Are you concerned about the health of your skin?
Do you notice that your skin – and even your hair and nails – are dry, brittle, and lack that youthful glow?
Then there is one ingredient that you may just want to look out for, in the form of Panthenol.
This has to be one of the most beneficial beauty ingredients of all time; an alcohol that is processed by the body to produce pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5.
Panthenol for Skin
Panthenol is present in all living cells, which makes it the perfect ingredient for skincare:
Penetrative: When panthenol is applied to the skin, it results in a conversion to pantothenic acid. This acid is readily absorbed by the skin, penetrating deep into the lower layers.
Hydrating: Pantothenic acid works as a humectant by infusing water in the cells, retaining moisture deep within the skin’s tissues.
Moisturising: Clinical research has found that not only is this acid extremely moisturising, but when regularly used over a period of four weeks or more, it takes on an anti-inflammatory role; relieving systemic itching, whilst also helping to soothe a dry skin.
Interestingly, a deficiency in vitamin B5 can result in dermatological disorders, which may explain its anti-inflammatory properties.
Panthenol for Hair
You can’t get very far in the beauty industry without hearing about the wonderful affinity panthenol has on the hair. This is due to the fact that it is actually a major constituent of our hair.
Penetrative: It has a unique way of penetrating deep into the hair’s core; when it is left on the hair for five minutes or more, it swells the hair shaft – helping to give the hair more body.
Protective: It naturally creates a film of moisture on the hair shaft, giving the hair added protection.
Moisturising: Panthenol’s ability to regulate moisture content whilst increasing resistance to damage and brittleness makes it a wonderful moisturising ingredient.
Hoffman La Roche, a Swiss pharmacist, carried out a number of studies on this fascinating ingredient.
What he found was that when it is converted to vitamin B5 in the hair shaft, it creates an extremely hydrating environment that keeps the hair wonderfully moisturised for long periods of time.
Another great humectant that adds gloss and shine to the hair is glycerine, which I discuss in my article, “What is Glycerine and How Effective is it in Skincare?“.
Panthenol for Nails
A number of studies carried out on nail care have found that panthenol also works well with keratin, the protein found within our skin and nails.
It is able to penetrate into the nail plate at a depth of 0.2mm, helping to pretect and repair soft, damaged nails.
It is also extremely hydrating to nails that are dry or brittle.
Properties and Uses
So, let’s recap on panthenol’s amazing roles within the skin:
- It behaves as a humectant
- It is an effective emollient
- It is deeply penetrating
- It offers long-lasting moisturisation
- It’s great for red, sore, irritated skin, as it is very soothing
- It helps to improve the skin’s barrier function
- Research has shown that it may help to promote wound healing
- It is readily absorbed into the nail bed, helping to improve nail hydration and flexibility
- Once applied topically to the skin or hair, it undergoes a bio-conversion that converts it to pantothoenic acid – a natural ingredient in our hair and skin
- It is essential for epithelial function and cellular rejuvenation, promoting normal skin keratinisation
Want to know how to harness this wonder ingredient in your skin care regime? It’s a popular ingredient found in many of the Naked Chemist products.