What is panthenol good for?

Written by laura bramble
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Panthenol is a common ingredient in items on drugstore and supermarket shelves. It is a derivative of vitamin B5 and is sometimes advertised as provitamin B. Panthenol is found in beauty products such as shampoos, conditioners, skin care, ointments, moisturisers, hairspray and styling products, and cosmetics. It performs a variety of beneficial functions and has been shown to be safe and nonirritating.


Panthenol's benefits for topical use were first noticed in the United States in the 1950s with a study conducted on patients with severe burns and wounds at the New York University--Post-Graduate Medical School. In the study, published in The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Drs. Combes and Zuckerman noted that patients whose wounds were treated with an ointment containing 5 per cent panthenol experienced dramatically accelerated healing over patients whose wounds were not. This led the way into further research into panthenol's other valuable uses.

Shampoos and Conditioners

In shampoos and conditioners, panthenol moisturises over a long period, which makes your hair look and feel better. It may be superior to many other moisturisers because it does a good job of penetrating the hair shaft. Over time, it may improve the condition of hair and its structure due to its repairing effects. Panthenol also helps prevent breakage by making wet hair easier to comb through.

Hair-Styling Products

Besides the conditioning properties it has, panthenol enhances gloss, elasticity and body. This can make hair easier to style and softer to the touch, and give it an overall healthier look.

Skin Care

In skincare products, panthenol penetrates deep into the layers of the skin and keeps natural moisture there. It can help skin to stay healthy by stabilising the skin's metabolism. Panthenol can aid in evening your skin tone by stimulating skin pigment formation. Skin creams with panthenol in them lubricate the skin and can help make it look soft and smooth.


With a 50-year history of use on the skin and the hair, there have been numerous studies on panthenol with an eye toward side effects. It has been shown repeatedly to have no negative side effects, either for short- or long-term use. It is typically derived from plant-based natural sources, but occasionally it is derived from animal sources.

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