about panthenol – an ingredient that has been around for so long that it is no longer considered sexy or even media worthy.

Panthenol (INCI: Panthenol) has undeservedly become a wallflower in the world of skin care ingredients.

That's really unfair, because panthenol is wonderful substance with loads to offer.

Where It's From

Panthenol is sourced from a component of honey (d-pantolactone) and is the alcohol form of pantothenic acid. Since you ask: pantothenic acid is present in all living cells and is essential for normal metabolism and hormone production. 

What It Can Do

Panthenol will magically morph into vitamin B5 when it comes into contact with living cells (for example, when it we apply it to our skin). If we apply it to our hair (which has no living cells), panthenol isn't the least bit impressed and remains in its panthenol state. This is why you will also hear panthenol referred to as pro-vitamin B5.

Panthenol needs contact with living cells in order to become a vitamin. Regardless of its state, panthenol is a beneficial addition to both hair and body products.

Panthenol For Hair

Applied to hair, panthenol functions as a humectant, emollient and moisturizer. It happily binds to the hair shaft, coating the hair and sealing the surface in a protective layer that both adds shine and lubricates the shaft.

Panthenol For Skin

In skin care, panthenol has an excellent ability to penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin, improving hydration by retaining moisture, lubricating and helping to stabilize the skins metabolism and skin tone.

It is also great for reducing itching and inflammation, making it perfect for sunburns and burns. It's absolutely ideal for aiding the healing process after getting a tattoo. Because it is water-soluble, it can be mixed with skin soothing liquids such as aloe vera and/or chamomile to make a healing 'tattoo tonic'. I find it is a wonderfully moisture-boosting addition to skin drench and tonic.

Seriously Tried and Totally True

Back in the 1950's, the benefits of panthenol were discovered in a study on patients with severe burns and wounds. The study was published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. It showed that wounds treated with an ointment of 5% panthenol showed a 'dramatically accelerated healing process'.

This kickstarted more research on the uses of panthenol – both for positive and negative effects. Panthenol has repeatedly passed all tests with flying colors, showing no negative side effects or reactions – regardless of short or long term use. All in all, panthenol deserves a little more recognition.

LisaLise Products With Panthenol

Panthenol is available as an addition to a personalized Skin Drench & Tonic. It is also present in Geranium Silk Hair & Body Wash, Lavender Hair & Body Wash, Herbal Energizer Hair & Body Wash and Leave-in Conditioner.

More About Panthenol

Wikipedia on Panthenol
Journal of Cosmetics Science: skin moisturising effects of panthenol-based formulations
Journal of Dermatological Treatment: Topical panthenol
Intensive panthenol therapy of lupus erythemotosus (Journal of Investigative Dermatology)


Tanya said…
Wow, this information has been SO helpful. I've gone to several of your posts already, and have to say, that I've learned TONS today. I am African-American, and have afro textured hair. I've been doing research trying to find out information about the ingredients that are in my hair care products, and what is best for my hair health and retention. Thank you so much for taking the time to describe these ingredients. Do you know if people with afro-textured hair have used your products or has success with them?
LisaLise said…
Hi Tanya,

I'm so pleased that you have found this info helpful. If you contact me with a bit more detail about what you want to know, perhaps I can help out with your specific questions. :)
Unknown said…
I am in love with your blog Lise :) It is so informative and love the way you write it :) Awesome Work :)
LisaLise said…
@KairaNaturals - Aw thank you! And I have become quite the fan of your YouTube channel :)