9 Panthenol Creams and Serums for Parched, Sensitive Skin

Best Panthenol (vitamin B5) Skincare Products

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When we think of vitamins in skincare, we think of heavy active ingredients such as vitamin A or vitamin C that are notoriously unstable. Vitamin B5, however, can’t be further away from unstable. Also known as panthenol, vitamin B5 brings so much to the table even though it’s not the hottest or the buzziest of the bunch. Keep reading to find out what panthenol is, how it benefits your skin, and the best products to try.

What Is Panthenol?

Also called pro-vitamin B5, panthenol is a precursor to vitamin B5 (1). It’s a water-soluble vitamin used in skincare products like serums and creams for its soothing, hydrating, and barrier-repairing benefits. It’s an incredibly gentle skincare ingredient that all skin types can easily tolerate.

Benefits of Panthenol (Vitamin B5) For Skin

Hydrates

Panthenol is a humectant. It binds water to the skin and increases the water content. As a result, it improves skin elasticity and keeps the skin plump and healthy. It prevents transepidermal water loss and keeps the outer layer of the skin hydrated.

Moisturizes

Panthenol also works as a moisturizer, meaning that it also increases the oil content. When we say oil, we don’t mean the excess oil that causes clogged pores or breakouts. We mean the oils that your skin barrier needs to stay intact and functional (2). Because of its moisturizing abilities, panthenol keeps the skin soft and reduces roughness and flakiness.

Soothes

Panthenol has anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin. This is how it differs from other hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Panthenol has soothing effects on the skin and helps calm redness and irritation.

Prevents Irritation

Panthenol not only treats irritation but also prevents it (3). This explains why certain serums with active ingredients also incorporate vitamin B5 into the products to mitigate sensitivity and irritation.

Repairs Skin Barrier

Because of its hydrating, moisturizing, and soothing benefits, panthenol is incredibly helpful in repairing the damaged skin barrier. If you have a compromised skin barrier due to over-exfoliating, using retinol, harsh active ingredients, or harsh cleansers, panthenol deserves a place in your routine.

How To Choose Panthenol/Vitamin B5 Products

Just like hyaluronic acid, panthenol is also an ingredient that comes in almost all skincare products. It’s not what they call a rare, expensive commodity. But it’s great for all skin types, especially for people with sensitive skin.

To get the most out of your panthenol products, keep your skin type and concerns in mind. If you’re looking to repair the damaged skin barrier, look for a minimal moisturizer that contains panthenol high up on the list.

As panthenol is a non-comedogenic humectant and emollient, it’s incredibly helpful for people with oily skin. If you have oily and dehydrated skin, look for an oil-free moisturizer that also contains vitamin B5.

If you have very dry skin, look for a hyaluronic acid serum that also packs vitamin B5 to layer under your moisturizer. Similarly, if you have sensitive skin or rosacea, panthenol is among the ingredients that need to be in your products.

If you’re following an anti-aging routine or regularly using retinol products, panthenol will reduce the side effects of retinol and prevent dryness and irritation. So you can add a panthenol moisturizer or a cleanser to soften your anti-aging routine.

Best Panthenol/Vitamin B5 Products

From creams to serums, below are the best products formulated around panthenol aka vitamin B5.

1. Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum

Alpha-H Vitamin B Serum - Panthenol Vitamin B5 Skincare

This is an amazing face serum all skin types can benefit from! It’s hydrating, soothing, and also anti-aging. It’s made with vitamin B3 (niacinamide) as well as vitamin B5 for soothing the skin and enhancing the skin barrier function. It also has ferulic acid to fend off skin-aging elements. The serum promotes resilient, stronger skin that’s better able to resist irritation, and signs of aging. Plus, it contains copper peptides, which reduce inflammation and redness. The soothing and hydrating formula is especially helpful for reactive and inflamed skin.

Best Vitamin B5 Serum
Image by Ejollify

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, niacinamide, copper peptide
Size: 0.84 oz/25 ml
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free

2. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 - Panthenol Vitamin B5 Skincare

This is another multi-functional serum all skin types can use to replenish the skin. It’s great for oily and dehydrated skin to hydrate without clogging pores. It’s amazing for sensitive skin to reduce redness. It’s also great for dry skin to hydrate before moving on to a thicker cream to lock moisture in. It’s made with hyaluronic acid and panthenol. Plus, hyaluronic acid comes in different molecular weights, which ensures maximum hydration. It’s one of the most affordable panthenol serums out there that works!

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, hyaluronic acid
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free, oil-free, alcohol-free

3. SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel - Panthenol Vitamin B5 For Skin

Hyaluronic acid and panthenol at their finest! This incredibly minimal and skin-friendly multi-tasker offers hydration, soothing, and moisture for the skin that’s thirsty and parched. It’s alcohol-free, oil-free, fragrance-free, and one of the best panthenol products you can get your hands on. Because of its gel texture, it’s a gold mine for dehydrated oily skin that’s prone to acne.

