1. DO THE PRODUCTS CONTAIN ANY PERFUME?
There is indeed a perfume in ZAO products.
We decided to choose a natural, discreet and hypoallergenic perfume. We aim to limit as much as we can the risk of allergic reactions because of perfume.
The quantity added in the products is quite low but still enough to enjoy the use of ZAO products. Some ingredients in the formula, oil for instance, could otherwise give an unpleasant smell.
2. WHICH ONE IS THE BAMBOO POWDER?
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 to the collagen and elastin synthesis. Over time, our silica capital gets lower which leads to elasticity loss and skin demineralisation. It is therefore necessary to regularly replenish the skin. For this reason, organic silica is present in most of ZAO products.
3. WHICH ONE IS THE ORGANIC BAMBOO HYDROLATE ?
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. 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 to the collagen and elastin synthesis. Over time, our silica capital gets lower which leads to elasticity loss and skin demineralisation. It is therefore necessary to regularly replenish the skin. For this reason, organic silica is present in most of ZAO products.
4. WHICH ONE IS THE ORGANIC BAMBOO MACERATE ?
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. DO THE PRODUCTS CONTAIN 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 formulating 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. DO THE PRODUCTS CONTAIN ANY 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 (shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, macadamia nut oil...)
7. IS THERE ANY PALM OIL?
The main concern with palm oil is that the culture in Indonesia mainly leads to massive primary forest destruction in favor 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, although controversial, 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: ours 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: our glycerin is certified organic. Organic farming rules prohibit the destruction of the primary forest.
4- Glyceryl stearate: ours is derived from coconut oil.
5- Isostearic acid: ours 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 a few companies (none in makeup) use silver as a preservative, it is only because of its 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, 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 silverware (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 THE SILVER POWDER NOT AS GOOD A PRESERVATIVE AS CHEMICAL ONE?
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 traditional preservatives. Therefore we reduce as well risks of allergic reaction.
10. ARE ZAO PRODUCTS GLUTEN-FREE?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and grains such as barley, rye, and sometimes oat. The consumption of gluten-free food products is becoming a real trend. Beyond this trend, gluten is subject to a special attention from intolerant people, with an autoimmune disease called celiac. In order to give them a better guarantee, a European standard (AOECS) was created with requirements such as on-site inspections and annual analysis control plan. Products meeting the requirements of this standard are allowed to bear the defined label. This label is given only to food products, not cosmetic products at the present day.
In this context, it would be relevant to know if ZAO lipsticks contain any gluten. Gluten is found only in the protein part of an ingredient and therefore is absent from food oils used in our products. Therefore, there is only one ingredient used for ZAO that would be likely to contain any gluten: palmitoyl hydrolyzed wheat protein. However, we have the supplier’s certificate ensuring that there is no gluten in this ingredient.
We can, therefore, conclude that ZAO products are gluten-free.
11. 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 maltodextrin 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.
12. HOW DO ANTI-AGEING INGREDIENTS ACT WHILE IN MAKE-UP PRODUCTS?
Our makeup products combine at best make-up efficacy (color, long-lasting effect, finish, textures…) and respect of the skin. We use ingredients with specific properties, for instance :
- Bamboo powder and its high level of silica needed for skin cells renewal
- Silver powder acting as an antiseptic agent, chosen by ZAO as the natural preservative
- Aloe vera, shea butter or pomegranate butter, rich in essential fatty acids to fight against free radicals
13. WHY USE TITANIUM DIOXIDE IN 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 of 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 m). When it comes to ZAO products, the size of titanium dioxide particles is over 10-6m = 0,000001m, so not in the nanoparticle size range.
Nanoparticles cause ethical and public health debates because they can be absorbed through human cells which dimensions are as small (10-9 mètres). 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.
14. WHY USING ALUMINUM IN ZAO PRODUCTS? WHAT ARE THE QUANTITIES?
Aluminum salts are still controversial when used in deodorants and antiperspirants. 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 an aluminum chlorhydrate. It is a molecule (Al2O3) used in the surface coating of some pigments and pearls creating pigments allowed in organic certified make-up. It is therefore found in quite small quantities. Besides, alumina is found in Nature in bauxite ore. It is this very alumina that creates gemstones like ruby, sapphire or topaz.
