Panthenol comes in two enantiomers, D and L. Only D-panthenol (dexpanthenol) is biologically active, however both forms have moisturizing properties. For cosmetic use, panthenol comes either in D form, or as a racemic mixture of D and L (DL-panthenol). Only D-Panthenol is converted to Vitamin B5 and not the L-Panthenol. So the racemic dl-Panthenol has only half of the physiological activity of D-Panthenol in skin care.
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