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, hyaluronic acid
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Oil-free, alcohol-free, fragrance-free

4. La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm - Panthenol Skincare Products

If you’re dealing with retinol dryness, rosacea flare-ups, sensitive, or sensitized skin, this balm is going to help. This is a very therapeutic moisturizer. It has panthenol to hydrate and soothe. And to provide more anti-inflammatory benefits to calm sensitive skin, it has madecassoside. It’s a component of Centella Asiatica. The cream is excellent for sensitive, dry, flaky skin. The fragrance-free formula keeps roughness at bay with softening shea butter. You can also use this to spot-treat dry, irritated areas.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin B5, madecassoside, shea butter
Size: 1.35 oz/40 ml
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic

5. Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Sheet Mask

Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Sheet Mask - Panthenol Skincare Products

If you’re looking for a panthenol-based product, you’re very likely to be in urgent need of a hydration boost with some calming action on the side. That’s what face masks are for! And this one is great for that. It’s a sheet mask formulated with panthenol, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and moisturizing algae. Also, it has a botanical blend made with licorice, ginger, and camellia extract to infuse the skin with calming nutrients. Put the mask on whenever your skin is feeling dry, parched, sensitive, and reactive.

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, licorice extract, hyaluronic acid
Size: 1 sheet mask

6. The Inkey List Vitamin B, C, and E Moisturizer

The Inkey List Vitamin B, C, and E Moisturizer

This ridiculously affordable moisturizer is like an acai bowl for the face! Besides vitamin B5, it has vitamin B3 to strengthen the skin barrier and increase the skin’s radiance. It combines vitamin C with vitamin E for the ultimate antioxidant protection. It’s a whole skincare routine itself with amazing active ingredients minus the irritation. And it’s one of the best vitamin B creams that’s affordable and effective.

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, niacinamide, vitamin C, vitamin E
Size: 1.7 oz/50 ml
Good To Know: Vegan, cruelty-free

7. Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb

Belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb - Panthenol Korean Skincare - Panthenol Vitamin B5 Skincare

Panthenol is also great for sensitive eyes that need special care. This one offers a replenishing formulation that brightens the eye area and gives you a more rested, fresh look. It’s incredibly hydrating with squalane, ceramides, and panthenol. Its lightweight creamy texture absorbs easily and leaves a healthy dew on the skin. It also comes with Centella Asiatica, oat kernel, and calendula to soothe, calm, and de-puff the eyes.

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, squalane, Centella Asiatica, ceramides
Size: 0.84 oz/25 ml
Good To Know: Vegan

8. Glossier Super Bounce

Glossier Super Bounce - Panthenol For Skin

Another hit formulated with hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 is this serum. It’s the remedy for dehydrated, dull, and tired-looking skin. Its minimal formula instantly plumps up the skin and boosts radiance. With improved elasticity, it leaves the skin bouncy and healthy.

Key Ingredients: Panthenol, hyaluronic acid
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good To Know: Cruelty-free, fragrance-free

9. Cosrx Hydrium Green Tea Aqua Soothing Gel Cream

Cosrx Hydrium Green Tea Aqua Soothing Gel Cream - Panthenol Cream Korean - Panthenol Vitamin B5 Skincare

This is a great example of utilizing humectants in a non-comedogenic form to help oily and acne-prone skin. This daily cream with a gel texture hydrates without clogging pores. It’s made with panthenol to boost water without congesting oily skin. In fact, to help calm the skin and reduce redness and inflammation, it has green tea extract. The Korean formula is cruelty-free and also soothes the skin with aloe, leaving a cooling, refreshing feel on the skin.

Key Ingredients: Vitamin B5, green tea extract, allantoin, aloe
Size: 1.69 oz/50 ml
Good To Know: Cruelty-free, hypoallergenic

So this is how panthenol works in skincare and the best panthenol skincare products to try. It’s a no-muss, no-fuss ingredient that’s gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. So definitely give it a try.

FAQs

References:

  1. Draelos, Z. D. (2011). Cosmetic Dermatology: Products and Procedures. In Vitamin B5 (pp. 323–324). Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781444317657
  2. Camargo, F. B., Jr, Gaspar, L. R., & Maia Campos, P. M. (2011). Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulationsJournal of cosmetic science62(4), 361–370.
  3. Biro, K., Thaçi, D., Ochsendorf, F. R., Kaufmann, R., & Boehncke, W. H. (2003). Efficacy of dexpanthenol in skin protection against irritation: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Contact dermatitis49(2), 80–84. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0105-1873.2003.00184.x
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