Frequently Asked Questions

OUR FAQ INGREDIENTS

1.DO THE PRODUCTS CONTAIN ANY PERFUME ?

There is indeed a perfume/fragance in ZAO products. We decided to choose a natural, discreet and hypoallergenic vanilla extract. We aim to limit as much as we can the risk of allergic reactions because of perfume/fragance. The quantity added in the products is quite low but still enough to enjoy the use of ZAO products. Some ingredients in the formula, for instance oil, could otherwise give an unpleasant smell.

2.It is mentioned that zAO uses bamboo powder, but where can it be found in the ingredients list?

The bamboo powder can be found in the ingredient listing under the INCI name: Bambusa arundinacea stem powder. It is a white substance extracted from the bamboo seams, mainly made of organic silica. It was often used in Oriental medicine. Organic silica, constituent of conjunctive tissue, is already present in the entire human body. It regenerates the epidermis by participating in the collagen and elastin synthesis. Over time, our silica capital gets lower which leads to elasticity loss and skin demineralization. It is therefore necessary to regularly replenish the skin. For this reason, organic silica is present in most of ZAO products.

3.It is mentioned that zao uses organic bamboo hydrolate, but where can it be found in the ingredients list?

The organic bamboo hydrolate can be found in the ingredient listing under the INCI name: Phyllostachys Nigra Extract*. It comes from the distillation of bamboo leaves, mainly made of organic silica. This was often used in Oriental medicine. Organic silica, constituent of conjunctive tissue, is already present in the entire human body. It regenerates the epidermis by participating to the collagen and elastin synthesis. Over time, our silica capital gets lower which leads to elasticity loss and skin demineralization. It is therefore necessary to regularly replenish the skin. For this reason, organic silica is present in most of ZAO products.

4. IT IS MENTIONED THAT ZAO USES ORGANIC BAMBOO MACERATE, BUT WHERE CAN IT BE FOUND IN THE INGREDIENTS LIST ?

The organic bamboo macerate can be found in the ingredient listing under the INCI name: Phyllostachis Bambusoides Rhizome Extract*. As well as the bamboo powder and the organic bamboo hydrolate, this ingredient is extremely rich in organic silica. An external intake is necessary in order to maintain our tissues and skin elasticity. The benefit of the macerate is the ability to go deeper into the skin.

5.DOES ZAO PRODUCTS CONTAINS ANY CHROME ?

Chrome is not an ingredient added as such in the products. However, it is a component of pigments called « chromium oxide greens » whose INCI name is CI 77288. This green pigment allows to formulate green shades of eyeshadows that would not be possible otherwise. You have probably noticed that the range of natural pigments, available to organic certified cosmetics, still remains narrow today. However we are concerned about this pigment safety. We have therefore decided to amend the formulation of the eyeshadows containing this pigment. You will see new shades shortly.

6.DOES ZAO PRODUCTS CONTAINS ARGAN OIL ?

To date, we do not use any argan oil in our products. However we have chosen other ingredients as beneficial to the skin. For instance, you can find in ZAO products some organic ingredients rich in essential fatty acids as: shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil, etc.

7.     does zao products contains palm oil?

The main concern with palm oil is that the culture in Indonesia mainly leads to massive primary forest destruction in favour of palm plantations. In cosmetics, there are many complex ingredients using palm oil or derivatives. For the palm oil used as such, in addition to the INCI name "palm oil" very recognizable, there is also "Eleasis Guineensis (palm) oil."
For these ingredients, an RSPO certificate/commitment, guarantees that the crops were not involved with primary forest destruction nor endangered animals.
After doing several studies, here are the ingredients of our formulations that might be using palm oil during their manufacturing process (cf.document PalmOilNames)):
1- Cetearyl alcohol: ZAO's is derived from coconut oil.
2- Eleasis Guineensis (palm) oil: only Eleasis Guineensis (palm) butter is used in our formulas. So not palm oil but palm butter. We are therefore waiting for RSPO certificate.
3 -Glycerin: ZAO's glycerin is certified organic. Organic farming rules prohibit the destruction of the primary forest.
4- Glyceryl stearate: ZAO's is derived from coconut oil.
5- Isostearic acid: ZAO's is derived from rapeseed oil.
6- Palm oil: It was used only in our previous pencils made in France. But today, our new pencils do not use any palm oil anymore.
7- Sodium stearoyl lactylate: We are waiting for answers from the manufacturer.
8- Zinc stearate: It is a palm oil derivative and we have the RSPO certificate.

