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FAQ Certification

CAN THE RETAILERS DISPLAY CERTIFICATES?

      Certifications are indicated with logos on each certified ZAO product.

      They are also available in the communication materials available in each point of sale of the brand. They can of course display this information.

       

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

         

        The shelf life is calculated according to the following criteria:

        – Product nature: shower gel, day cream, toothpaste, eyeshadow, eyeliner, lipstick, etc.;

        - Packaging type: opened jar, airtight pump bottle, tube, etc.;

        - Accelerated age test results before being placed on the market.

        As a consequence, an organic cosmetic product can have the same shelf life as a non-organic one. Depending on the packaging used, it can even be longer!

        The European regulation n ° 1223/2009 of cosmetic products stipulates that the minimum durability date must be indicated on the packaging. This is the date until which the cosmetic product continues to fulfil its function, subject to being stored under appropriate conditions. However, it is not mandatory to indicate this date on cosmetic products with a minimum durability more than 30 months.

        The shelf life for Zao products are:

        • For emulsions (which contain water), the shelf life is 36 months
        • For dense textures (without water) such as lipsticks, lip gloss, pencils, the shelf life is 48 months
        • For all dry products such as powders (loose or compact), the shelf life is 60 months.

         

         

        WHY IS THERE ONLY 10% OF ORGANIC INGREDIENTS IN SOME FORMULAS? WHY ARE YOUR PRODUCTS NOT 100% ORGANIC?

           

          An organic ingredient comes from organic farming. For example, it could be a plant and a plant derivative. But these are not enough to formulate cosmetic products which also require, depending on its nature, water (sometimes up to 90%), minerals such as pigments, clay (sometimes up to 100%) and other ingredients. Water and minerals do not come from organic farming. Therefore, they cannot be certified. So a cosmetic product that contains 80% water, 10% minerals and 10% organic ingredients contains only 10% organic ingredients and yet certified organic at its best.

          What matters most is the amount of organic ingredients used compared to the amount of vegetal ingredients. A cosmetic product certified as organic shall contain at least 95% organic ingredients out of the total vegetable ingredients, 10% organic ingredients out of the total ingredients and 95% natural ingredients or of natural origin.

          Please see a summary chart following this link: http://www.cosmebio.org/fr/nos-label.php

          Zao products organic certified contain as many organic ingredients as possible. Thus, there is often more than 10% of organic ingredients and soon more than 20% thanks to the European organic certification COSMOS.

           

           

          WHAT IS COSMOS?

             

            COSMOS is the European harmonised standard for natural and organic cosmetics.

            This standard is a document that states the requirements to obtain organic certification of cosmetic products: ingredients and products composition, nature of packaging, manufacturing, packaging, storage, document management and communication.

            In France, we often come across Ecocert standard. You can find Ecocert logo on ZAO certified products.

            Ecocert and its 4 other partners (BDIH in Germany, Cosmebio in France, ICEA in Italy and The Soil Association in Great Britain) have put together their values, skills and their vision of organic cosmetics  to find a common standard for all of them after many years of work. Starting from January 1, 2017, new certified organic products are only certified according to COSMOS standard.

            For more information please visit: http://cosmos-standard.org/cosmos-standard-aisbl/

            The transition to the European harmonised standard was anticipated while creating Zao products. Most of them are compatible with Cosmos. However, as the standard requirements are more strict than that of Ecocert, some ingredients are now refused. Raw material suppliers should now disclose much more confidential information than before to be approved by Cosmos so are reluctant to do it. That is why some of our products were reformulated during the past few years.

             

             

            ARE THE PRODUCTS AS EFFECTIVE AS CONVENTIONAL PRODUCTS (HOLD, COLOUR, ETC.)?

               

              Organic cosmetic products are as effective as non-organic ones. Indeed, if we look at the total ingredients used, an organic cosmetic product generally has more active ingredients. Each ingredient has not only a primary function in the product but also other properties that gives an advantage to organic cosmetics compared to non-organic.

