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Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate: 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 beauty products their irresistible allure? Dive into the fascinating world of Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate and discover how this powerful compound is revolutionizing the cosmetics industry, from its creation to its myriad benefits and essential safety tips.

What is Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate?

Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate, also known as (E)-Hex-2-enyl butanoate, is a chemical compound primarily used in the cosmetic industry for its perfuming properties. This ingredient is a type of ester, which is a class of organic compounds formed by the reaction between an alcohol and an acid. In this case, it is derived from hexenol and butyric acid. The “trans” designation in its name indicates the specific geometric configuration of the molecule, which can influence its scent profile.

Historically, Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate has been utilized in various applications due to its pleasant, fruity aroma. Its use in cosmetics can be traced back to the growing demand for natural and appealing fragrances in personal care products. Over time, it has become a staple in the formulation of perfumes, lotions, and other scented products.

The production of Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate involves a chemical synthesis process where hexenol and butyric acid undergo esterification. This reaction typically requires the presence of a catalyst and controlled conditions to ensure the desired ester is formed. The result is a compound that not only smells delightful but also enhances the overall sensory experience of cosmetic products.

The Benefits/Uses of Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate

In this section, we will delve into the officially recognized cosmetic benefits and uses of Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate:


Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate is primarily used in cosmetics for its perfuming properties. This means that it is added to products to impart a pleasant fragrance. When you use a cosmetic product that contains this ingredient, you might notice a fresh, fruity, or floral scent, which can enhance your overall sensory experience. The inclusion of such fragrances can make the use of skincare, haircare, and other personal care products more enjoyable and appealing.

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

Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate is generally considered safe for use in cosmetic products, primarily serving as a perfuming agent. However, as with any ingredient, there are 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 Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate during pregnancy are lacking. Therefore, it is advisable for pregnant or breastfeeding women to consult a healthcare professional for further advice before using products containing this ingredient.

Adverse reactions to Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate are generally uncommon, but it is always prudent to conduct a patch test before widespread usage to ensure there is no adverse reaction.

Trans-2-Hexenyl Butyrate has a comedogenic rating of 1, meaning it is very unlikely to clog pores. This makes it a suitable option for individuals prone to acne, blemishes, or breakouts.

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