8.AS METAL, IS THE SILVER POWDER DANGEROUS ?

All ZAO products, excepted pencils, contain micronized silver. In our formulas, silver plays the fundamental role of formula preservative and skin antiseptic. If quite few companies (none in makeup) use silver as preservative, it is only because of its high cost. With a cost of 10, 000 € per kilo, silver has been precisely chosen for its antibacterial inherent qualities. For instance, silver is used for band aid, burn treatment and prostheses conservation before transplantation into the human body. It has been considered for over 2,000 years as a water purifier and a disinfectant. In the Middle Ages, nobles and wealthy people used to eat and drink glasses and silverwares (or silver platted). This is a great bacteria killer by asphyxiation.

Generally speaking, the problem at the level of metals is the size of the particles: nanoparticles asking many questions. The silver we use is Microsilver (trade name) and the particle size is between 1 and 10 microns, which also means between 1,000 and 10,000 times the size of nanoparticles.
However, the silver thanks to its high biocompatibility with our cells does not present any danger.
Silver is therefore no risk of toxicity for our bodies as long as we avoid nanoparticles.

9.IS SILVER POWDER AS EFFECTIVE AS THE CHEMICAL PRESERVATIVES USED IN OTHER COSMETICS?

The silver powder used to preserve ZAO products is as effective as preservatives used in non organic cosmetics. By the way, each cosmetic product, organic or not, sold in Europe must comply with a regulated test on the preservative efficacy. This test called « challenge test » consists in introducing some bacteria in product samples and check that the bacteria do not grow.
ZAO products have successfully passed the test. Besides, the silver powder is so effective that it can be used in quantity much lower than that of traditionnal preservatives. Therefore we reduce as well risks of allergic reaction.

10.DOES THE MALTODEXTRIN USED IN PRODUCTS CONTAIN ANY GLUTEN?

Maltodextrin is not an ingredient we add to our formulation but it is part of another ingredient: Cayoma Olive. Here is the link to the producer Qenax of such ingredient :  http://www.qenax.com/products/cayoma-r-olive.
After checking all formulations, we can say that maltodextrine is exclusively included in powders and its concentration in finished products is between : 0,00005% and 0,012%.
Maltodextrin is most of the time obtained from starch and mostly from rice starch. Rice is a natural free gluten cereal. Maltodextrin is also gluten free.

11.How do anti-aging ingredients act in ZAO products?

Our make-up products combine at best make-up efficacy (colour, long-lasting effect, finish, textures…) and respect of the skin. We use ingredients with specific properties, for instance :
-          Bamboo powder which is wonderful for its high level of silica needed for skin cells renewal
-          Silver powder acting as an antiseptic agent, chosen by ZAO as natural preservative
-          Aloe vera, shea butter or pomegranate butter, rich in essential fatty acids to fight against free radicals

12.WHY USE TITANIUM DIOXIDE IN ALL ZAO PRODUCTS?

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a white pigment that has been used in cosmetics (toothpaste, face cream, body milk, make-up...) for decades. This pigment is also included in other products for everyday life : food, paintwork for home and cars, etc...

Today, there is a controversy regarding titanium dioxide nanoparticles (particle whose size is 10-9 meters = 0,000000001 mm). When it comes to ZAO products, the size of titanium dioxide particles is over 10-6m = 0,000001m, so none of ZAO products is in the nanoparticle size range.
Nanoparticles cause ethical and public health debates because they can be absorbed through human cells which dimensions are very small (10-9 meters= 0.000000001mm). Those cells would let nanoparticles in, which would therefore be stocked and depending on their nature, the human body would not know how to get rid of them. Consequences on the long term are unknown. This is the reason why, the new European organic standard COSMOS does not allow ingredients containing nanoparticles.
Titanium dioxide used in ZAO products does not enter the human cells since it is used in the microparticles size and cannot be absorbed by the skin.

13.DOES ZAO PRODUCTS CONTAIN ALUMINUM ? WHAT ARE THE QUANTITIES ?