              Nevertheless, there are still some limits to organic cosmetics :

              • Difficult to make a waterproof makeup
              • Difficult to achieve the deep red colour because Zao refuses to use carmine pigment from cochineal extract.

              Please note that we are working on these two issues part of our R&D project.

               

               

              DOES THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION OF ZAO COSMETIC PRODUCTS GUARANTEE GMO-FREE PRODUCTS?

                 

                The organic certification of Zao beauty brand ensures the products are GMO-free.

                The absence of GMOs is one of the key principles of the organic cosmetics standards (Ecocert or Cosmos). The ingredients used must be derived from renewable sources and transformed by the processes respectful of humans and the environment. Ingredients derived from GMO plants do not comply with this fundamental rule. Each certification body (for example Ecocert) is responsible for checking all the ingredients before the brand can add them to their cosmetic formulas. Thus, the certification guarantees that there is no GMOs in ZAO cosmetic products.

                 

                DOES THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION OF ZAO COSMETIC PRODUCTS ENSURE THE PRODUCTS ARE NANO-FREE?

                 

                Organic certification, according to Ecocert and Cosmo standard, ensures the products respectful of humans and the environment. Certification bodies have assessed certain nanomaterials as safe for cosmetic products’ consumers. For example, some nanomaterials such as mineral screens (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) are therefore only accepted in organic certified sunscreen products.

                However, ZAO has chosen to go further. The brand has decided to refuse using nanomaterials in their formulas. Therefore, we ask our suppliers to prove the absence of nanomaterials in their ingredients.

                 

                 

                DOES THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION OF ZAO COSMETIC PRODUCTS ENSURE THE PRODUCTS ARE FREE FROM HEAVY METALS SUCH AS NICKEL?

                   

                  As you know, our cosmetic formulas contain mineral ingredients such as pigments, mica, or mineral silica.

                  Minerals extracted from soil contain impurities in very low quantities expressed in ppm (parts per million: 1ppm = 0.0001%). The most regulated impurities are heavy metals. Nickel falls into heavy metals group, but also arsenic, mercury, lead, zinc, copper, chromium, cadmium and barium.

                  As of today, the ingredients suppliers cannot guarantee the pigments without minor traces of heavy metals.

                  The only ingredients in our formulas that might contain heavy metals are mineral pigments. The international regulations have introduced maximum quantities for heavy metals. For example, the quantity of nickel allowed in a pigment is 50 ppm, i.e. 0.005%. Since the maximum concentration of a pigment in a formula is 20%, this means a maximum of 10ppm (0.001%) of nickel in the final product.

                  The solution for people sensitive to nickel is to use non-organic makeup products that contain synthetic pigments and dyes. Unfortunately, these synthetic ingredients have other significant side effects on humans and the environment.

                  We are hoping to be able to use vegetable pigments in the future that are free of heavy metals, which could provide our makeup products with the right colour intensity. This requires some scientific research, which we have started, but the results will not yet be available in the nearest future. To be continued...

                   

                   

                  DOES THE ORGANIC CERTIFICATION ENSURE PESTICIDE-FREE PRODUCTS?

                     

                    Ingredients used in organic certified products have passed rigorous control tests by the certification bodies before authorisation. Certified organic ingredients come from organic farming where the use of pesticides is strictly prohibited. For example, farmers who grow organic plants, the source of organic cosmetic ingredients, do not, of course, use pesticides. But we all know that wind can unfortunately bring pesticides from nearby non-organic lands (even if a minimum distance between an organic and a non-organic land has to be respected). To be honest, the total absence of pesticides is difficult to guarantee. However, we note that there is still 1000 to 10000 times less pesticide in organic cosmetics.

                    ZAO organic certification thus guarantees an extremely low level of pesticides, which no other certification is able to ensure today.

                     

                     

                    IS ZAO CERTIFIED VEGAN?

                       

                      Since 2015, the majority of the products in our range have been certified vegan by The Vegan Society based in the United Kingdom.

                      Since the end of 2018, the entire range of our products have been certified vegan, as we were able to eliminate the last ingredient of animal origin: organic beeswax, thanks to our R&D program.