Panthenol in Skin Care: a Guide

Alongside other moisturising and hydrating ingredients that we already love such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid is just one more amazing skincare ingredient - panthenol. Panthenol is an ingredient that’s been used in skin and hair products for a long time now - and for good reason! Here’s everything you need to know about this superstar skin care ingredient. 

SK-II RNA Power Radical New Age Cream

SK-II R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream | $240
This moisturiser combines the benefits of panthenol with niacinamide and pitera to nourish your skin.

What is Panthenol?

You might already be familiar with panthenol under another name - Vitamin B5. Yes, it’s part of the B Vitamin family, which includes other beauty-boosting vitamins such as Biotin, Niacinamide, and Folic Acid. It’s sometimes also called ‘Pantothenic Acid’, especially in supplement form. 

When it comes to panthenol in skin care, panthenol actually acts on the skin in a few crucial different ways. First, it works as a humectant on the skin. That means it attracts water to itself, increasing overall hydration, improving skin barrier function and temporarily plumping out fine lines.  Some ingredients are better humectants than others, but either way, it’s still a crucial benefit of panthenol.

The other way panthenol benefits skin is by acting as an emollient - and this is what makes it stand out over ingredients that can only act as humectants on the skin, such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin

Emollients are skincare ingredients that work to condition and soften the skin, boosting its ability to hold on to hydration for skin that’s smoother and healthier. This is usually a quality that lipid or oil-based ingredients have; think of ceramides and facial oils. 

Panthenol’s skin benefits stand up above the rest thanks to its ability to act as both a humectant and emollient for the skin. However, what kind of changes does that mean you’ll see in your skin? 

Clarins toning lotion with chamomile product image on white background

Clarins Toning Lotion with Chamomile | $60
A soothing toner that calms irritation with chamomile and panthenol.

Benefits of Panthenol in Skin Care

Now that we know how panthenol in skincare works, what about its actual benefits for your skin? Here are some of the biggest reasons why you’ll want to add a panthenol-rich product to your beauty routine. 

1. Soothes Irritation
Like other standout skincare ingredients like Ceramides and Centella Asiatica, the ability to calm irritation is one of the biggest reasons why panthenol is included in so many skincare products. 

Many studies have found that panthenol is incredibly effective at reducing the discomfort from irritation, making it an ideal skincare ingredient to reach for if your skin is easily irritated. It reduces inflammation for happy, healthy skin.

2. Supports Healthy Barrier Function
One of the biggest panthenol skin benefits is the power it has to ensure that your skin barrier is happy and healthy. The skin barrier, sometimes called the acid mantle, is an essential structure on the outside of the skin. Panthenol keeps this important barrier intact by preventing trans-epidermal water loss, aka TEWL. 

Losing hydration through the skin weakens this barrier, making skin more prone to dehydration and other common issues that pop up when your moisture barrier is weakened.

3. Boosts Skin Healing
Another huge benefit of panthenol is that it helps to boost wound healing - here’s how. Panthenol activates fibroblast proliferation, encouraging skin to heal faster than it would without panthenol. 

While ‘wound healing’ sounds dramatic, you can think of it as a way to refer to any little nick or zit in the skin - they’re technically the same kind of wounds that benefit from this boosted fibroblast proliferation and helping skin to heal with minimal scarring. 

Dr Irena Eris tokyo lift moisturiser product image on white background

Dr Irena Eris Tokyo Lift Night Cream | $94
Replenish skin overnight and fortify your moisture barrier with this panthenol-rich cream from Dr Irena Eris.

Who Should Add Panthenol to Their Skincare Routine?

The great thing about panthenol is that it benefits skin types, but it’s soothing and moisturising abilities are most appreciated by those with sensitive skin, dry skin, and dehydrated skin concerns

If you’re still trying to create the best skincare routine, try our skincare quiz!

beauty affairs skin quiz image

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