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Cis-4-Heptenal: 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 unique scent and effectiveness? Dive into the world of Cis-4-Heptenal and discover its fascinating role in cosmetics, from its creation to its myriad benefits and potential side effects.

What Is Cis-4-Heptenal?

Cis-4-Heptenal, also known as (Z)-Hept-4-enal, is a chemical compound primarily used in the cosmetic industry for its perfuming properties. This ingredient is a type of aldehyde, which means it contains a functional group with the structure -CHO. The “cis” configuration refers to the specific arrangement of atoms around the double bond in the molecule, giving it unique olfactory characteristics.

The history of Cis-4-Heptenal in cosmetics is relatively modern, as the demand for more sophisticated and varied fragrances has grown. Initially identified in the context of flavor and fragrance chemistry, it was soon recognized for its potential in personal care products. Its ability to impart a fresh, green, and slightly citrusy scent made it an attractive choice for perfumers looking to create more nuanced and appealing fragrances.

Cis-4-Heptenal is typically synthesized through organic chemical reactions involving the oxidation of heptanal or through the hydroformylation of hexene. These processes allow for the precise control of the molecular structure, ensuring the desired “cis” configuration is achieved. The resulting compound is then purified and tested for safety and efficacy before being incorporated into cosmetic formulations.

The Benefits/Uses of Cis-4-Heptenal

In this section, we will delve into the officially recognized cosmetic benefits and uses of Cis-4-Heptenal:


Cis-4-Heptenal is primarily used in cosmetics for its perfuming properties. This means that it is added to products to impart a pleasant fragrance. The ingredient helps to mask the natural odors of other ingredients in the formulation, making the overall product more appealing to the senses. Whether it’s a lotion, cream, or shampoo, the addition of Cis-4-Heptenal can enhance the sensory experience by providing a fresh, inviting scent.

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

Cis-4-Heptenal, also known as (Z)-Hept-4-enal, is primarily used in cosmetics for its perfuming properties. While it is generally considered safe for use in cosmetic products, there are some potential side effects and considerations to keep in mind.

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reactions
  • Contact dermatitis

Regarding individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding, data and research on the topical usage of Cis-4-Heptenal during pregnancy and breastfeeding are lacking. Therefore, it is advisable for these individuals to consult a healthcare professional for further advice before using products containing this ingredient.

Adverse reactions to Cis-4-Heptenal are relatively uncommon, but they can occur. It is recommended to perform a patch test before widespread usage to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

On a comedogenicity scale of 0 to 5, Cis-4-Heptenal is rated as a 1, meaning it has a low likelihood of clogging pores. This makes it generally suitable for individuals prone to acne, blemishes, or breakouts, although individual reactions can vary.

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