What is it?
Panthenol is derived from vitamin B5, also know as Pantothenic Acid. In cosmetics and personal care products, Panthenol and Pantothenic Acid can be found in moisturizers, skin care products, hair conditioners, shampoos, wave sets, and hair sprays, as well as in makeup products such as eye shadow, lipstick and mascara.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) includes Panthenol (also called D-Pantothenyl Alcohol) on its list of nutrients (in this case a vitamin) and/or dietary supplements Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS
). The calcium salt of Pantothenic Acid, calcium pantothenate, is on FDA's list of direct food subbstances affirmed as GRAS
The safety of Panthenol and Pantothenic Acid has been assessed by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review
(CIR) Expert Panel. The CIR Expert Panel evaluated the scientific data and concluded that Panthenol and Pantothenic Acid were safe for use in cosmetics and personal care products. In 2004, the CIR Expert Panel considered available new data on Panthenol and reaffirmed the above conclusion.
Why is it used in cosmetics and personal care products?
Panthenol acts as a lubricant on the skin surface, which gives the skin a soft and smooth appearance. Panthenol and Pantothenic Acid also enhance the appearance and feel of hair, by increasing hair body, suppleness, or sheen, or by improving the texture of hair that has been damaged physically or by chemical treatment.
Panthenol and Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5) have the same biological activity and Panthenol can be converted (by oxidation) to vitamin B5 in the skin. Pantothenic Acid is found in all living cells and tissues and is essential for normal metabolism and hormone production. In cosmetics and personal care products, two forms of Panthenol can be found: D-Panthenol occurs as a viscous oil and DL-Panthenol occurs as a creamy white, crystalline powder.