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FAQ Certifcation

1. CAN CERTIFICATIONS BE DISPLAYED?

Certifications are indicated on each ZAO certified product label. 
Certification information can also be found in communication documents given by the brand. You can, of course, display these information. 
We advise you, however, to advertise them near ZAO certified products. There must not be any confusion between ZAO certified products and some others not certified.

2. WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF ORGANIC PRODUCTS COMPARED TO NON-ORGANIC ONES?

The shelf life is calculated with the following parameters : 
- Product nature: shower gel, skin care, toothpaste, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, etc... ; 
- Packaging type: opened jar, tube, airtight pump bottle, etc... ; 
- Accelerated age testing results. 
Thus, an organic cosmetic product can have the same shelf life as a non-organic one. Depending on the packaging, it may also be higher! 
The European regulation n°1223/2009 for cosmetic products asks for the date of minimum durability to be labeled. It is the date until which the cosmetic product, stored under appropriate conditions, will continue to fulfill its function. However, an indication of the date of minimum durability shall not be mandatory for cosmetic products with a minimum durability of more than 30 months. For such products, there shall be an indication of the period of time after opening for which the product is safe and can be used without any harm to the consumer. This information shall be indicated by the following symbol : 

3. 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.

4. WHAT IS COSMOS?

Cosmos is the European harmonized 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 across 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 common 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 harmonized 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.

5. ARE ORGANIC PRODUCTS AS EFFECTIVE AS NON-ORGANIC ONES (LONG-LASTING, COLOUR, 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 bring more to the organic cosmetic compared to a non-organic one.

6. CAN THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION ENSURE GMO-FREE PRODUCTS?

Of course, the organic certification chosen by ZAO ensures GMO-free products. 
Being GMO-free is one of the leading principles of natural and organic cosmetic standards (Ecocert or Cosmos). The ingredients used in cosmetics must be from renewable and sustainable resources and transformed by processes respectful of people and the environment. Ingredients coming from GMO plants do not comply with this rule. Certification bodies (Ecocert for instance) are in charge of checking each ingredient before brands can decide to add it to formulations. Hence, this certification ensures that there is no GMO derived ingredient in ZAO products.

7. CAN THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION ENSURE NANOMATERIAL-FREE PRODUCTS?

Organic certification according to Ecocert or Cosmos-standard ensures that products are respectful of people and the environment. These certification bodies have come to the conclusion that some nanomaterials are safe for consumers. Some nanomaterials, such as physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) are therefore allowed in organic certified sunscreen products. Nonetheless, ZAO has chosen to go further. The brand has decided not to use nanomaterials at all and therefore asks all suppliers to prove that their ingredients are nanomaterial-free.

8. CAN THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION ENSURE PRODUCTS ARE FREE OF HEAVY METALS (SUCH AS NICKEL)?

As you know in our formulations we use some mineral ingredients such as pigments, mica or mineral silica. 
Minerals extracted from earth contain many impurities in very low quantity expressed in ppm (parts per million. 1ppm = 0,0001%). 
The most controlled impurities family is Heavy metals and nickel is one of them. Other main ones are arsenic, mercury, lead, zinc, copper, chromium, cadmium, and barium. 
In all our ingredients, only one family might contain heavy metals: mineral pigments. 
The international regulation, including Ecocert, admits inside a pigment a maximum quantity for Nickel of 50 ppm which means 0,005%. 
A pigment will be used at less than 20% of the total formulation. That means 10ppm (0,001%) of nickel in the whole formulation.

9. CAN THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION ENSURE PESTICIDE-FREE PRODUCTS?

Ingredients allowed in organic certified cosmetics have been carefully checked by certification bodies. As you may know, organic certified ingredients come from organic farming where using pesticides is strictly forbidden. Hence, farmers growing organic plants, source of cosmetic ingredients, do not use any pesticides. However, we all know that wind, unfortunately, can bring some pesticides from one non-organic land to one organic land (even though there are distances between 2 lands to comply with). Being honest, it is difficult to guarantee 0,00% pesticide. 
However and gladly, we notice that there is still 1000 to 10000 times less pesticide in the organic sector than in the conventional sector. 
The organic certification ensures an extremely low level in products where no other certification can today.

10. IS ZAO VEGAN?

All the products are 100% Vegan from October 2018. Some end of former series are still non vegan but this feature is clearly identified in the description and the title of the product. The only products not vegan remaining are the following lip balm (stick and liquid) and concealers. This is due to the use of beeswax (despite the fact that organic beeswax ensures that the well-being of the animal is preserved).