The cosmetic industry uses the panthenol for a large number of products. Something that you can check by approaching the bathroom and seeing the ingredients that make up each of the cosmetics you usually use. In fact, this compound also appears in some foods, vitamin supplements and hygiene products that we consume daily.
Panthenol has a very chemical structure similar to that of alcohol. Its use is standardized to promote hydration and increase the softness of the skin or hair. It can be used both in application on the skin or hair and consumed by products topically.
Do you know the safety offered by this compound used daily for the personal care? In this article we review all the information related to panthenol and the safety offered by its use or consumption.
What exactly is panthenol?
It is known as panthenol to the chemical that comes from pantothenic acid, whose other known name is that of vitamin B5. It is a natural and organic product that can come from various animal and plant sources. Its main use is as an additive for personal hygiene products, being very present in this cosmetic and pharmacological industry.
A balanced diet brings pantothenic acid to our osganism, since it can come from various food sources quite common. In addition, it is also common for any cosmetic product that we consider as banal and habitual also to contain it. Definitely, panthenol is present daily in our lives.
Appearance and form of presentation
Panthenol has a physical appearance of white powder in solid state and that of semi transparent oil in a liquid state. When we see the ingredients of a cosmetic, we can locate it under the following names:
- Pantothenic acid alcohol
- Provitamin B-5
- D-pantothene alcohol
If we take panthenol through food, our system quickly turns it into vitamin B5.
What functions does panthenol have?
When it is incorporated as an additive ingredient in cosmetics for application to the skin and hair, its main function is to wetting agent. It is included in the ingredients to act as a softening agent, soothing effect and prevent skin irritation. Due to its composition, it also reduces the loss of water through the surface layers of the epidermis.
Hair Application Products
Many softening compounds and hair creams include panthenol to get increase hair shine, leave it silkier and softer and increase its strength. This is achieved by facilitating their hydration and helping in the absorption of the rest of the ingredients.
Panthenol is frequently used in products used to reduce thin hair, having been made several research studies about it.
Skin Application Products
Panthenol or vitamin B5 is also frequently used for improve skin hydration. In addition, it is considered an essential ingredient in a healthy diet. In cosmetic products, we can usually find it in lipstick, foundation or mascara. In addition, many moisturizers incorporate this compound, especially when they are focused on relieving irritated skin or reducing the stinging of insect bites and rubbing of clothing or diapers.
Currently, it is considered by the National Center for Biotechnological Information as a skin protector with activity Antiinflammatory. Therefore, we also find it in after shave, shaving creams, moisturizers, etc. It can also be used to aid wound healing.
Nail Application Products
Chemically, nails and hair keep many matching points, as both contain keratin proteins. The positive effect of panthenol on the skin, helping in its hydration and increasing its hardness, also has application on the nails, increasing their brightness and resistance. This compound can be seen incorporated in products focused on nail care, such as hand creams and protective oils.
There is a scientific study in Research Gate which confirms its use to reduce nail breakage.
Safety in the use of panthenol
Currently, pantothenic acid, vitamin B5 or panthenol is considered a safe substance by various comsions, both in USA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) as in Europe (European Commission of Cosmetic Ingredients).
Even so, you have to read between the lines with the security confirmation, since the relevant authorities have considered it as probably safe because there is no scientific evidence to confirm otherwise.
The Allergic reactions to topical panthenol are extremely rare. If it occurs, it can cause contact dermatitis, and if ingested, some mild gastrointestinal difficulty.
The amount of this substance included in cosmetic products is often even lower than what we ingest naturally with the consumption of plant and animal foods, so there is no evidence that it can cause a negative effect on the body.