POSTED: 6 Dec 2023

All The Benefits of Vitamin B5 for Skin & How to Add it to Your Skincare Routine

Vitamin B5, or Pantothenic acid, has for a long time carved out a niche for itself in the skincare industry. Unlike a lot of so-called “skincare heroes”, Vitamin B5 actually deserves this hard won reputation. From inflammation to skin ageing, Vitamin B5 has a wide rage of skin benefits. In this post, we explore all the benefits of Vitamin B5 for skin and how you can add it to your skincare routine.

What is Vitamin B5?

Vitamin B5, also known as Panthenol or Pantothenic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential nutrient vital for maintaining good health. It is naturally found in both plant and animal food sources. Vitamin B5 plays a vital role in making coenzyme A as well as in metabolising proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Due to these actions, it is important for the maintenance of healthy skin, hair and eyes. Within the skin, Vitamin B5 functions as a moisturiser, healer, protector and rejuvenator. It also aids in the formation of healthy fats in skin cells and hair, contributing to their resilience and strength. In short, Vitamin B5 serves as a building block for healthy skin. It does so by offering a blend of nourishing, protective, and restorative qualities.

How Panthenol Works

Vitamin B5 works by playing a key role in vital biochemical processes in our bodies. It is fundamental not just for energy production but also for maintaining overall health and vitality. Below are the main two main ways Vitamin B5 works and achieves its benefits:

  • Synthesis of Coenzyme A: This is vital in various biochemical reactions, particularly in the synthesis and oxidation of fatty acids. Coenzyme A is a central player in the Krebs cycle which is a crucial metabolic pathway that generates energy. This cycles also provides vital building blocks for the body’s growth and maintenance.
  • Metabolism of Macronutrients: Vitamin B5 is crucial for the metabolism of the three major types of macronutrients: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. In protein metabolism, it aids in both the synthesis and breakdown of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. For fats, Vitamin B5 is involved in making fatty acids and cholesterol. These are essential for maintaining healthy cell membranes and producing various hormones. In the case of carbohydrates, it helps convert them into glucose. This serves as a primary energy source for the body.

These functions are what make Vitamin B5 an essential nutrient. It facilitates the production of energy, supports cellular processes and ensures the effective utilisation of food for growth and repair.

Benefits of Vitamin B5 for Skin

The benefits of Vitamin B5 for the skin are extensive and backed by decades of scientific research. This is what Vitamin B5 can do for your skin:

  • Hydration and Moisturising: Vitamin B5 acts as a natural humectant meaning it attracts and retains moisture in the skin. This helps to keep your skin hydrated, plump and supple. In turn, this reduces the appearance of dry skin, fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Soothing and Healing: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, Vitamin B5 helps to calm irritated and inflamed skin. It’s also beneficial in healing minor wounds, cuts and skin irritations. This makes it a go-to ingredient for products aimed at repairing skin damage and soothing sensitive skin conditions like eczema and acne.
  • Skin Barrier Enhancement: Vitamin B5 plays a crucial role in repairing and strengthening the skin barrier. A strong skin barrier is essential for protecting the skin against environmental aggressors, pollutants and allergens as well as preventing moisture loss.
  • Anti-Aging Properties: By improving skin hydration and barrier function, Vitamin B5 can also help to reduce the signs of aging. It assists in maintaining skin elasticity and softness, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles.
  • Improving Skin Texture: Regular use of Vitamin B5 can improve the texture and overall appearance of the skin by making it appear smoother and more radiant.

As you can see, Vitamin B5 is a versatile and beneficial ingredient for the skin. It can help with a wide range of skin concerns from hydration to anti-aging. Its ability to nurture, protect, and repair the skin is what makes it a valuable addition to any skincare routine.

