All Topics
Mode d'utilisation de la provitamine B5

How to use Provitamin B5?

Also known as panthenol, provitamin B5 is a popular active ingredient in cosmetics, found in many skin and hair care products. Versatile, it can be used in a number of ways. Find out more about our tips for optimal use of provitamin B5 here.

Published June 5, 2024, updated on June 24, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

The topical application of Provitamin B5.

Primarily praised for its moisturizing properties, the provitamin B5 is a cosmetic active ingredient mainly found in creams, balms, or ointments intended for sensitive or weakened skin. The panthenol is indeed very gentle and is capable of strengthening the skin barrier while soothing irritations. Its anti-inflammatory action is relatively extensive, and studies have shown that it can inhibit the activity of prostaglandin E2, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP), pro-inflammatory cytokines that play a role in the occurrence of redness and itching. Furthermore, provitamin B5 can promote re-epithelialization, thus allowing the skin to heal more quickly.

It is also quite common to find provitamin B5 in hair care products. Ideal for alleviating the characteristic feelings of tightness in sensitive or fragile scalps, it is easily absorbed by the epidermis and helps to minimize insensible water loss (IWL) while having a soothing effect. In vitro studies and clinical trials have also suggested that panthenol could extend the anagen phase, which corresponds to the period when hair and pilosebaceous fibers grow, making this active ingredient appreciated for formulating densifying products for hair, but also for eyelashes and eyebrows.

Generally very well tolerated, panthenol can be used by all skin types and is also suitable for pregnant women. The Expert Group on Cosmetic Ingredient Safety has indeed recently concluded that provitamin B5 used in cosmetics is safe and very well tolerated by the skin. Even though its concentration is not subject to restriction by Regulation 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and Council, panthenol is generally found at rates between 0.5 and 5% in cosmetics. Finally, it is interesting to note that this active ingredient is not photosensitizing and can be used at any time of the day throughout the year.

Is it possible to supplement with provitamin B5?

As its name suggests, provitamin B5 is a precursor to vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Once applied to the skin, panthenol is converted into vitamin B5, playing a crucial role in cellular metabolism. Pantothenic acid indeed contributes to energy production in cells, oxygen transport in the blood, as well as the synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol, and sex hormones. A deficiency in vitamin B5 can result in extreme fatigue, insomnia, and headaches. Provided by certain foods (whole grains, avocado, soy, milk...) and produced by the intestinal flora, vitamin B5 can also be assimilated through dietary supplements.

Unlike its derivative, panthenol is only present in topical products.


  • Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 of the European Parliament and the Council.

  • LENZ H. & al. A new topical emollient containing panthenol: effect on skin hydration after single and extended use in healthy adults, and tolerability in healthy infants. Journal of Dermatological Treatment (2016).

  • VELASCO M. V. & al. Protective effect of conditioner agents on hair treated with oxidative hair dye. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2018).

  • COOPER G. & al. Cerebral deficiency of vitamin B5 (d-pantothenic acid; pantothenate) as a potentially-reversible cause of neurodegeneration and dementia in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (2020).

  • HELDRETH B. & al. Safety Evaluation of Panthenol, Pantothenic Acid, and Derivatives in Cosmetic Applications. International Journal of Toxicology (2022).


Understand your skin
and its complex needs.