Chances are that you have a friend who’s gotten a tattoo at some point and has been going on and on about having to regularly apply their dose of panthenol ointment so that their newly-inked skin stays hydrated, refreshed, and rash-free. As of recent – It’s me. I’m that friend.
Tattoos aside, panthenol really doesn't get the credit that it should! It's a lot easier to find than you might think, it benefits not only your skin but also your hair and nails, and it's super easy to apply. Here's everything you need to know about the wonder-ointment that is panthenol.
Table of Contents:
- What is Panthenol?
- Where is Panthenol Found?
- Panthenol for Skin
- Panthenol for Hair & Nails
What is Panthenol?
Panthenol (or pantothenol) is an alcohol-based byproduct of pantothenic acid (or vitamin B5) used in a wide variety of products like pharmaceuticals and cosmetics that comes in the form of a transparent liquid at room temperature or a white powder.
Panthenol is also produced organically by animals and plants, and you likely have it in your system right now or in some products that you own, such as healing creams, those used to treat bug bites or some moisturizers.
Where is Panthenol Found?
Panthenol is derived from pantothenic acid, which is found in almost all animals and plants. If you are interested in panthenol, you might want to check foods that are high in panthenol’s source, pantothenic acid – or as mentioned, vitamin B5:
- Beef, chicken breast, lean pork chops;
- Fortified cereals and whole grains;
- Sunflower seeds;
- Sweet potatoes.
As mentioned, panthenol is included in many cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, and if you take a look at your own, you are sure to find it in many of them. Panthenol won’t always appear under this name in the ingredient list, so here are its pseudonyms:
- provitamin B-5;
- alcohol analogue of pantothenic acid;
- H2 D-pantothenyl alcohol.
Panthenol for Skin
When it comes to our skin, panthenol is often used as a moisturizer, and once applied on the skin, it’s turned into vitamin B5 through oxidation, which is why it is often called a pro-vitamin B5.
This vitamin plays an important role in the human body, helping cell and hormone production and boosting metabolism (turning what we eat into energy). Vitamin B5 overall keeps the skin looking healthy and young. Here are just a few reasons why panthenol is so great for our skin:
Anti-inflammatory and healing properties
Panthenol helps soothe acne, rashes, and any other kinds of irritations. It’s usually found in creams that fight off bugs or heal bug bites, as well as ointments formulated for sunburn and other injuries.
Tattoo artists also recommend panthenol-based creams for healing tattoos, given the intense irritation that is often caused by the inking procedure. If you apply it 3-4 times a day for about a week after you’ve gotten your tattoo, panthenol will help maintain your ink's freshness while making sure that your skin is protected throughout the skin's healing procedure.
Because it keeps the skin hydrated and guards its elasticity, which is usually lost with age, it can be said that panthenol is great for people that worry about wrinkles a lot. Regularly applying a nourishing body butter rich in vitamin B5 will ensure that your skin stays moisturized, soothed, and protected from the harmful effects of aging.
Highly moisturizing agent
The one thing that panthenol is very popular for is the fact that it’s a great moisturizer. It penetrates the skin easily, hydrates it, and acts as a barrier, sealing in the moisture. This makes hydrating body lotions based on panthenol-rich oils like argan and coconut the perfect fit for your daily skincare routine!
If it’s dehydrated, your skin will end up looking dry and flakey, so you want to avoid that as much as possible. And, contrary to popular belief, people with oily skin might benefit from it too, even if all those added oils might sound a bit counter-effective. Often, oily skin is caused by dehydration on a deeper level, so there is an over-production of sebum to make up for it.
The good thing about this ingredient is the fact that the appearance of side effects is very rare, and people of all skin types should be able to use it without worries. It’s likely a safe ingredient since there is not much evidence to show that it may cause harm in any way, though in the few instances that it might happen, it’s usually because of a rare skin allergy.
Panthenol for Hair & Nails
Panthenol is not limited to being used topically on the skin. It can also help your hair’s health and the integrity of your nails:
- Hair – because of the already mentioned properties, panthenol contributes to the overall health of the scalp. Having a healthy, well-cared-for scalp means having great hair too. A stronger, clean scalp can support longer hair. More than that, the fact that it’s so moisturizing means that it’s able to penetrate the hair shaft and give it a glossy look and softer feeling.
Nails – having stronger nails means taking care of them. Nails also need specific treatments, and they are prone to breakage when they are dry and thin. Fortunately, panthenol is also found in many nail serums, oils, and ointments, as it’s able to penetrate and seal in the much-needed moisture.
Skin Hydration Has Never Been Easier
And with that, you are now a full-fledged panthenol expert! Keeping your skin hydrated only gets easier and easier once you bring some panthenol-heavy products into your skincare routine, and getting enough vitamin B5 is as simple as eating your cereal and milk or some well-cooked sunny-side-up eggs at breakfast.
Whether you're recently tattooed yourself or just want to find a simple solution to your skin's long-term dehydration problems, panthenol is always the way to go!
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