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Is there fragrance in Zao products?

We chose natural hypoallergenic vanilla extract as perfume (fragrance) which has a discreet smell and this has helped us minimize the risk of allergic reaction related to perfume. The amount of this ingredient used in the products is small but sufficient to make the application pleasant. Otherwise, some ingredients of the formula, for example oils, could give the product a slightly unpleasant smell.



What is bamboo powder?

Bamboo powder is included in the list of ingredients under the INCI name: Bambusa arundinacea stem powder. It is a white substance extracted from the joints of bamboo, mainly composed of organic silica, it has been widely used in oriental medicine. Organic silica, a component of the connective tissue, is present throughout the human body and regenerates the epidermis by participating in the synthesis of collagen and elastin. Over time, our silica capital diminishes causing loss of elasticity and demineralization of the skin. It is therefore necessary to regularly replenish the epidermis. For this reason, organic silica is present in most ZAO products.



What is organic bamboo hydrosol?

The organic hydrolate of bamboo leaves is found in the list of ingredients under the INCI name: Phyllostachys Nigra Extract. This is a product derived from the distillation of bamboo leaves, it is mainly composed of organic silica, this ingredient has been widely used in oriental medicine. Organic silica, a component of the connective tissue, is present throughout the human body and regenerates the epidermis by participating in the synthesis of collagen and elasti . Over time, our silica capital diminishes causing loss of elasticity and demineralization of the skin. It is therefore necessary to regularly replenish the epidermis. For this reason, organic silica is present in most ZAO products.



What is organic bamboo macerate? 

Organic bamboo macerate is included in the ingredient list under the INCI name: Phyllostachis Bambusoides Rhizome Extract. Like bamboo powder or bamboo leaf hydrolyzate, this material is extremely rich in organic silica, an external supply of which is necessary to maintain the elasticity of our tissues and skin. In the case of this macerate, the advantage over the powder or hydrosol is its ability to further penetrate the superficial part of the epidermis.



What kind of Silica does ZAO include in their products?

The silica ingredient that Zao includes in the formulas is from the bamboo plant, organic and ethically harvested; Not the silica comprised of quartz which is a very common mineral and the one linked many health issues. Different ingredients.


Is there chromium?

Chromium is not an ingredient as such added in products. However, it represents a component of the pigment called "chromium oxide greens" whose INCI name is CI 77288. This green pigment provides shades of eye shadows in shades of green that would be difficult to obtain otherwise. ZAO palette of natural pigments, certified organic, remains limited to this day.

However, we are concerned about the safety of this pigment, so we made the decision to reformulate eye shadows containing it and deleting it in ZAO range for now. We will propose new shades soon.



Is there palm oil?

The main problem of palm oil is, mainly, its cultivation in Indonesia, which leads to a massive destruction of the primary forest in favor of palm plantations. In cosmetics, there are many complex ingredients that use palm derivatives or palm oil. For palm oil used as such, in addition to the INCI name "Palm Oil" very recognizable, there is also "Eleasis Guineensis (palm) oil." Among these ingredients there is, although controversial, a certificate of RSPO origin guaranteeing palm oil derived ingredients without destruction of primary forest ( After several studies, here are highlighted the ingredients that may be interested in palm oil (cf.document PalmOilNames) and that come in our formulations:

1- Cetearyl Alcohol: Although it can be derived from palm oil, ours is derived from coconut oil.

2- Eleasis Guineensis (palm) oil: In our formulas is used only Eleasis Guineensis (palm) certified organic butter by Ecocert. Organic farming prohibits the destruction of primary forest.

3- Glycerine: Our glycerine is certified organic by Ecocert. Organic farming prohibits the destruction of primary forest.

4- Glycerol Stearate: Although it may be derived from palm oil, ours is derived from coconut oil.

5- Isostearic acid: Although it can be derived from palm oil, ours is derived from grapeseed oil.

6- Zinc Stearate: This ingredient, comes well from palm oil but we have the RSPO certificate of the producer as a proof that it is produced under authorization and with responsibility without forest destruction.

9- Sucrose palmate: It is used in voluminizing mascara  085 . This ingredient is made from palm oil certified RSPO.

10- Propylene glycol: The propylene glycol contained in our eyeliners is accepted by Ecocert COSMOS. It is a propylene glycol of plant origin. It is indeed derived from palm oil, but from a palm oil certified RSPO.

11- The glyceryl 4-caprilate is derived from palm oil RSPO.



Is silver powder dangerous?

All products in the ZAO range , with the exception of pencils, contain micronized silver.

