What is it?

“Hexyl cinnamaldehyde or hexyl cinnamal, with the chemical formula C15H20O, is typically produced via a crossed-aldol condensation reaction between octanal and benzaldehyde.” Hexyl cinnamal wikipedia

Hexyl cinnamal dangers

This ingredient belongs to the groups:

Two other names for this ingredient is hexyl cinnamaldehyde and a-hexyl cinnamaldehyde. Sometimes you will also encounter hexyl cinnamal cas number, 101-86-0, on products you view.

Hexyl cinnamal allergy

The main concern is hexyl cinnamal allergy. The ingredient is known to cause contact allergy, which means that it can cause an allergic reaction to your skin.

Numerous organizations and agencies have found that allergies are hexyl cinnamal’s side effect.

  • The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC) list the ingredient as a substance causing allergies.
  • Hexyl cinnamal in cosmetics is within the European Union due to its allergic properties. Furthermore, it is also reported as an allergen in CosIng, the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.
  • The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have also found that this ingredient may cause an allergic skin reaction and has labeled it a skin sensitizer.

If you are experiencing a hexyl cinnamal allergy, skin irritation or rash, either acute or delayed, it is advisable to:

  1. Wash skin or hair to rinse off the product containing the ingredient.
  2. Get medical advice if the issues do not disappear.

Hexyl cinnamal toxicity

Furthermore, this substance is also classified as hazardous to the aquatic environment, labeled both as an acute hazard and a long-term, chronic, hazard.

ECHA says that hexyl cinnamal (hexyl cinnamaldehyde) is very toxic to aquatic life with long lasting effects. 

Hexyl cinnamal uses

Hexyl cinnamal in cosmetic products is common. The fragrance chemical is popular due to its scent which resembles jasmine. It is especially common to find in perfume fragrance compounds and in personal care products such as creams and lotions.

The chemical can be found naturally in chamomile oil. However, if you for example find hexyl cinnamal in hair products such as shampoo, it is likely synthetic.

Is hexyl cinnamal related to cinnamon?

Yes. Cinnamon contains fragrance chemicals such as cinnamal, coumarin, and eugenol. Since all of these three chemicals have a strong aroma, they are frequently used in all kinds of cosmetics, sunscreens, perfumes, cleaning products as well as food.

Hexyl cinnamal, as you might have guessed from its name, is also a cinnamon related fragrance.  Consequently, if you are cinnamon-sensitive, you should use products with this ingredient cautiously.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

Read about the other ingredients.


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