Alumina here is no major danger for human health or the environment. In that context, it is allowed by organic cosmetic standard setters (Ecocert, Cosmos).
15. IS THERE ANY SQUALENE FROM SHARK IN ZAO PRODUCTS?
Historically, squalene was obtained from shark liver oil and it is true that some cosmetic companies carry on using it. However, squalene is also found in plant sources, in lesser concentration but nowadays used as well: amaranth seed oil, rice bran oil, wheat germ oil and olive oil. You probably know that organic certified cosmetics must comply with rules regarding ingredient sourcing. Ingredients that are part of dead animals are strictly forbidden. Therefore, squalene found in Zao products comes from vegetable sources and mainly from olive oil.
Many plants and animals produce squalene, including humans. It is one of the most common lipids produced by human skin cells (it's a major component of nasal sebum). It is a natural moisturizer and some believe that as part of a food diet it might even be protecting from cancer.
In the concentrations used in cosmetics, toxicology studies have shown that squalene is not a significant human skin irritant nor a sensitizer.
As far as we know, this ingredient is respectful of human and the environment.
16. ARE THERE ANY PHTHALATES ZAO NAIL POLISHES?
ZAO nail polish formula does not contain any phthalates, especially not dibutyl phthalate known to be an endocrine disruptor and likely to cause eye irritation (e.i. tearing, conjunctivitis) and upper respiratory tract irritation (e.i. rhino-pharyngitis, bronchitis) ; if ingested or inhaled : headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hematuria, dizziness, light sensitivity and nephrotoxicity.
Nail polishes are at the moment difficult to find as organic. Natural and organic ingredients available at present do not perform well enough to provide effective nail polishes.
However, ZAO has decided to formulate without any harmful ingredients (including phthalates) and with silica from bamboo macerate for you to enjoy!
If you look at the ingredient list, there is one whose INCI could lead you to think it is a phthalate: phthalic anhydride/trimellitic anhydride/glycols copolymer. Names sound similar but they are not actually the same.
Some memories of your chemistry classes… : phthalates today known as harmful are chemical compounds derived from phthalic acid, unlike the ingredient used in ZAO nail polish formula. Even if the chemical name sounds similar, the actual molecules are very different therefore they do not interact with the skin equally. As well, this ingredient is widely used in various sectors such s pharmaceutical for the coating of some pills.
17. DO THE ZAO FOUNDATIONS CONTAIN ANY SUNSCREEN?
ZAO foundations do not contain any chemical sunscreen because they are forbidden in natural and organic certified cosmetics: most of them are harmful to people and the environment. Only physical sunscreen (e.i. titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) are allowed.
The brand has decided not to add sun protection to make-up products because even physical sunscreens are controversial today. The most efficient ones are nanomaterials and the impact on people and the environment is still being studied (report to the question on nanomaterials in FAQ Certification).
18. ARE ZAO PRODUCTS COMEDOGENIC?
Comedogenic ingredients are not an issue when used in lip, eyelashes or nail products. For other applications, ZAO is aware of the need to use as little as possible comedogenic oils and butters. Therefore, you can find the following ingredients, likely to be comedogenic, but used in sensible quantity to still get their benefits :
- Mineral silk : wheat germ oil (0.5%) et cocoa butter (1%)
- Cream eyeshadow : wheat germ oil (0.5%)
- Pearly eyeshadow : soybean oil (less than 1%)
- Mineral touch : soybean oil (less than 1%)
- Compact powder and blush : cocoa butter (1%)
The whole range of products are suitable to all skin types, also sensitive or acneic skin.
19. ARE THE INGREDIENTS CONTAINED IN ZAO NAIL POLISH SAFE FOR CONSUMERS ?
The following controversial ingredients are not used in ZAO nail polishes: acetone, formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, rosin.
Our nail polishes are free from any unsafe ingredients and furthermore enriched with organic silica from bamboo macerate. As you may know, silica or silicium plays an important role in nail production by our body. Based on this property, the French brand « La Roche-Posay » has even created a nail polish range with silica, sold at the pharmacist.