In our formulas, silver plays the fundamental role of preservative for our products and antiseptic for the skin. At more than 10,000 € per kilo (extremely expensive), we have choosen to use this ingredient  due to its intrinsic antibacterial qualities. Because of its high costs, most companies have decided not to use it at all.

In addition, the silver is used for dressings, the treatment of burns, the preservation of prosthesis before transplantation in the human body. It has been considered for more than 2,000 years as a water purifier and a disinfectant. This is the reason why in the Middle Ages, nobles and wealthy people used to drink and eat  in  silver cutlery. It is an excellent bacteria killer by asphyxiation.

In general, what is problematic for metals is the size of the particles: the nanoparticles (10-9 meters = 0.000000001 or 1 millionth of a millimeter) asking many questions. The silver we use is microsilver (trade name) and the particle size is between 1 and 10 microns. This particle size is between 1,000 to 10,000 times larger than the size of the nanoparticles.

Silver does not present any risk of toxicity for our body from the moment we avoid nanoparticles.



Does silver powder retain less than chemical preservatives?

The silver powder used to keep the products in the ZAO range is as effective as the preservatives used in non-organic products.

Know that each cosmetic product, organic or not, marketed in Europe must have passed a test that verifies the effectiveness of preservatives. This test called "challenge test" involves introducing bacteria into product samples and verifying that they do not reproduce. The products of the ZAO range have all passed this efficiency test.

In addition, the silver powder is so effective that it allows us to put a smaller amount than the one traditionally used for chemical preservatives this way we limit  the risks of allergic reaction.



Are Zao products gluten free?

Gluten is a protein found in many foods made from wheat, barley, rye and sometimes oats. The consumption of gluten-free food products is becoming a real food trend. Beyond gluten-free fashion, gluten is the subject of special attention by intolerant people suffering from a so-called celiac autoimmune disease. To provide a better guarantee to the intolerant, there is a logo "spike bar" proposed by Afdiag. This label is governed by a European standard (AOECS), the requirements of which must be checked on site and an annual analysis plan. This label is applied on food and non-cosmetic products to date.

In the context of ZAO cosmetics, it may be relevant to ask if lipsticks contain gluten. Gluten is found only in the protein portion and is absent from the edible oils used. Therefore, the ingredient used in ZAO products, which would be likely to contain gluten, is: palmitoyl hydrolyzed wheat protein. ZAO supplier has provided a certification guaranteeing that  at the moment when it is needed to obtain this ingredient a separation process has to go through where gluten is completely extracted from this ingredient resulting a gluten-free ingredient making all lipsticks gluten-free.



Is maltodextrin, contained in some Zao products, gluten-free?

Maltodextrin is not an ingredient as such added to our formulas. It is a component of an ingredient called: Cayoma Olive. You can find information on the manufacturer of this ingredient by clicking on the following link: .

After checking all our formulas, we can assure you that maltodextrin is contained only in powders with a concentration in the finished product between 0.00005% and 0.012%. ZAO maltodextrin comes from starch, especially from rice starch. Rice is a natural cereal without gluten.



How do anti-aging active ingredients work in Zao makeup products?

Our makeup products combine the best make-up efficiency (color, hold, rendering, textures ...) and respect for your skin. We use ingredients that have specific properties. We can note for example:


the bamboo powder and its high level of silica necessary for the renewal of the cells of the skin,

the micronized silver powder which acts as an antiseptic and which ZAO has chosen as a natural preservative,

aloe verashea butter or pomegranate, rich in essential fatty acids to protect against free radicals.



Why titanium dioxide in products?

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a opacifying white pigment used in cosmetics (toothpaste, face cream, body milk, make-up ...) for decades. This pigment is also used in other products for everyday life: food, interior painting, painting of car bodies, etc ...

There is a controversy today about titanium dioxide in nanoparticles (particle whose size is 10-9 meters = 0.000000001m or 1 millionth of a millimeter). For products in the ZAO range, the size of the titanium dioxide particles does not fall below the microparticles (10-6m = 0.000001 or 1 thousandth of a mm).

The microparticles used in the products of the ZAO range do not pass through our cells.



Why aluminum in products? How much?

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).



Does Zao foundations contain sunscreens?

The foundations do not contain chemical sunscreens because they are prohibited by the specifications for natural and organic* cosmetics: most have a harmful impact on humans and the environment. Only mineral sunscreens are allowed in organic certified cosmetics.

The ZAO brand has chosen not to offer sunscreen for its products and therefore not to include a mineral screen because there is currently a controversy on the mineral nanomaterials used for the sun protection of cosmetics.






Where are Zao products made? 

The products in the ZAO range are manufactured in Europe.

