Matthew Messer

Matthew Messer


Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, is a very important micronutrient that is needed for the production of coenzyme A. This coenzyme is responsible for, among other things, skin cell division and skin defense, but pantothenic acid itself has antibacterial and emollient properties - so it's not surprising that one study found that supplementing it significantly improved acne symptoms

What is acne?

Acne is a disease of the hair follicles of the skin that is associated with the sebaceous glands. It is a fairly common problem that affects 95% of people in their lifetime. It usually starts in teenage years, but is not uncommon in adulthood. Acne is usually treated with medication or special methods such as laser therapy.

As these often have unpleasant side effects, there is a growing interest in natural methods for maintaining healthy skin, such as vitamin C, other antioxidants, herbal ingredients and omega-3 fatty acids.

One of these promising substances is vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which has once more proven to be effective in a randomized trial. (1)

The structure of the research

For the 12-week study, 48 patients diagnosed with mild to moderate acne were chosen, 41 of whom completed the study successfully. During this time, participants were not allowed to use their previously prescribed medication and were prohibited from having any other procedures.

After a detailed evaluation of the participants and their symptoms, they were divided into two groups. One group was given a supplement containing pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), while the other group was given a placebo pill that looked exactly the same.

Two tablets were taken twice a day with meals, containing a total of 2.2 g of pantothenic acid as the main active ingredient. In addition, other B vitamins were present in the capsules, but only in small, life-like doses, with the exception of biotin (vitamin B7).

The main aspect of the study was the number of facial lesions caused by acne, in addition to the development of inflammatory and other skin symptoms, using a dedicated dermatological test.

In addition, a series of questions was also designed to assess patients' quality of life according to a number of criteria. Quality of life is often significantly affected by skin diseases (lower scores indicate better quality of life).

Finally, the overall improvement judged by the examining physician was rated on a 5-point scale: 2 = significant improvement, 1 = slight improvement, 0 = unchanged, -1 = worsening, -2 = significant deterioration.


  • The group supplementing vitamin B5 had a 68.21% reduction in facial injuries compared to the placebo group.
  • There was also a significant reduction in the number of non-inflammatory scars compared to the placebo group.
  • Scars and acne were also reduced significantly in several categories by facial area with vitamin B5.
  • Quality of life questionnaire scores also improved in the supplemented group, with an average decrease from 7.6 to 1.9 by the end of week 12, compared to 9.5 to 5.3 in the placebo group (lower scores indicate better quality of life).
  • Finally, the tests, graded on a 5-point scale, showed that 85.7% of subjects in the vitamin B5 supplement group experienced an improvement of 1 point or more, compared with only 35.7% of those taking the placebo.
  • By the end of the study, ~43% of participants in the supplemented group had reduced their skin symptoms to a level 1, which equates to almost clear skin and few lesions. In contrast, only 14.3% of the placebo group achieved this.

The results are also illustrated with images, which are available in the study.  Participants tolerated the vitamins well, experienced no side effects, with only one person complaining that the tablet was too large.


The results of the study show that pantothenic acid-based supplements in adults with acne are well tolerated, safe and effective in reducing symptoms after 12 weeks of use. In addition, it significantly reduces inflammatory lesions and scars in different areas of the face. As pantothenic acid is safe in high doses, it may be worth trying with similar skin problems.


  1. Yang M, Moclair B, Hatcher V, Kaminetsky J, Mekas M, Chapas A, Capodice J. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of a novel pantothenic Acid-based dietary supplement in subjects with mild to moderate facial acne. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2014 Jun;4(1):93-101. doi: 10.1007/s13555-014-0052-3. Epub 2014 May 16. PMID: 24831048; PMCID: PMC4065280.
  2. Camargo FB Jr, Gaspar LR, Maia Campos PM. Skin moisturizing effects of panthenol-based formulations. J Cosmet Sci. 2011 Jul-Aug;62(4):361-70. PMID: 21982351.
  3. Capodice JL. Feasibility, tolerability, safety and efficacy of a pantothenic acid based dietary supplement in subjects with mild to moderate facial acne blemishes. J Cosmet Dermatol Sci Appl. 2012;2:132–135

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