What is Vitamin B5?
Vitamin B5 is a water soluble vitamin, commonly known as pantothenic acid. It essential for cellular life, playing a vital role in our body’s ability to break down and gain energy from the foods we eat. Vitamin B5 can be found in whole grain cereals, mushrooms, broccoli, liver and sunflower seeds.
In skin care it is been shown to smooth and moisturise as well as aid in healing and skin regeneration. Vitamin B5 cannot be absorbed by the skin so its precursor, provitamin B5 or panthenol is used. It is transformed into vitamin B5 after being absorbed by the skin.
What does it do?
In skin care, provitamin B5 (which converts to Vitamin B5) plays a number of important roles.
It acts as a humectant – that is, it helps retain moisture, keeping the skin hydrated. It has also been shown to aid in the regeneration of fibroblasts which help maintain the skin’s elasticity, and it has also been shown to play a role in wound healing and decreasing inflammation. There is some evidence to show that it can be useful in treating acne. It is used in a number of hair care products too as it may help retain moisture, giving the hair a thicker appearance. It will not, however, help regrow thinning hair.
When digested vitamin B5 becomes a coenzyme, a type of molecule that helps enzymes – the catalysts that make chemical reactions in the body work- to function. In this case, it becomes is coenzyme A, a molecule that allow our cells to gain energy from our food and aids with its energy use and storage.
Yes, B5 is very safe. In fact, no tolerable upper limit has ever been established, as any excess can be easily excreted by the body in urine.
Is it called anything else?
Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid. In skin care producgs provitamin B5 (pathenol is used and may also be known as dexpanthenol, d-panthenol or dl-panthenol.