Aluminum salts are still controversial when used in deodorants and anti-perspirants. Some have doubts regarding the aluminum salts ability to increase breast cancer risks considering the site of application and the quantity used.
ZAO products do not contain any aluminum.
However, you may find in our ingredient list, the INCI name: alumina. It is not an aluminum salt, nor a aluminum chlorhydrate. It is a molecule (Al2O3) used as a coating of some pigments and pearls to create other pigments allowed in organic certified make-up. Therefore, it is found in very small quantities. Besides, alumina is found in Nature in Bauxite Ore. This natural alumina creates gemstones like ruby, sapphire or topaz.
This type of  Alumina represents no danger for human health or the environment. This is why, it is allowed by organic cosmetic standards (Ecocert, Cosmos).

OUR FAQ PRODUCTS

1.WHERE ARE ZAO PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED ? 

ZAO products are manufactured in Europe.
We work with 2 main manufacturers, chosen for their knowledge and expertise on different product categories:
- Pencils : the German company Schwan manufactures pencils in Czech Republic ;
- All other ZAO products are made by Laboratoire Phytotechnique, an italian company near Milan (Italy). This company has been a key partner for over 15 years. Besides, David Reccole, founder and director of the brand ZAO, function since the begining of Laboratoire Phytotechnique as its president from 2006 to 2013.
You can always find the place of the manufacturer on the product labelling (ex « made in Italy »)

2.HOW ARE THE PRODUCTS TESTED IF NOT ON ANIMALS ?

Cosmetic products do not need to be tested on animals to prove their safety.
It is about using safe ingredients, such as organic ingredients and those approved to be used in organic cosmetics by standard setters (eg : Ecocert, Cosmos).
Each cosmectic product sold in the European Union must first be approved by a toxicological expert. This person assesses the safety of the product. If the assessment conclusion comply with current regulations than the product can be used by consumers. Otherwise, the brand has to work again on the composition of the product and go again through the toxicological expert assessment.
ZAO products have not been tested on animals and each of them has successfully passed the safety assessment. 

QUESTIONS ABOUT ORGANIC CERTIFICATION

1.WHY IS THERE ONLY 10% OF ORGANIC INGREDIENTS IN FORMULATIONS ? WHY CAN’T PRODUCTS BE 100% ORGANIC ?

An organic ingredient comes from organic farming. It can therefore be plants and plant derivatives for instance. But these are not enough to formulate cosmetic products that need as well, depending on the nature of the product : water (sometimes up to 90%), minerals such as pigments or clays (sometimes up to 100%) and other ingredients. Of course, water and minerals do not come from organic farming. Therefore they can not be certified. This means that cosmetic products using 80% water, 10% minerals and 10% organic ingredients contain only 10% of organic but still the maximum of its ability.
What matters most is the quantity of organic ingredients with respect to the quantity of plant ingredients. Organic certified product must contains at least 95% of organic ingredients with respect to the plant ingredients, 10% of organic ingredients on the total of the formula and 95% of natural origin ingredients.
A summary can be found on the following link : http://www.cosmebio.org/fr/nos-label.php
ZAO organic certified products contain the maximum of organic ingredients possible. There is often more than 10% organic and soon over 20% thanks to the European organic certification COSMOS.

2.WHAT IS COSMOS ?

Cosmos is the European harmonised standard for natural and organic cosmetics.
This standard guides brands through the organic certification process for cosmetics : ingredients and product composition, nature of packaging, manufacturing, filling, storage, document management and communication.
You have probably come accross the Ecocert standard before. You can find the Ecocert label on ZAO certified products.
Ecocert and 4 partners (BDIH in Germany, Cosmebio in France, ICEA in Italy and Soil Association in the UK) have put together their values, knowledge and vision of organic cosmetics to create, after many years of hard work, a commun standard for all of them. That is how from 1st January 2017, all new organic certified cosmetic products will only be according to Cosmos-standard.
For more information : http://cosmos-standard.org/cosmos-standard-aisbl/
The transition to the European harmonised standard has been anticipated during the development of ZAO products. Most of them already comply with Cosmos. However the standard being more demanding than the current Ecocert standard, some ingredients are now unavailable: for Cosmos, ingredient suppliers must give more confidential information for the approval of their ingredients and can sometimes be reluctant. This will involve the reformulation of some ZAO products during 2016.

3. ARE ORGANIC PRODUCTS AS EFFECTIVE AS NON-ORGANIC ONES (LONG-LASTING, COLOR, ETC..) ?

Yes, organic cosmetics are as effective as non-organic ones, and even more. Actually, when we look at the ingredients used, an organic cosmetic has more active ingredients. Each ingredient does not only have a basic function in the product but also additional properties that brings more to the organic cosmetic compared to a non-organic one.

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