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IUPAC name 2,4-dihydroxy-N-(3-hydroxypropyl)- 3,3-dimethylbutanamide
Other names Dexpanthenol, Bepanthen
CAS number 81-13-0
PubChem 4678
Molecular formula C9H19NO4
Molar mass 205.251
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for
materials in their standard state
(at 25 °C, 100 kPa)

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Panthenol is the alcohol analog of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), and is thus the provitamin of B5. In organisms it is quickly oxidized to pantothenate. Panthenol is a highly viscous transparent liquid at room temperature, but salts of pantothenic acid (for example sodium pantothenate) are powders (typically white). It is well soluble in water, alcohol and propylene glycol, soluble in ether and chloroform, and slightly soluble in glycerin.

Panthenol comes in two enantiomers, D and L. Only D-panthenol (dexpanthenol) is biologically active, however both forms have moisturizing properties. For cosmetic use, panthenol comes either in D form, or as a racemic mixture of D and L (DL-panthenol).

Pantothenol's expanded chemical formula is: HO-CH2-C(CH3)2-CH(OH)-CONH-CH2CH2CH2-OH.


In cosmetics, panthenol is a humectant, emollient and moisturizer. It binds to hair follicles readily and is a frequent component of shampoos and hair conditioners (in concentrations of 0.1-1%). It coats the hair and seals its surface, lubricating follicles and making strands appear shiny.

In ointments it is mixed with allantoin, in concentrations of up to 2-5%, and is used for treatment of sunburns, mild burns and minor skin disorders.

Pantothenol is not, however, absorbed through the skin and thus has limited effects that are not due to its provitamin character.

If ingested, panthenol is metabolized to pantothenic acid.

Other names for panthenol are:

  • Butanamide, 2,4-dihydroxy-N-(3-hydroxypropyl)-3,3-dimethyl-, (R)-
  • Butyramide, 2,4-dihydroxy-N-(3-hydroxypropyl)-3,3-dimethyl-, D-(+)-
  • Butanamide, 2,4-dihydroxy-N-(3-hydroxypropyl)-3,3-dimethyl-, (2R)-
  • D-Panthenol
  • Dexpanthenol (DCIR)
  • Dexpanthenolum
  • Panthenol
  • Propanolamine, N-pantoyl-
  • d-Pantothenyl alcohol

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hu:Dexpantenol nl:Panthenol sl:Pantenol