Panthenol: Why it’s a Must Have for Your Hair, Skin, and Nails Series (Part 1 of 3)

Panthenol is a part of the Vitamin B family and is technically a provitamin, which means that it has to be converted (through the metabolic process) into a vitamin.  When metabolized,  panthenol becomes pantothenic acid, which is also known as Vitamin B5. Because pantothenic acid is found in every living cell, it is essential for healthy cell health.


Why Your Body Need Pantothenic Acid

One of the reasons pantothenic acid is essential to good health is because it helps to regulate the adrenal glands, which, when performing properly, ensures a healthy libido and helps you to manage stress by regulating the steroidal hormones. Another reason your body needs pantothenic acid, and perhaps the most important reason, is that pantothenic acid energizes your cells.  Consequently, when you’re feeling tired or sluggish, something as simple as popping a B Complex vitamin (which includes Vitamin B5) might just give you the energy boost you need.


How does Pantothnic Acid Jump Starts Those Cells?

Pantothenic acid is a critical part of an important enzyme called co-enzyme A (CoA).  CoA is essential because simply put, it is found in all living cells and aids in converting fatty acids into energy.   All cells need energy to function or perform their jobs properly.  And since pantothenic acid is naturally found all over your body, it needs to be occasionally replenished to ensure that those cells are performing well.  But the benefit of this powerhouse vitamin doesn’t stop there.


In addition to all of the good things pantothenic acid does for you internally, it also has some incredible benefits when applied topically in its provitamin form- panthenol.


Panthenol in Beauty Products

Since the late 1940s, cosmetics companies have been using panthenol in the provitamin form of either D-Panthenol or DL-Panthenol to formulate high performing beauty products.  D-Panthenol is specifically designed for cosmetics products that have a range of pH 4 and pH 7.  When reading the ingredient list of a product, you’ll probably see either D-Panthenol or DL-Panthenol used as the INCI name.


D-Panthenol can be readily metabolized and it bio-converts into pantothenic acid when applied topically; whereas, L-Panthenol cannot bio-convert.  However, both forms are effective in formulating highly moisturizing beauty products that have astounding results on hair, skin and nails.   Needless to say, it’s not surprising that panthenol is a “major player” in the beauty industry.  In fact, it is such a significant ingredient for beauty that it‘s one of the few “miracle” beauty ingredients that has been given a nickname- “the natural beautifier.”  So what’s the magic in this power-packed vitamin that makes it so incredible?


Panthenol and Your Hair

Panthenol strongly attaches to the hair cuticle and deeply penetrates the cortex.  As noted above, the D-Panthenol form  also bio-converts to pantothenic acid so you get “two-for-one” in that you get an internal vitamin boost, while externally giving your hair and scalp the nutrients they need for the following results:


  • Nourishes and Conditions the Hair-because panthenol actually bio-converts to pantothenic acid in the hair, cosmetics companies can make the claim that it nourishes the hair, which is no small feat.  The “hair nourishment” claim was accepted by the National Advertising Division (NAD) Council of the Better Business Bureau.


The Benefit:

Strengthens hair roots and hair shaft

Activates pigment stimulation-possibly reducing the production of gray hair

Improves scalp inflammation from eczema and psoriasis

Regenerates hair follicle cells

More luster and sheen in the hair

More flexible and healthier hair


  • Provides Long Lasting Moisture-especially when consistently applied over a period of time.


The Benefits:

Reduced split ends

Greatly retains moisture in hair

Less hair breakage when applying thermal heat


  • Makes Stronger Hair and Prevents Breakage-whether your tresses are natural (virgin) or chemically treated, panthenol ladened products will greatly reduce breakage due to its ability to normally increase keratin production.


The Benefits:

Thicker hair

Less split ends

Protects chemically treated hair, i.e. permed or colored, from breakage


With this kind of impact on your hair, it’s no wonder this powerhouse nutrient has the nickname, “The Natural Beautifier.” If it’s that great for hair, hmm….can’t wait to see what it does skin and nails?