|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.|
|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.
|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.|