Panthenol in Cosmetics

Panthenol is everywhere you look.

It's a substance made from pantothenic acid and is found in a wide range of cosmetic products – from makeup and moisturizers to shampoos and hand sanitisers. As a form of vitamin B5, it has a number of benefits when used topically.

This ingredient acts as a lubricant and is responsible for giving the skin a shiny appearance in moisturizers. On hair, panthenol increases the sheen and repairs the damaged texture of strands, which have undergone coloring or chemical treatment.

See our panthenol guide to answer your questions like what are the side effects of panthenol beauty products and what ingredients go well with panthenol.

Brands With Panthenol Products

  • Oribe
  • Schwarzkopf Professional
  • Paul Mitchell
  • OUAI
  • Shea Moisture
  • Dr. Barbara Sturm

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Frequently Asked Questions about Panthenol products

What are the benefits of panthenol beauty products?

There’s a reason why panthenol keeps popping up on labels, and that’s because it’s so useful. When used alongside other key ingredients, it improves the product’s effectiveness.

For example, it helps to improve the treatment of sunburn and minor cuts and wounds when used in different creams and ointments. In addition, it acts a humectant – which helps the skin and hair to retain moisture – therefore improving hydration and skin elasticity.

What are the side effects of panthenol beauty products?

Side effects of panthenol are rare, but when they do happen they can occur in the form of contact dermatitis (skin inflammation) and gastrointestinal stress (bloating, stomach cramps and abdominal distension). The general consensus is to use a concentration level no higher than 5% if you’re concerned.

Is panthenol an alcohol?

Yes, like most ingredients ending in ‘ol’ panthenol is an alcohol. However, it should be pointed out that its benefits far outweigh any drawbacks.

Who should use panthenol beauty products?

Panthenol exists in many skin care and hair products, so most people can use it. However, studies suggest that it can cause irritation, so once again a lower concentration should be considered when used on sensitive skin, for example.

Due to its firming and hydrating properties, it’s ideal for those with dry and sagging skin concerns. On top of that, the ingredient is also child-friendly as a number of children’s products have been specifically formulated with it.

What ingredients go well with panthenol?

Panthenol is hailed for its versatility as it mixes well with many different ingredients. Joined with zinc, it increases the wound healing time. Its presence with shea butter soothes and nourishes the skin, and when combined with niacinamide it improves the signs of aging.

Hannah Liddle

Written by Hannah Liddle, Beauty Editor


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