Cinnamic Acid, Balsam of Peru

SCA endorses products with the Allergy Certified logo, that comply with Essential Oil and Fragrance usage. Essential oils & fragrances, natural or synthetic, are restricted by SCA’s standard usage guide. Manufacturers should consider usage by age, intended use and concentration. Cinnamic acid/balsam of peru, is Not suitable for sunscreen products or day time moistuisers.

Safe Cosmetics Australia Allergy Certified® criteria - Synthetic Fragrances, Parfum, and Xylene are restricted to a combined total usage of 1% or less for leave on products, and 3% or less for rinse off products. The percentage usage for Cinnamic Acid/Balsam of Peru is 0.4%. Essential oils extracted from plant material by steam distillation or mechanical expression are acceptable. EO's produced with the aid of chemical solvents are not considered 'true' essential oils, therefore SCA classes these EO's as synthetic fragrance/parfum. Ref: NICBI

Restricted by SCA - Essential Oil standard usage guide:

Safety guidelines recommend by

  • Face care products 0.2-1.5%

  • Body massage 1.5-3%

  • Bath & Body products 1-4%

  • Specific skin issues 4-10%

  • Antiseptic for wounds 5-20%

  • Treating pain 5-20%

Restricted by SCA - Standard usage by age:

Safety guidelines recommend by

  • 0-3 months old 0.1% to 0.2%

  • 3-24 months old 0.25% to 0.5%

  • Age 2-6 years old 1% to 2%

  • Age 6-17 years 1.5% to 3%

  • Age 18+ years for most adults 2% to 3%

  • Adult short term application 3% to 10%

  • Elderly or sick 0.5% to 1%


CINNAMIC ACID CAS No: 103-26-4. Other names: Cinnamic acid, methyl ester; Methyl cinnamate, methyl ester. BENZYL CINNAMATE. CAS No: 103-41 -3. BALSUM OF PERU CAS No: 8007-00-9. Other names: China oil; Indian balsam; Liquid storax; Peru balsam; Perul. Tolu Balsam.


Chemically related to cinnamon oil cinnamic acid is widely used as a UV filter in sunscreens. It is also food grade flavour and common fragrance ingredient. Cinnamic acid can be
either natural or synthetic. Benzyl cinnamate is an esther of cinnamic acid and benzyl alcohol.

"Balsam of Peru allergy: Balsam of Peru smells of vanilla and cinnamon because it contains 60-70% cinnamein (a combination of cinnamic acid, cinnamyl cinnamate, benzyl benzoate, benzoic acid and vanillin) The other 30-40% contains resins of unknown composition. It also contains essential oils similar to those in citrus fruit peel. These are all potential allergens." -


Known skin sensitiser. commonly found in 'fragrances' that are used in all kinds of cosmetics and personal care products, makeup and sunscreen.


  • "A cinnamate is a compound chemically related to cinnamon oil and other cinnamon-related compounds that are used widely as flavourings and fragrances in many toiletries and cosmetics. Cinnamates are also potent UVB absorbers and therefore used in sunscreen agents and colour cosmetics with sun protection factor qualities." -

  • An "important function of cinnamic acid derivatives in cosmetics is UV protection. Ester derivatives such as ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), isoamyl p-methoxycinnamte (amiloxiate), octocrylene and cinoxate are used in cosmetics all over the world as UV filters. However, their maximum concentrations in cosmetic products are restricted due to their adverse effects, which include contact and a photocontact allergies, phototoxic contact dermatitis, contact dermatitis, estrogenic modulation and generation of reactive oxygen species." - NCBI


Amina Kitching