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Trans-Cinnamonitrile: 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 magical touch? Dive into the world of Trans-Cinnamonitrile and discover its fascinating journey from lab to luxury, its myriad cosmetic benefits, and the essential precautions you need to know.

What Is Trans-Cinnamonitrile?

Trans-Cinnamonitrile, also known as (E)-3-Phenyl-2-propenenitrile or trans-beta-Phenylacrylonitrile, is a chemical compound primarily used in the cosmetic industry for its perfuming properties. This ingredient is derived from cinnamic acid, which is naturally found in cinnamon oil and other essential oils. Its chemical structure consists of a phenyl group attached to a propenenitrile group, giving it a distinctive aromatic profile.

The history of Trans-Cinnamonitrile in cosmetics dates back to the early 20th century when synthetic chemistry began to revolutionize the fragrance industry. Initially, natural extracts were the primary sources of scents, but as the demand for more stable and diverse fragrances grew, synthetic alternatives like Trans-Cinnamonitrile became more prevalent. Its ability to impart a warm, spicy aroma made it a popular choice for perfumers looking to create complex and long-lasting fragrances.

Trans-Cinnamonitrile is typically synthesized through a chemical reaction known as the Knoevenagel condensation. This process involves the reaction of benzaldehyde with malononitrile in the presence of a base, resulting in the formation of the desired nitrile compound. The synthesis is relatively straightforward and cost-effective, making it an attractive option for large-scale production in the cosmetic industry.

The Benefits/Uses of Trans-Cinnamonitrile

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


Trans-Cinnamonitrile is primarily used in cosmetics for its perfuming properties. This means it is added to products to impart a pleasant fragrance. When you apply a cosmetic product containing Trans-Cinnamonitrile, you might notice a subtle, appealing scent that enhances your overall sensory experience. This can make using the product more enjoyable and can leave a lasting impression 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-Cinnamonitrile 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-Cinnamonitrile 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 Trans-Cinnamonitrile 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.

Trans-Cinnamonitrile has a comedogenic rating of 1, meaning it is very unlikely to clog pores. This makes it a suitable ingredient for individuals who are prone to acne, blemishes, or breakouts.

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