Our skin takes a beating every day by being continuously exposed to the environment, stressful situations and even skin conditions in some cases, all of which can easily upset our skin’s natural balance. Hydration is key to how our skin functions, without it our skin cannot protect us. We all know that moisturisers are the best way to help keep our skin hydrated, but it is equally important to know what ingredients are being used in them, and the benefits that they provide. In this piece, we will look at one moisturising ingredient in particular: Pro-Vitamin B5, also known as Panthenol.
What is Pro-vitamin B5?
Pro-vitamin B5 is a biologically active component of the B vitamin-complex, which is a basic component of the skin, hair and nails. When applied to the skin, Pro-vitamin B5 is known to be well absorbed into the upper layer of the skin and is quickly converted into Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), which is then converted to an important molecule named Acetyl Coenzyme-A (Acetyl CoA). Acetyl CoA molecule is an essential component of many biochemical reactions within skin cells that are necessary for them to function properly, and is also an important molecule to ensure proper skin barrier function, hydration, elasticity and strength1,2.
Benefits of Pro-vitamin B5 in skincare, hair care and nail care
Pro-vitamin B5 is a moisturiser, which can play an important role in keeping skin, hair and nails looking and feeling healthy. It can help to support a healthy skin barrier as well as preventing skin dryness, damage and irritation by maintaining its moisture and reducing water loss1-3. Because of these benefits, Pro-vitamin B5 is a commonly-used ingredient in skin care, hair care and nail care products, including cosmetics, hair sprays, shampoos and conditioners.
Pro-vitamin B5 can act as both an emollient and a humectant2,4,5. As an emollient, Pro-vitamin B5 can help seal cracks in the skin, keeping that water locked in, which in turn contributes to skin softness and smoothness2,5. As a humectant, Pro-vitamin B5 can bind to and hold water within the skin, reducing the amount of water lost through the skin and helping it maintain moisture, softness and elasticity2,6. Additionally, Pro-vitamin B5 can coat and seal moisture in the hair and nails helping it maintain its lubrication, shine, flexibility and strength2,6.
Pro-vitamin B5 can help to repair the skin natural barrier
Along with the ability to retain the skin’s moisture, Pro-vitamin B5 can also help to support its barrier function, which in turn helps to protect the skin from irritation1,7-9. With nails, it can also help to protect against harmful effects of nail polishes and harsh environmental conditions2,3.
- Pro-vitamin B5 can support the skin's barrier function, texture and elasticity by maintaining its moisture and reducing the amount of water lost through the skin.
- Pro-vitamin B5 can help to control moisture content while increasing the hair's shine and resistance to damage.
- Pro-vitamin B5 can penetrate through the nails to provide moisture while maintaining its flexibility and strength at the same time.