Panthenol Containing Skincare Products

Vitamin B5 is skincare super star ingredient thanks to its hydrating, soothing and repairing benefits. The skincare market is stuffed to the brim with products that contain Vitamin B5. These range from cleansers to face masks and everything in between! However, not all of these skincare products will give you the maximal benefits of Vitamin B5. For starters, we recommend using products that stay on the skin as opposed to those that wash off or wipe away. Here are the best types of products to use Vitamin B5 in:

  1. Serums: Vitamin B5 serums are highly concentrated and designed to deliver deep hydration. Hyaluronic acid often pairs well with Vitamin B5 to enhance moisture. The best way to use these serums is after cleansing and toning if you want to quickly boost skin hydration and moisture.
  2. Moisturisers: Infusing moisturisers with Vitamin B5 provides a long-lasting hydration. It can also help strengthen the skin barrier. These products are particularly beneficial for dry and sensitive skin as they also offer soothing and protective benefits.
  3. Face Masks: Hydrating face masks containing Vitamin B5 are excellent for a weekly skincare boost especially in the colder weather or dry climates. They help to soothe and rehydrate irritated or parched skin. Vitamin B5 masks can be a quick way to soften and replenish dull or dry skin.
  4. Sunscreen & After-Sun Products: Some sunscreens contain Vitamin B5 because of its skin-soothing and properties. It helps to counteract the drying effects of sun exposure, reduces redness and supports skin repair.
  5. Specialist Treatments: Balms, ointments & dressings formulated with Vitamin B5 are specially designed to help treat conditions like eczema, acne or minor wounds. These products leverage its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

How to use Vitamin B5 into Your Skincare Routine

Adding Vitamin B5 into your skincare routine can lead to noticeable improvements in hydration, texture and skin health. Here are our top tips for how to use Vitamin B5:

  • Product Selection: When choosing Vitamin B5 skincare products, take into account your skin type and specific needs. If you have oily or acne-prone skin opt for a lightweight serum. For dry skin go for a rich moisturiser or balm. Don’t waste time on cleansers with Vitamin B5 but a facial mist or essence can work well for more oily skin.
  • Skin Type: While Vitamin B5 is beneficial for all skin types, especially those with dry or sensitive skin. Always patch test new skincare products especially if you have sensitive skin.
  • Layering Vitamin B5: As it’s water based, layer Vitamin B5 serums after cleansing and before thicker or oil-based ones. Follow with a moisturiser and sunscreen.
  • Pairing Vitamin B5: This gentle ingredient plays well with others! Use with hyaluronic acid for extra hydration. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) and Vitamin B5 also work together to improve texture and barrier function.
  • Avoid Mixing With: The combination of Vitamin C and Vitamin B5 is great for skin brightening but best used separately. Also, avoid products with alcohol or astringents, as they can counteract the hydrating actions. The same is true for exfoliants like high-concentration AHAs or BHAs which can lead to irritation.
  • Let Vitamin B5 Boost Your Evening Routine: Use richer Vitamin B5 creams or overnight masks at night. Using Vitamin B5 moisturisers and balms after retinoids like Tretinoin or Retinal can help soothe skin and reduce purging.
  • Spot Treatments: Use treatments containing Vitamin B5 for concerns like acne or conditions like eczema.

Vitamin B5 is a powerhouse ingredient in the world of skincare which offers a multitude of skin benefits. The benefits of Vitamin b5 skincare range from hydration, healing to skin repair. It is even more attractive because it works well on almost all skin types, tones and concerns. All together, these benefits makes Vitamin B5 a versatile and invaluable addition to any skincare routine. That being said, remember that skincare is highly personal and there is no such thing as a miracle skincare ingredient or quick results. To get benefits from Vitamin B5 in your skincare you will need to be consistent and patient! If you have any severe skin concerns or conditions then always consult with a dermatologist before adding anything new to your skincare routine.

At City Skin Clinic, we are obsessive about personalised skincare. Our doctors offer safe and effective treatments with prescription-strength products like Tretinoin and Hydroquinone through our online skin clinic. We treat skin conditions like acnehyperpigmentationmelasma and skin ageing. To start your personalised skincare plan, book a virtual video consultation or use our online consultation form. The journey towards great skin starts here.

Authored by:

Dr Amel Ibrahim
Aesthetic Doctor & Medical Director
Founder City Skin Clinic
Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Associate Member of British Association of Body Sculpting GMC Registered - 7049611

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