dexpanthenol cream for hands

What is dexpanthenol?

Everything you need to know about dexpanthenol, how to use dexpanthenol and the best dexpanthenol creams.


A moisturiser and humectant (which means it soaks up water and retains it) -  dexpanthenol calms and repairs dry, cracked, irritated skin. Often found in creams, ointments and other topical products, dexpanthenol can be a hydrating lifeline to those who are plagued by dry, tight skin. 


Dexpanthenol’s powers don’t stop at healing and hydrating, dexpanthenol can strengthen your skin’s natural barrier, making it less susceptible to dryness and its associated problems. Below we explore what is dexpanthenol and take a closer look at dexpanthenol cream and its uses.


What is dexpanthenol?

You may be thinking, what is dexpanthenol? Dexpanthenol is a derivative of pantothenic acid, a B complex vitamin. Dexpanthenol is usually applied topically in cream or lotion form to improve hydration and reduce water loss while helping to keep the skin soft and supple.


Dexpanthenol has good penetration qualities which means it is capable of sinking into the skin, enabling it to get to the heart of the problem rather than simply sitting on the skin’s surface. 


As well as being a moisturiser and skin protector, it also has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it a perfect balm for calming raw, irritated skin.


hands after dexpanthenol

what is dexpanthenol

What is dexpanthenol used for?

Dexpanthenol is used in many topical products to treat, prevent and relieve itchy, rough, scaly skin and minor skin irritations. 


One of the great benefits of dexpanthenol is that it doesn’t just treat dry skin, it helps to make it more resilient by strengthening the skin’s natural microbiome balance. So it not only gives comfort to dry, dull skin, it strengthens and supports the skin’s moisture barrier, stimulating skin regeneration and promoting healing. 

woman using dexpanthenol cream

woman with dexpanthenol cream

Dexpanthenol creams use the power of dexpanthenol to lock-in moisture to target even the driest of skin. As dexpanthenol is able to penetrate the skin quickly, dexpanthenol creams can provide almost instant deep moisturisation and relief.


Dexpanthenol’s ability to provide supercharged hydration with the power to regenerate the epidermal barrier means it can be used to treat conditions including:

  • Flakey, cracked skin
  • Tight skin
  • Eczema 
  • Itchy, irritated skin 
  • Minor wounds
  • Stings and bites
  • Minor skin irritations. 
  • Nappy rash

How to use dexpanthenol

Dexpanthenol creams and lotions can be slathered on the body for instant relief from dry skin and they are great at targeting problem areas. Our NIVEA Repair & Care Body Lotion soothes irritated areas and strengthens the natural barrier of your skin, instantly calming dry, tight skin, particularly on areas, such as your legs, that are susceptible to dryness.  


Apply after a shower or bath while your skin is still damp and again before bed. You can massage it into your feet before bed and pop a pair of cotton socks to relieve cracked heels. Hands are also particularly prone to dryness and can become cracked and painful in winter or if your job demands frequent handwashing.


NIVEA 3in1 Repair Care Hand Cream’s concentrated non-greasy formula is enriched with  provitamin B5 to give relief to tight, dry, hard working hands, and protects your hands from chapping. Apply as often as you need. 

body lotion with dexpanthenol

woman using dexpanthenol

What is your skin’s microbiome?

Your skin microbiome is an individual layer of bacteria on the skin's surface that guard against pathogens - including sunlight, pollution, body lotions -  that can throw your skin off balance. When the microbiome is balanced, your skin looks and feels healthy but when it is off kilter, your skin can become dry or irritated.


This can be compounded if dry skin causes deep cracks or fissures which can open and bleed allowing more bacteria to invade. Dexpanthenol has been shown to have barrier-improving properties as well as improving skin hydration when applied topically. Dexpanthenol cream and other emollients or moisturisers work by forming an oily layer on the top of the skin that traps water in the skin and helps promote a healthy microbiome. 

What is dry skin?

It is caused by a loss of water in the upper layer of the skin (the epidermis). This loss of moisture can leave the skin rough, dry and flaky.

It can be aggravated by:

  • Seasonal changes (it is more common in winter, for example, due to a combination of the cold weather and drying central heating) 
  • Very hot or cold baths
  • Harsh soaps or lotions 
  • Age. Your skin loses moisture as you age, so people over 40 are more prone 
  • If you swim frequently in chlorinated pools

Dry skin (known to dermatologists as xerosis) is associated with skin conditions including:

  • Eczema
  • Irritant contact dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Bleeding, cracked or infected skin

If your skin is excessively dry, try these tips:

  • Moisturise with a dexpanthenol cream to hydrate and protect. Use creams to target specific areas, such as NIVEA 3 in 1 Repair Care Hand Cream (see below)
  • Keep your bath and shower time to 10 minutes or less and ensure the water is warm, not scorching. If your skin is red when you come out of the shower or bath, the water temperature is too hot. 
  • Use gentle cleansing creams and shower gels and avoid harsh detergents or soaps.
  • Bundle up in winter and always wear gloves to avoid chapped hands.

cream with dexpanthenol