Panthenol (Dexpanthenol), a B vitamin precursor (provitamin B5) and the alcohol belonging to pantothenic acid, is involved in regenerative metabolic processes of the skin as a relevant component of coenzyme A; it is converted to pantothenic acid in the skin.
It is considered very tolerable and is also used in products for sensitive skin and baby products.
Its moisture-retaining, anti-inflammatory and regenerative, wound-healing properties have been proven in various studies. Panthenol has been shown to strengthen the skin's barrier function (from as little as 1% application concentration), increase the horny layer's ability to bind water and improve its elasticity. It has been shown to promote epithelialization (i.e., new cell formation in wounds after the connective tissue underneath has already formed) by greatly accelerating fibroblast growth and is therefore also used successfully in the treatment of injuries and sunburn.
Blood circulation is reduced; skin redness subsides, itching is reduced. Surfactant-damaged skin also benefits from panthenol-containing formulations; studies show significantly faster regeneration of the stratum corneum after surfactant use when followed by the use of appropriate preparations containing panthenol. Intolerances are not known.
It is also moisturizing and smoothing in hair care products (application concentration in treatments and conditioners: 0.1-0.5%). Due to its small molecular size, it can penetrate the hair, store moisture there and act as a provitamin, but it can also be absorbed through the scalp and hair roots. Panthenol has also proven its worth in nail care as an active ingredient with a flexibility-increasing and water-binding effect.