What it is: Panthenol is the alcohol counterpart of pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, making it a pro-vitamin of B5.

Where it comes from: Since it is a pro-vitamin, panthenol can be found in many different plant and food sources, such as vegetables, honey, and meats.

Properties: Panthenol is soluble in water, alcohol, propylene glycol, and ether chloroform, and is somewhat soluble in glycerin. At room temperature, it turns into a thick, transparent liquid. When ingested into the body, panthenol turns into vitamin B5.

What it’s good for: Panthenol is a humectant, so it can pull moisture into the hair shaft and the skin. It’s also used to help skin ointments penetrate deeply to improve the healing process. In addition, tattoo artists often suggest panthenol as a great moisturizing agent for new tattoos.

Where you’ll find it: Panthenol can be found in a wide range of beauty products and ointments, including hair care products, skin care items, and cosmetics. The pro-vitamin also binds well to hair, improving shine and making wet hair easier to comb.

Other uses: Panthenol has also been used to reduce wrinkles and combat acne. Treatments that include panthenol as an ingredient have been shown to aid with skin issues ranging from minor problems to major scar marks.

Fun Fact: Panthenol was the original ingredient that inspired the name for international hair care brand Pantene, which made its debut in 1947 in Europe.

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