Vitamin B5
Everything You Need To Know

Article Read Duration 7 min read

Dry, red, rough or damaged skin? It’s time to smooth things over with Vitamin B5. Also known as pantothenic acid, this soothing, strengthening B vitamin has powerful hydrating and repairing properties. Frequently found in serums, moisturisers and haircare products in its alcohol form – panthenol, Vitamin B5 helps the skin (and hair) to attract and retain moisture, while providing protection and enhancing the natural repair process. 

To learn more about skin care’s quiet achiever, read on. This go-to guide to Vitamin B5 will soon have you singing panthenol’s praises. 

What is Vitamin B5?

Found in a variety of food sources, Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, is a water-soluble essential nutrient. It plays a vital role in red blood cell and hormone production, as well as the conversion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy1. Applied topically, it has a number of benefits for the skin – which we’ll soon discuss – however it is difficult to use in skincare due to its naturally unstable nature.

The solution? Formulating with its near neighbour, Provitamin B5. Commonly found in skin, hair and bodycare products, Provitamin B5 (or panthenol) is the alcohol derivative of pantothenic acid. Stable to use and easily absorbed, once it penetrates the skin it quickly converts into – you guessed it – Vitamin B5. 

Benefits of Vitamin B5

There’s a reason Provitamin B5 makes its way into so many beauty products – it’s a moisturising powerhouse that promotes soft, supple, comfortable skin. Combining easily with many ingredients, it works particularly well alongside other thirst quenchers such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin and ceramides. 

A humectant, panthenol is able to attract and hold moisture in the skin. Its ability to fill the gaps between dead skin cells2 means it also helps to soften the skin, keep it moist and flexible, and prevent dryness3.

Supporting the barrier function of the skin through its dual hydration processes, panthenol is known to reduce trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL) while helping to reduce discomfort. 

Soothing and repairing, panthenol is often found in after-sun lotions and post-tattoo creams, as well as products for minor skin irritations such as insect bites and nappy rash. 

Who Should Use Panthenol?

Many individuals can benefit from the use of Vitamin B5 skincare. Moisturising, soothing and barrier-boosting, panthenol is a versatile ingredient suited to use by most skin types. Generally well-tolerated, its main benefit lies in increasing hydration and comfort in dry, sensitive skins. 

Due to its hydrating, soothing properties, the B Vitamin may provide soothing care for dry, itchy, red and uncomfortable skin. It can also assist in nourishing post-procedure skin (skin that has undergone minor aesthetic treatments such as IPL, laser, peels, LED, needling and cosmetic injectables) and smoothing and softening dry skin and dry patches.

Panthenol & La Roche-Posay: Our Products for Hydration & Repair

Ideal for daily use in most types of sensitive skin, from normal to dry, La Roche-Posay’s Hyalu B5 Serum combines moisture-binding hyaluronic acid with panthenol and madecassoside for superior hydrating and soothing activity. With a fresh, water-gel formula, it helps to replenish, re-plump and smooth the skin. For additional hydration and comfort, it can be followed with the Hyalu B5 Moisturiser.

Providing intense hydration and nourishment to the face and body, Cicaplast Baume B5 is a multi-repairing balm, formulated with 5% panthenol and soothing madecassoside. Dermatologically tested and fragrance-free for sensitive skin, it can be used as needed to visibly relieve dryness in infants through to adults.

For dry or dehydrated sensitive skin in need of a pampering treat, the new Cicaplast B5 Mask soothes and replenishes with Provitamin B5. Made with 100% biodegradable cotton, the hydrating sheet mask is also infused with prebiotic, antioxidant La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water and madecassoside for enhanced skin hydration and renewal.

References

1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/pantothenic-acid
2. https://www.healthline.com/health/emollient
3. https://www.eczema.org.au/emollients/

Other sources

Camargo FB Jr, Gaspar LR, Maia Campos PM. Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations. J Cosmet Sci. 2011 Jul-Aug;62(4):361-70. PMID: 21982351.
Ebner F, Heller A, Rippke F, Tausch I. Topical use of dexpanthenol in skin disorders. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2002;3(6):427-33. doi: 10.2165/00128071-200203060-00005. PMID: 12113650.
Mount Sinai: Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

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