Panthenol is a provitamin or an alcohol form of dextrotatory (D) isomer of Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), part of the B-complex group of water-soluble vitamins, is present in all living cells and is a constituent of coenzyme A. It is a colorless or slightly yellowish, viscous hygroscopic liquid with a slightly bitter taste.
The critical function of this coenzyme is to act as a carrier in acetylation reactions (Krebs cycle). In addition, the activated acetate formed with pantothenic acid is essential in synthesizing lipids, proteins, and the linkage between lipids/proteins/carbohydrates.
The deficiency of Vitamin B5 can result in many dermatological disorders. There is considerable data about its use in such skin disorders and particularly in wound healing. This use is based on the effect of pantothenic acid on the increase in cell proliferation. In hair care and nail care, the primary activity of panthenol is based on its rapid penetration, strong affinity to amino acids, and subsequent long-lasting moisturization, which protects against brittleness and breakage.
Role in Skin Care
- Quick, deep-penetrating moisturizer
- Stimulates fibroblast proliferation and possibly aids in tissue repair
- Promotes normal keratinization
- In experimental therapeutics:
- claimed to promote wound healing in surgical, traumatic, and thermally induced wounds
- claimed to be effective in treating atopic dermatitis, diaper rash, and itching
Role in Hair Care
Various forms of vitamin B5 benefit the hair as follows:
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) is a natural constituent of healthy hair.
- Panthenol (Pro-vitamin B5) bioconverts to Pantothenic Acid in hair (vitamin B5).
In general, Vitamin B5:
- Enhances the strength of hair, increasing the resistance to breakage
- Prevents damage caused by overheating and overdrying of hair and scalp
- Nourishes hair by replenishing and augmenting its level in the hair
- Imparts long-lasting moisturization
- Conditions without build-up
- Reduces formation of split-ends
Role in Nail Care
- Absorbed into the nail and makes nails less brittle
Dexpanthenol is a clear, viscous, hygroscopic liquid with a slight, characteristic odor and a bitter taste. It is freely soluble in water, alcohol, methanol, and propylene glycol; soluble in chloroform and ether; slightly soluble in glycerine, insoluble in vegetable oils, mineral oil, and fats.