Panthenol (Vitamin B5)

What is it? Panthenol (vitamin B5) is a vitamin that is fantastic for skin and hair care. D-panthenol (dextrorotatory panthenol) is metabolized into D-pantothenic acid by the body, and that’s the type of panthenol that works wonders in our formulations.
INCI Panthenol
Appearance You can purchase it as a white crystalline powder or a clear liquid.
Usage rate 1–5% in skin care, with the higher end of the range for more therapeutic applications.

0.75–1% for shampoos and conditioners, 0.5–0.75% for hair styling products. 1% for nail care.

Scent None
pH 8–9
Solubility Water
Why do we use it in recipes? Panthenol acts as a moisturizer by drawing water from deeper layers of the skin into the upper layers of the skin. It helps with softness and elasticity, and is anti-inflammatory. It stimulates skin re-generation and boosts healing.

In hair care it is a small enough molecule to penetrate the hair and moisturize it, helping increase elasticity/reduce breakage. It makes hair softer and shinier, and reduces static.

Do you need it? I highly recommend it.
Strengths Panthenol is an insanely versatile skin and hair care ingredient with a proven track record of awesomeness.
Weaknesses I can’t really think of anything. There’s been a shortage lately so it’s more expensive than it was in 2017, but given the low effective usage rates it is still a very cost effective ingredient.
Alternatives & Substitutions N-acetyl glucosamine, allantoin, and urea share some similarities with panthenol. You can attempt to replace some of the humectant properties with ingredients like a hydrolyzed protein or a humectant, and some of the skin soothing benefits with an herbal extract like calendula.
How to Work with It Include the powdered version in your heated water phase; the liquid version is heat sensitive so it should go in the cool down phase. Both versions can be cold-processed in products that don’t require heat.
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, panthenol should last two years.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks The “Pro-V” in Pantene is panthenol! V = 5 in Roman numerals.
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Recipes that Use Panthenol

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