D,L-Panthenol, aka Pro-Vitamin B5, is a stable lit racemic mixture of D-Panthenol and L-Panthenol. The human body readily absorbs DL-Panthenol through the skin and it rapidly converts D-Panthenol to Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), a natural constituent of healthy hair and a substance present in all living cells. Only D-Panthenol is converted to Vitamin B5 and not the L-Panthenol. So the racemic D,L-Panthenol has only half of the physiological activity of D-Panthenol in skin care.
Studies have shown D-Panthenol promotes stimulation of epithelization, granulation, mitigation of itching and has an anti-inflammatory effect. When used in formulations over the course of three to four weeks, it has the potential to improve the appearance of the skin, including dryness, roughness, scaling, pruritus and erythema. Further, its moisturizing properties improve stratum corneum hydration, reducing transepidermal water loss and maintaining skin elasticity and softness. Panthenol also works with DMAE in the production of acetylcholine which firms and tones the skin.
Both D-Panthenol and DL-Panthenol are equally effective for moisturization, improvement of hair structure and adding luster and sheen to the hair.