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Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate: An In-Depth Look at Its Role in Cosmetics

Article last updated: June 13, 2024

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Ever wondered what gives your favorite skincare products their alluring scent and soothing properties? Dive into the world of Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate and discover its fascinating journey from lab to lotion, along with its myriad benefits and potential side effects.

What is Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate?

Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate, also known as (Z)-3-Hexenyl 3-phenyl-2-propenoate, is a chemical compound primarily used in the cosmetic industry for its perfuming properties. This ingredient is derived from the esterification of cis-3-hexenol and cinnamic acid. Cis-3-hexenol is a naturally occurring alcohol found in the leaves of most plants, giving off a fresh, green, grassy scent, while cinnamic acid is an organic compound that is commonly found in cinnamon oil and balsams.

The history of Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate in cosmetics dates back to the exploration of natural scents and their synthetic counterparts. As the demand for more complex and long-lasting fragrances grew, chemists began to experiment with various combinations of naturally derived compounds. Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate emerged as a popular choice due to its ability to impart a fresh, green, and slightly floral aroma, making it a versatile addition to many fragrance formulations.

The production of Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate involves a chemical reaction known as esterification. In this process, cis-3-hexenol reacts with cinnamic acid in the presence of a catalyst, typically an acid, to form the ester compound. This reaction not only combines the desirable scent characteristics of both parent compounds but also stabilizes the resulting ester, making it suitable for use in various cosmetic products.

The Benefits/Uses of Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate

In this section, we will delve into the officially recognized cosmetic benefits and uses of Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate:


Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate is primarily used in cosmetics for its perfuming properties. This means that it is added to products to impart a pleasant fragrance. The ingredient has a fresh, green, and slightly floral scent, which can enhance the sensory experience of using a cosmetic product. Whether it’s a lotion, cream, or shampoo, the addition of this ingredient can make the product more enjoyable to use by providing a delightful aroma.

Note: The listed benefits above are exclusively based on the officially recognized and defined functions of the ingredient, as documented by the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI).

Potential Side Effects & Other Considerations

Regarding individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, data and research on the topical usage of Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate during pregnancy and breastfeeding are lacking. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for further advice.

While Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate is generally considered safe for use in cosmetics, it is important to be aware of potential side effects from topical application. These may include:

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Contact dermatitis

Adverse reactions to this ingredient are relatively uncommon, but they can occur, especially in individuals with sensitive skin or allergies. It is recommended to perform a patch test before widespread usage to ensure compatibility with your skin.

In terms of comedogenicity, Cis-3-Hexenyl Cinnamate has a rating of 1 on a scale of 0 (totally non-comedogenic) to 5 (highly comedogenic). This means it is unlikely to clog pores and is generally suitable for individuals prone to acne, blemishes, or breakouts.

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