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Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate: An In-Depth Look at Its Role in Cosmetics

Article last updated: June 13, 2024

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Ever wondered what makes your favorite cosmetics so effective? Dive into the world of Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate and discover its fascinating journey from production to its myriad benefits and potential side effects in the beauty industry.

What is Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate?

Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate, also known as (E)-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate, 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 chemical compounds derived from an acid (in this case, acetic acid) in which at least one –OH (hydroxyl) group is replaced by an –O– (alkoxy) group. The “trans” or “(E)” designation refers to the specific geometric configuration of the molecule, indicating that the substituents are on opposite sides of the double bond, which can affect the compound’s scent and stability.

Historically, Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate has been utilized in the formulation of various fragrances and perfumes due to its pleasant, sweet, and floral aroma. Its use in cosmetics can be traced back to the early developments in synthetic fragrance chemistry, where chemists sought to replicate and enhance natural scents. Over time, it has become a staple in the perfuming industry, valued for its ability to blend well with other fragrance components and enhance the overall olfactory experience of cosmetic products.

The production of Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate typically involves an esterification reaction, where phenylpropenol (a type of alcohol) reacts with acetic acid in the presence of a catalyst. This process results in the formation of the ester compound, which is then purified and incorporated into various cosmetic formulations. The synthesis of this ingredient is a testament to the advancements in organic chemistry, allowing for the creation of consistent and high-quality fragrance components that enhance the sensory appeal of cosmetic products.

The Benefits/Uses of Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate

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


Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate is primarily used in cosmetics for its perfuming properties. This means it is added to products to impart a pleasant fragrance. Whether it’s a lotion, shampoo, or body wash, the inclusion of this ingredient can enhance the overall sensory experience by providing a delightful scent. This can make the product more enjoyable to use and can contribute to a feeling of freshness and cleanliness.

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-Phenylpropenyl Acetate 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-Phenylpropenyl Acetate during pregnancy 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 Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate are relatively uncommon, but they can occur. To minimize the risk of irritation or allergic reaction, it is recommended to perform a patch test before widespread usage of any product containing this ingredient.

In terms of comedogenicity, Trans-2-Phenylpropenyl Acetate has a rating of 1 on a scale of 0 to 5, where 0 is totally non-comedogenic and 5 is highly comedogenic. This low rating indicates that it is unlikely to clog pores and cause acne or breakouts, making it generally suitable for individuals prone to blemishes.

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