Ingredient Sustainability - Panthenol

INCI: Panthenol

Raw Material: Vitamin B-5

Panthenol, or provitamin B5, a chemical substance derived from pantothenic acid, is produced by combining Propanolamine and Beta-dimethyl butyrolactone. (19,20,21) This process results in a substance that, once absorbed into the body, becomes Vitamin B5. (3)

It can be produced organically from plant and animal sources, making it a renewable resource. (1,2)

This ingredient is commonly used in cosmetics to improve the health and appearance of the skin and hair.  (1,7)  

However, it is important to note that panthenol is only partially natural, as it can also be synthesized in a laboratory. Although derived from vitamin B5, it is not a pure component. Instead, panthenol is a synthetic derivative modified to enhance its stability and effectiveness. To produce panthenol, vitamin B5 is combined with other chemicals, resulting in a product that does not occur in this form naturally. (1,2,3,4)

It is readily biodegradable in water and has a very low potential for bioaccumulation. Skincare products that contain panthenol can be absorbed by the skin and naturally converted into vitamin B5.   This vitamin is essential for hydrating, healing, and regenerating the skin. Transforming panthenol is natural and doesn't involve harsh chemical reactions. (1,2,3,4)

Panthenol powder, also known as dl-panthenol, is a cosmetic-grade combination of two forms of panthenol: 'D' and 'L.' These two forms have different molecular structures. The 'D' form is more biologically active and beneficial for the skin, while the 'L' form is less effective (3,5,6) 

The traditional method of producing panthenol involves combining synthetic R-pantolactone with 3-aminopropanol through chemical condensation. (8)

It's important to consider the environmental impact of a product throughout its entire lifecycle. Although panthenol is a sustainable alternative to non-renewable ingredients like petroleum, it's crucial to note that sustainability depends on how the plants are grown and processed.  (9,10,11)   Some sources may use harmful pesticides, fertilizers, or solvents that can harm the environment and human health. (12, 13,14,14,16)




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