Like most ingredients in the realm of skincare, the correlation between vitamin B5 and acne, and whether or not the former is an effective treatment for the latter, begs a lot more research. As a topical skincare ingredient, vitamin B5 doubles as a moisture-locking humectant and emollient. Plus, it’s thought to help foster and expedite wound healing due to its anti-inflammatory properties. (Acne, technically speaking, is a wound.) Thanks to its hydration-binding properties, it plays exceptionally well with other humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides, which can help promote plump, bouncy, healthy skin.
Vitamin B5’s correlation with healthy, clear skin doesn’t stop at the bottles and tinctures lining your vanity, however. If it’s digested via food or supplements, experts and studies both say vitamin B5 could help target acne since the vitamin helps to regulate the body’s sebum and oil production.
“Vitamin B5 helps regulate the skin’s barrier function, including sebum production, which can help reduce facial acne and acne-related blemishes,” says Koszyk. “Vitamin B5 is important for processing and breaking down fat. One proposed modality of acne is that excessive fat buildup is expelled through the skin in the form of sebum (an oily substance), which can clog pores and cause acne. So those with naturally oily skin or who tend to break out after eating high-fat foods may benefit from this vitamin.”
According to Koszyk, vitamin B5 is also necessary to synthesize Coenzyme A (CoA), which is important for fat metabolism. Since CoA reduces excess oil from the skin’s oil glands, those who are deficient in CoA may be more likely to experience breakouts.
The takeaway? Applying vitamin B5 will keep essential moisture locked into your skin for a dewier glow, boost your skin barrier’s function by increasing natural cell activity, expedite wound healing, and decrease inflammation-induced redness. Ingesting vitamin B5, on the other hand, may help pump the brakes on sebum and oil production.