DL Panthenol causing instability?

Hi All,

I was wondering whether anyone had any experience in DL Panthenol causing a cream to separate?  I have 2 creams and the real only 'noticeable' difference in the 2 is the addition of the DL Panthenol.  I add it to water phase between around 0.5 - 0.6% and use a stick blender (only for approx 1.5min) during emulsification step.  I'm making approx 200g samples and don't have access to commercial equipment.  The cream starts to separate when at 45C from about 2 weeks.  Could it be the process or the DL-Panthenol?  Thanks!


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    It’s probably due to processing. Panthenol (even at the high level you have) shouldn’t cause instability
  • Great, thanks @Perry. I’ll work on process then. It’s a body cream -What levels of DL Panthenol would you recommend if mine is a little high? Thanks!
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    edited December 2017
    I think 0.5% is fine, it is a good moisturiser. Stick blender may or may not provide enough shear. Huge difference between brands. It depends on the tip to surround distance.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • DoreenDoreen Member
    edited December 2017
    I use at least 1% DL-panthenol. Pure dexpanthenol (only the D-isomer) less, but at least 0,5%. (source) (source) Both isomers have a moisturizing effect, but only the D-isomer can be metabolized in the skin.

  • Thanks so much @Belassi and @Doreen81. Looks like I might need to do some research into better equipment for home use!
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    Since it's unlikely a consumer would be able to tell whether the product has panthenol in it or not, I'd recommend 0.1%.  But conduct the test yourself.  Make a batch with Panthenol (say 1%) and one without Panthenol.  

    Conduct a blinded test and see if you notice any difference.
  • Thanks @perry I’ll give it a go
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist

    You cream separating is either from (1) too high of an oil/lipid content (should be in the 12% to 15% range, maximum.  And, preferably more towards 12%; (2)  The HLB of your emulsifiers is off from the HLB of your oils; (3)  Insufficient homogenization.  

    Panthenol at 0.5% is not going to affect the stability of your emulsion.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals & Clean Beauty arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program/Clean At Sephora/Credo Clean guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

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  • Thanks @MarkBroussard -I’m using Emulgade PL68/50 (cetearyl alcohol & cetearyl glucoside) as non-ionic blend so do you think HLB could still be an issue here?  (Also have an anionic in the combination and glyceryl stearate). Oils at 15- 15.5% so I’ll reduce those- thanks for the tip! Probably also need to work on homogenisation step so I’ll look into some better equipment for home use.
  • DavidWDavidW Member, PCF student
    How about DL-panthenol at 3% in a cream?  Will that cause anything problems?  I made one today that also had 0.1% Ultez 21, Ferulic acid and other things.  After adding the oil to water I added some Lactic acid.  Not sure at what point it happened but when I lifted the mixer up to check something at 150F there was a huge clump of white material around the mixer.  It felt very creamy but obviously shouldn't have happened.
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