by BotheredByBees www.flickr.com

What is Panthenol Used For, Anyway?

Panthenol is commonly used in shampoos and conditioners, is water-soluble, and is absorbed easily into the human body. It is completely safe and non-toxic. Panthenol attracts moisture from the air and binds to hair follicles. When panthenol is used as a moisturizing agent in shampoos and conditioners, the user's hair can feel lubricated, but it doesn't feel greasy. It may also make hair appear shiny. Mascara can contain panthenol, and this ingredient adds moisture to eyelashes and makes it easier to apply mascara. In hand lotions, this ingredient helps with skin hydration and reduces itching and inflammation. Panthenol is easily absorbed into the skin and can improve its appearance. It may even reduce some wrinkles and fine lines, because the moisture is held underneath the skin's surface, and the skin naturally stretches. So where do we get this helpful ingredient?

Where Panthenol Comes From

Panthenol is made from d-pantolactone, which is found in honey. Panthenol is not made from honey, but from one of its components: Panthenol is the alcohol form of pantothenic acid (more familiarly known as Vitamin B5). Panthenol is turned into pantothenic acid in a living cell, such as a human being's skin cells. In other words, the substance, panthenol, turns into the vitamin (B5 or pantothenic acid) when it is ingested by the body.

Other Forms of Panthenol

Panthenol is a liquid at room temperature--a thick, transparent liquid. It is an alcohol analog of pantothenic acid, which can be found in many foods, such as whole-grain cereals, vegetables, meats and eggs. Another form of panthenol is pantothenate--any salt of panthothenic acids, which are typically white in color. When panthenol is found in organisms, it is oxidized to pantothenate. Panthenol and its other forms come from the food we eat--including mostly meat and honey.