How dexpanthenol helps soothe your skin

The healing ingredient that keeps moisture locked in

Your skin needs water to function on a basic level, let alone undergo significant improvements. Dramatic ingredients like transformative tretinoin and glow-revealing vitamin C get a lot of attention, but they’d be nowhere without a skin-supporting cast of hydrators and moisturizers. That’s why dexpanthenol has a supportive-yet-essential role in your Agency formula. 

What is dexpanthenol?

Dexpanthenol is a derivative of the essential nutrient vitamin B5, aka pantothenic acid. Found in foods like salmon, avocados, and broccoli, vitamin B5 helps your body with important processes like metabolizing food into energy and producing hormones 1. But besides ingesting the vitamin, you can apply dexpanthenol topically to help your skin function well.

How does dexpanthenol benefit your skin?

Healthy skin is moisturized skin, and topical dexpanthenol helps your skin maintain the moisture 2 that it needs. It does double duty by both replenishing the skin and attracting water to it—meaning it acts like both an emollient and humectant, respectively. Studies show that it effectively decreases how much water evaporates from your skin,3 which helps your skin barrier better maintain its integrity. Your skin’s better able to protect itself from outside factors, and it feels softer and smoother.

That’s not all though. Dexpanthenol also helps your skin with healing thanks to anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties. The ingredient has been used to treat wounds for decades because it both reduces redness and stimulates new skin cell growth 4. With these abilities, dexpanthenol can soothe irritated skin and help blemishes heal.

Where can you get dexpanthenol?

Preliminary evidence suggests that vitamin B5 supplements may benefit skin health, including clearing up acne 5, but more research is still needed. You can more directly see moisturizing effects with topical dexpanthenol creams or serums. 

Your Agency provider may include dexpanthenol in your Future Formula. Otherwise, you can find the ingredient (or one of its relatives pantothenic acid, panthenol, or provitamin B5) in over-the-counter moisturizers and hydrating serums. 

Are there any side effects of dexpanthenol?

Dexpanthenol side effects are rare. Remember it’s a form of vitamin B5, which your body uses for essential functions, so an allergic reaction is unlikely 6. And its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe irritation rather than contribute to it.

Want to know more about your Agency formulas?

You know your skin—we’re here to help you know your skincare. Our team of dermatology experts has helped create guides to each of the forward-thinking ingredients in your personalized skincare formulas. 

Learn how these ingredients also help your skin face the future: tretinoin, tranexamic acid, azelaic acid



1. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid). Mount Sinai.

2. Hans Stettler, et al. A New Topical Panthenol-Containing Emollient: Skin-Moisturizing Effect Following Single and Prolonged Usage in Healthy Adults, and Tolerability in Healthy Infants. Journal of Dermatological Treatment. (2016, August 22).

3. Flávio B Camargo, et al. Skin Moisturizing Effects of Panthenol-Based Formulations. Journal of Cosmetic Science. (2011, June 30).

4. Fritz Ebner, et al. Topical Use of Dexpanthenol in Skin Disorders. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. (February 2002).

5. Michael Yang, et al.  A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of a Novel Pantothenic Acid-Based Dietary Supplement in Subjects with Mild to Moderate Facial Acne. Dermatology and Therapy. (June 2014).

6. Fritz Ebner, et al.  Topical Use of Dexpanthenol in Skin Disorders. Ibid.