Pantolactone at a glance

  • Synthetic humectant that helps maintain skin’s moisture
  • Required to make the B vitamins panthenol and pantothenic acid
  • Often found in blends with other hydrating ingredients
  • Also used to make panthenol derivatives that help skin and hair

Pantolactone description

Pantolactone is a synthetic humectant that plays a role in maintaining skin’s moisture balance. This compound is also known as pantoyl lactone, and it is required for the creation of skin-beneficial B vitamins panthenol and pantothenic acid. It is typically included as part of a blend with other cosmetic hydrating ingredients such as panthenol, glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, and/or various strains of yeast. These ingredients work together to keep skin hydrated and help it resist water loss. Pantolactone is considered safe as used in cosmetics, where amounts tend to be 1% or less.

Pantolactone references

  • Chirality, January 2022, pages 114–124
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences, November 2020, pages 1–12
  • The Medical-Surgical Journal, September 2015, pages 938–943

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.