Skincare Active Ingredients

Pantothenic acid in Skincare and Haircare

Pantothenic acid or Vitamin B3 is commonly referred to as an ‘anti-stress vitamin’. This acid can be obtained from both animal and plant sources. Pantothenic acid is responsible for the production of Coenzyme A, which helps in various biological activities such as

  • Metabolizing carbohydrates.
  • glucose production
  • breaking down fatty acids
  • Synthesis of steroid hormone
  • Synthesis of acetylcholine (responsible for muscle contraction).

How much Vitamin B3 do we need?

  • The daily recommended dose for adults can be: 4-7 mg/day.

Topical Pantothenic acid

Dexpanthenol: It can absorb well into the skin and is then converted to pantothenic acid. Vitamin B3 in skincare is used at 2%- 5% as creams, ointments, and serums.

Benefits of Vitamin B3

  • It moisturizes the skin: It can act as a humectant (It draws moisture from the air into the skin) and it also helps to decrease TEWL (transepidermal water loss).
  • It can improve the skin barrier.
  • Anti-inflammatory: It helps to reduce erythema (redness) and irritation.
  • It improves heal wounding by increasing the proliferation of fibroblast.
  • It also helps with the itching for people with dermatitis.
  • It improves skin elasticity.
  • It is said to reduce cholesterol and help with rheumatoid arthritis, but more evidence is needed to prove this.

Who can use pantothenic acid?

  • It is suitable for all skin types including sensitive skin mainly, because of its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.
  • It can be used as a hand cream for people with hand eczema.
  • It can be used as a moisturizer for people with atopic dermatitis (eczema).
  • Its also used to treat diaper rashes.

Pantothenic acid for hair

Vitamin B5 has been used for premature greying of hair (PGH). Calcium pantothenate tablets are given a high dose of 200 mg/day + manual avulsion of grey hair (pulling out grey hair).

The study using Vitamin B5 for PGH had 39 patients. They were treated with 200 mg of calcium pantothenate tablets daily and were also combined with gray hair avulsion therapy (pulling out grey hair), which showed better results.

Out of the 39 patients, only 7 had followed up for 3 years, 4 cases had improvement, 2 cases showed an increase in gray hair, and 1case had no change in grey hair. Not all gray hair that was avulsed grew back as gray hair.

From this study, we can see that there is not much improvement in PGH. There are many vitamins and minerals that can help with grey hair but not fully stop grey hair.

Frequently asked questions:

Is Pantothenic acid safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Pantothenic acid is safe to use for pregnancy topically since it is used in many creams and moisturizers. If your taking pantothenic acid by mouth 6 mg daily is the recommended dose.

Does pantothenic acid cause purging?

No, pantothenic acid cannot cause purging mainly of its anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties.

At what dosage should calcium pantothenate tablets be taken for grey hair?

Calcium pantothenate tablets are given at a dosage of 200/mg or higher every day, but it is better to consult a doctor about the dosages.

Can I take pantothenic acid on an empty stomach?

Yes, it is safe to take pantothenic acid on an empty stomach in the morning or night.

Does pantothenic acid cause acid reflux?

No, pantothenic acid does not cause acid reflux instead it may help to treat and reduce its symptoms.

Can I take pantothenic acid with accutane?

If you’re planning to use pantothenic acid orally while on accutane, it is better to consult a doctor about this, or else it could make your acne worse.