IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

This underrated ingredient is key for glowy and supple skin, according to experts

Give your skin the hydration boost it deserves.
Young woman applies facial cream
supersizer / Getty Images

Shop TODAY is editorially independent. Our editors selected these deals and items because we think you will enjoy them at these prices. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn a commission. Items are sold by retailer, not TODAY. Pricing and availability are accurate as of publish time. Learn more about Shop TODAY.

When it comes to a quality skin care regimen, moisturizers are the one product in your beauty arsenal that doesn't require an introduction. While you're probably familiar with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and vitamin C at this point, there's another, more underrated inclusion you may not know as well. Enter: vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid.

While this active ingredient is fairly new to the skin care game, many experts agree this water-soluble vitamin is essential to smooth out your skin. Shop TODAY interviewed dermatologists about the benefits of pantothenic acid, how to use it and why is a key vitamin for your skin.

What is pantothenic acid?

Pantothenic acid is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as a hydrator to attract water to the skin to make it look more supple. "We all know that hyaluronic acid is [naturally] found in our skin, and as we age, we lose [it]," mentioned Arkansas-based dermatologist Dr. Sandra Johnson. "That is why we as dermatologists inject hyaluronic acid fillers into the skin and apply [it] to our faces in serums. [Vitamin] B5 helps our hyaluronic acid to attract and hold more water, so our skin looks more hydrated and supple."

"It is [also] known as a calming ingredient and I recommend it to all my patients, but especially those dealing with dry skin or irritation," added dermatologist Dr. Ted Lain.

Benefits of pantothenic acid for skin

Pantothenic acid is best known for its hydrating, soothing and moisturizing abilities. It also helps repair a damaged skin barrier thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. "If your skin is dehydrated, it is more likely to look dull as well as get little cuts/fissures that will allow irritants and infection into the skin," added Johnson.

According to new research, pantothenic acid can be used on the skin to relieve itchiness and promote healing from skin conditions such as eczema, diaper rash, poison ivy and insect bites. "Dehydrated skin can lead to a broken skin barrier, which can lead to inflammation, and as a result, it can lead to a more rapid onset of aging. When you calm dry irritated skin and soothe it, it will oxidate stressed skin and allow the skin to repair faster," said board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss.

Another great thing about this multifunctional ingredient is that it can be used on all skin types. Sensitive skins will see the best benefits with pantothenic acid as it will help your natural hyaluronic acid the most. "Vitamin B5 can be mixed with almost any other ingredient in your skin care regimen," added Johnson.

Best products with pantothenic acid, according to shoppers

CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Serum

With a strong 4.7-star rating on Amazon, CeraVe's hydrating serum will prevent dry skin during those extra cold days. Formulated with a refreshing gel cream so you can lather the serum with your other moisturizers, it offers skin-soothing benefits and it contains three essential ceramides to maintain your skin's natural barrier.

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Retinol Cream

You'll want to incorporate this retinol cream to your nighttime beauty routine before laying down on your silk pillowcase. Neutrogena's evening moisturizer has a solid 4.5-star rating and over 5,000 verified reviews. According to Amazon customers, this product helps to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and make your skin softer thanks to active ingredients like pro-vitamin B5 and vitamin A. "What this does for me is alleviate my dry skin, address the redness (due to rosacea) and give me a calmer and even skin tone," raved one reviewer.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Soothing Repairing Balm

If you suffer from dry and chafed skin, this soothing balm will calm your irritation inside and out. This multipurpose product from La Roche-Posay is infused with vitamin B5 to protect sensitive skin and relieve lingering dryness and chapping. It also has shea butter and centella asiatica for a comforting effect.

Cetaphil Deep Hydration Healthy Glow Daily Face Cream

Customers give this Cetaphil face cream a thumbs up thanks to the non-greasy formula that contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamin B5 and antioxidant-rich vitamin E. This pick is particularly ideal for those with sensitive, easily irritable skin. Customers love how this product makes their skin supple after a few applications. "I like how it dries without feeling heavy on your skin and it has a nice clean scent," shared one verified buyer.

Malin + Goetz Vitamin B5 Hand Treatment

With a light almond scent, Malin + Goetz's hand treatment delivers enough hydration to your cuticles, hands and nails. Of course, vitamin B5 is one of the main ingredients which help in adding extra softness to your hands. Use this after a manicure or for those days when your hands feel extra dry.

Glossier Super Bounce

Glossier's milky serum is a top-rated product that contains three different HA molecules and pro-vitamin B5 for a quick hydration. One reviewer even confessed it helped with acne, saying, "My skin had never looked so even and so hydrated in my entire life". If you have sensitive skin or eczema, this product will be your new miracle worker.

La Roche-Posay Glycolic B5 Dark Spot Corrector

For those with discoloration and hyperpigmentation, this La Roche-Posay serum will help to even out your skin tone. It is formulated with tranexamic acid, vitamin B5 and kojic acid to repair and brighten your skin. Reviewers claim this product has even helped with smoothing out stubborn bumps from acne, fading out dark spots on hands and even reduce large pores.

EltaMD Skin Recovery Serum

While this product is meant for post-procedure recovery, the serum has panthenol (vitamin B5) with other anti-inflammatory ingredients to assist in other kinds of healing. Most reviewers love the plumping effect of the serum. "I have sensitive, acne-prone and dry skin, [and] this serum feels like it's really doing its job supporting my skin barrier," one verified shopper added.

SkinMedica Hydrating Complex

This magical product is typically sold out due to its potent formula of vitamin B5, kelp extracts, betaine and hyaluronic acid. Many dermatologists also rave about SkinMedica's hydrating power and instant results. Not to be confused with the HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator, the Hydrating Complex is a lightweight serum that focuses on hydrating the skin.

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel

This moisture-enhancing serum is meant to enhance your moisturizing morning step. SkinCeuticals' B5 gel targets specific skin concerns such as acne, aging and dehydrated skin while leaving your epidermis supple and soft. One physician also calls this product a "first-aid for your skin" in excessively cold weather.

Eve Lom Intense Hydration Serum

Get a radiant complexion with a few drops of Eve Lom's hydration serum. This product has received great feedback from customers due to its light texture and hydrating benefits. If you love wearing makeup but don't like to comprise your skin care regimen, this is the one. "[It] definitely moisturizes well and also glides on beautifully and sits under makeup well," shared one fan.

For more stories like this, check out:

Subscribe to our Stuff We Love and One Great Find newsletters, and download our TODAY app to discover deals, shopping tips, budget-friendly product recommendations and more!