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* Salt of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5). Commonly found in plant and animal tissue. Sometimes referred to as pantothenic acid.
Biologically, pantothenic acid (and its salts) is needed to form coenzyme-A, and plays a vital role in the metabolism and sysnthesis of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Furthermore, when in the body the acid is converted to pantotheine, which is crucial for a healthy pregnancy and believed to help reduce cholesterol. Calcium pantothenate is often used as a dietary supplement because, as a salt, it's more effectively absorbed by the body.
The cosmetic industry first began incorporating this ingredient when several studies showed a deficiency of pantothenic acid to cause hair loss and skin irritation. Since then, cosmetic manufacturers continue to use this ingredient, mainly functions as a hair/skin conditioning agent. It's believed to work as a humectant, increasing the water content and elasticity of hair. Similarly, many regard it as a moisturizer and skin softener, that works by attracting moisture to the upper epidermis. Many also believe it to work as an effective anti-acne treatment.
While several studies significantly demonstrate its ability to optimize both hydration and wound healing (Source:American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2002, volume 3, number 6, pages 427–433), further research is warranted to substantiate the benefits of this ingredient's topical application. You may find this product contained in personal care products such as hair shampoo/conditioner, facial moisturizer, hair dye, anti-aging treatment, acne treatment and eye cream.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
The FDA has assessed this ingredient as a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) direct food substance. Although the CIR Expert Panel has not specifically evaluated the safety of calcium pantothenate, it has determined both panthenol and pantothenic acid as safe to use in personal care products. The EU Cosmetics Directive recognizes all three derivative of Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate, panthenol & pantothenic acid) as safe to use in cosmetics according to the general provisions stated in the directive.
Recommended Products w/ calcium pantethonate:
ZO Skin Health Ossential Growth Factor Serum ($195), Verikira Pink Grapefruit Conditioner ($28), Emergin C Multivitamin Retinol Serum ($79)