What is Panthenol?
Panthenol, also called pantothenol, is a provitamin of B5. It is a transparent liquid at room temperature. In cosmetics this ingredient can be found in moisturisers, skin care products, hair conditioners, shampoos and hair sprays, as well as in makeup products such as eye shadow, lipstick and mascara.
What is Panthenol used for?
Panthenol is used in many hair care products as a humectant, a substance that helps retain moisture. The molecular structure allows it to attract moisture from the atmosphere and bind to water molecules which helps moisturise hair and skin and stops both from getting dehydrated.
Is it good for the hair?
Panthenol is great for penetrating deep into the hair. It also swells the hair shaft helping to give the hair more body.
The molecular structure of this ingredient also allows it to spread evenly on the surface of the hair strand. This forms a smooth film over hair cuticles that enhances light reflection, in effect making the hair look shinier and glossier.
There have been reports of this ingredient causing a build up or making the hair feel waxy. There is no evidence supports this in testing.
Panthenol doesn’t have the same structure as waxy materials as it is an emulsifier which works to help incompatible chemicals to stay mixed in creams which gives it a smooth texture. It is also extremely water and alcohol soluble, which makes it easy to wash out.