We work mainly with three manufacturers, chosen according to the nature of the products for which they are experts. Thus we can distinguish: 

- The manufacture of pencils by Schwan, a German company whose production takes place in the Czech Republic; 


- The manufacture of nail polish by Cosmetic Service, an Italian company whose production takes place near Venice (Italy);


- The manufacture of all other products in the range by Laboratoire Phytotechnique, an Italian company whose production takes place near Milan (Italy). This company is a privileged partner of the ZAO team. We have been working together for over 15 years. Moreover, David Reccole, founder and leader of the brand Zao, was at the origin of the creation of Laboratoire Phytotechnique then its president from 2006 to 2013.

We place our trust in the quality of certified organic products from these partners. 


You can find the place of manufacture on the labeling of products (eg "made in Italy").


Where does bamboo come from?

The bamboo we use for our packaging comes from China where it is worked on site to get the packaging you know. We ourselves created the specific tools for shaping raw bamboo because they did not exist before. These tools are now used by our local supplier for our production and remain exclusive to the Zao brand.

We chose bamboo for its elegance and modernity because we are convinced that a line of certified organic* makeup must use a natural packaging. All trees are carbon storages, but bamboo's exceptional growth rate makes it a champion of carbon capture during its life cycle. It allows ZAO products to display a very satisfactory carbon footprint. An ecological refinement!

Bamboo is also incorporated into our formulas through a powder, a hydrosol or a bamboo macerate. The Ingredients part of the FAQ gives you more information.


Are the refills made of plastic?

The packaging of some refills (ex: pressed powders) are made of plastic materials, authorized by the specifications of certification bio because recyclable.

Regarding the refills themselves, they are made of various materials, all validated for their recyclability, eg: Silk dyed tubes are made of polypropylene (PP) and lipstick mechanisms require several materials including aluminum.

We are glad to inform that all ZAO compact products ( eye shadows, compact powders)  will start a transition in 2019 of packaging from plastic containers to cardboard.  


How much plastic does ZAO uses?

Committed to the conservation of our ecosystem, our products come conveniently in refillable bamboo cases. Right now, some of our products under our refill system are still being packaged in minimal BPA-Free and 100% recyclable plastic material. However, our quest for becoming a completely plastic free company is already in motion! Most of our products are packaged in completely plastic free recyclable material reducing a 60% our use of plastic. Our efforts are focused on continuing our mission to live in harmony with our ecosystem by minimizing our carbon footprint as much as we can creating the highest quality and affordable products.


How are the products tested if they are not tested on animals?

Cosmetics do not necessarily need to be tested on animals to prove their safety.

Firstly, it is a question of using known ingredients, whose safety is established, such as certified organic ingredients and ingredients whose use has been approved by the reference standards for organic* cosmetics (for example: Ecocert, Cosmos).

It should also be known that every cosmetic product that is placed on the market has been studied by an expert toxicologist. This expert evaluated the product's safety. In the case where its evaluation is satisfactory compared to the regulations in force, then the product can be placed on the market. Otherwise, the brand can not sell its product.

The products of the ZAO range have not been tested on animals and have received a favorable evaluation from the expert toxicologist.






Why only 10% of organic ingredients in some formulas? Why are your products not 100% organic?

An organic ingredient is an ingredient from organic farming. It can therefore be for example plants and plant derivatives. These examples are not enough to formulate cosmetic products that also require, depending on the nature of the product, water (sometimes up to 90%), minerals such as pigments, clay (sometimes up to 100%) ) and other ingredients. Water and minerals are not from organic farming. Therefore, they can not be certified. So a cosmetic product that contains 80% water, 10% minerals and 10% organic ingredients contains only 10% organic ingredients and yet it has used the maximum of its capacity.

What matters most is the amount of organic ingredients used compared to the amount of plant ingredients. A cosmetic product certified organic contains at least 95% of organic ingredients on the total of vegetable ingredients, 10% of organic ingredients on all ingredients and 95% of natural or natural ingredients.

The certified products of the Zao range contain more than 20% thanks to the European organic certification COSMOS.

For more information:



Does organic* certification of Zao cosmetics guarantee GMO-free products? 

The organic* certification of ZAO cosmetics guarantees of course products without GMO.

The absence of GMOs is one of the founding principles of the specifications of organic* cosmetics (Ecocert or Cosmos). The ingredients used must be derived from renewable resources and processed by processes that respect people and the environment. To date, ingredients derived from GMOs do not meet this fundamental rule. The certification body (Ecocert for example) is responsible for controlling each ingredient before the brand can add it to its cosmetic formula. Thus, certification provides the guarantee of the absence of GMOs in cosmetics.

*The use of the term "organic" is in comply except in the state of California which has a unique definition according to COPA under which, these products differ from their organic percentage calculation for cosmetics private standards.