Panthenol (also called pantothenol) is the alcohol analog of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and is thus a provitamin of B5. In organisms it is quickly oxidized to pantothenic acid. It is a viscous transparent liquid at room temperature. Panthenol is used as a moisturizer and to improve wound healing in pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.In pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal-care products, panthenol is a moisturizer and humectant, used in ointments, lotions, shampoos, nasal sprays, eye drops, lozenges, and cleaning solutions for contact lenses.
In ointments it is used for the treatment of sunburns, mild burns, minor skin injuries and disorders (in concentrations of up to 2–5%). It improves hydration, reduces itching and inflammation of the skin, improves skin elasticity, and accelerates epidermal wounds' rate of healing. For this purpose, it is sometimes combined with allantoin.