The key difference between panthenol and dexpanthenol is that panthenol is not always biologically active, whereas dexpanthenol is a biologically active form.
There are two enantiomer forms of panthenol: L form and D form. D-panthenol or dexpanthenol is common compared to the L form. However, both these forms have moisturizing properties, so they have applications in the cosmetic industry.
What is Panthenol?
Panthenol is an organic compound having the chemical formula C9H19NO4. The molar mass of this compound is 205.25 g/mol. It appears as a highly viscous, colorless liquid. The density of this liquid is 1.2 g/cm3. The melting point of this compound can range from 66-69 degrees Celsius, and the boiling point ranges from 118 to 120 degrees Celsius. It is an alcohol analog of pantothenic acid. Therefore, we can name it a provitamin of B5. In some organisms, panthenol quickly undergoes oxidation to form pantothenic acid. The major uses of this compound are in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products as a moisturizer and to improve wound healing.
When considering the use of this compound in the pharmaceutical industry, cosmetic production, and other personal care products, it is important as a moisturizer and humectant. It is used in ointments, lotions, shampoos, nasal sprays, eye drops, lozenges, and cleaning solutions for contact lenses. We can use ointments having panthenol is treat sunburns, mild burns, minor skin injuries, and disorders. Moreover, it can improve hydration, reduce itching and inflammation of the skin, improve skin elasticity, and accelerate the epidermal wound’s rate of healing. When using panthenol as a component in shampoos, it can bind to the hair shaft readily. It can coat the hair and seal the surface of the hair to give it a shiny appearance.
Typically, panthenol molecules can readily penetrate into the skin and mucous membranes, which include intestinal mucosa as well. It quickly oxidizes to pantothenic acid. Pantothenic acid is extremely hygroscopic. It is also useful in the biosynthesis of coenzyme A, which tends to play a role in a wide range of reactions involving enzymes in cell growth.
What is Dexpanthenol?
Dexpanthenol is an organic compound having the chemical formula C9H19NO4. It is useful as a medication, as a moisturizer to treat or prevent dry, rough, scaly, itchy skin and minor skin irritations, etc. It is an alcoholic analogue of D-pantothenic acid useful as a supplement or application in supporting a healthy epithelium. Moreover, it is important in preventing vitamin deficiency in patients receiving total parental nutrition.
There are different brand names for dexapanthenol that include Fortplex, Infutive, Infutive Pediatric, Mvi pediatric, Neo-bex, etc.
This compound shows a considerably good penetration ability and a high local concentration, which makes it useful in many topical products, including ointments and lotions. These lotions are used to treat dermatological conditions to relieve itching or promote healing.
Furthermore, dexpanthenol is available in the form of a racemic mixture that contains both dextrorotatory and levorotatory forms as panthenol. For example, pantothenic acid is optically active, while dexpanthenol is biologically active.
The molar mass of this compound is 205.25 g/mol. The hydrogen bond donor count of this compound is 4, while the hydrogen bond acceptor count is 4 as well. Furthermore, it has 6 rotatable bonds and one stereocenter. It exists in a solid state at standard temperature and pressure, at which it appears as a hygroscopic oil or as a viscous liquid in its liquid form. Moreover, it has a slightly bitter taste.
At high temperatures, it can decompose, but the boiling point can be given as in the range of 118-120 degrees Celsius. The melting point is lower than 25 degrees Celsius. It can freely dissolve in methanol, water, and alcohol, and is slightly soluble in ethyl ether. The density of dexpanthenol is 1.2 g/cm3 at 20 degrees Celsius. In addition, it is reasonably stable than the salts of pantothenic acid at pH 3-5.
What is the Difference Between Panthenol and Dexpanthenol?
Panthenol can be found in two enantiomeric forms: L form and D form or dexpanthenol. The key difference between panthenol and dexpanthenol is that panthenol is not always biologically active, whereas dexpanthenol is a biologically active form.
The below infographic presents the differences between panthenol and dexpanthenol in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Panthenol vs Dexpanthenol
Panthenol is an organic compound having the chemical formula C9H19NO4, while Dexpanthenol is the D enantiomer of panthenol. The key difference between panthenol and dexpanthenol is that panthenol is not always biologically active, whereas dexpanthenol is a biologically active form.
1. “Dexpanthenol.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
1. “Dexpanthenol” By User:Innerstream – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Dexpanthenol viscosity” By vitja1212 (Viktor Mayer) – Viktor Mayer (low-res version at ) (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia