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FAQ Products

WHERE DOES THE NAME ZAO COME FROM ?

    David Reccole, Founder of the brand, answers: "I was influenced by Eastern philosophies and their way of thinking, especially Buddhism. The idea of a product range focused on bamboo was born in Taiwan. Bamboo plays a very important role in Asia and especially in Buddhism. The name of the brand had to reflect this connection. Buddhism has many expressions and a number of branches. Among them, two are the most well-known and are based on nature observation: ZEN and TAO. ZAO is a contraction of these two words as an invitation to meditation, peace of mind and the search for harmony and authenticity following the example of the nature."

     

     

    WHERE ARE ZAO PRODUCTS MADE ?

     

    ZAO products are manufactured in Europe.

    We work mainly with three manufacturers, each being an expert in their particular field, depending on the products category. We can distinguish between :

    - Pencils manufacturer: Schwan, a German company whose production is located in the Czech Republic;

    – Nail polish manufacturer: Fiabila, a French company located in Eure-et-Loire region;

    – Makeup removers manufacturer: Probionat, a French company based in Bouches-du-Rhône region;

    – All other products in our range are manufactured by Laboratory Phytotechnical, Italian company, based near Milan (Italy). This company has been our privileged partner for over 15 years. In fact, David Reccole, founder and CEO of the brand Zao, was at the start of Laboratoire Phytotechnique then its president from 2006 to 2013.

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

    You can find where place of manufacturing on the product label (e.g. "made in Italy").

     

     

    WHERE DOES THE BAMBOO COME FROM ?


     

    The bamboo we use for our packaging comes from China where it is processed on-site. We have created specific tools to shape raw bamboo as they did not exist before. Our local supplier now uses it exclusively to produce Zao packaging.

    We have chosen bamboo for its elegant and modern look, and also because we are convinced that an organic certified makeup range must use natural packaging. All trees store carbon but the exceptional growth rate of bamboo makes it a champion of carbon capture during its life cycle. That is why ZAO products have a minimal carbon footprint. A real organic elegance!

    Bamboo is also added to our formulas in a form of powder, hydrolate or macerate. The ingredients section of the FAQ gives you more information about it.

     

     

    HOW IS THE BAMBOO CUT?


     

    The bamboo used for packaging comes from stems that are 4-5 years old and are about 10 cm in diameter. They are cut off at the base as the rhizome immediately creates new stems.

     

     

    DOES THE USE OF BAMBOO AFFECT THE LIVES OF LOCAL GIANT PANDAS?


     

    Unfortunately, Giant Pandas now live in small protected areas in central China. The map below shows these areas with brown dots:

    Our bamboo forest is situated in the region of Wuyishan, Nanping, Fujian, China which is more than 2000km from the protected area where Giant Pandas live.

    In addition, the diet of Giant Pandas is based on two main species of bamboo:

    - Sinarundinaria fangiana = Bashania fangiana = Gelidocalamus fangianus which grows between 2300 and 3600 metres above sea level.

    – Fargesia spathacea = Fargesia robusta, which grows between 1600m and 2700 metres above the sea level.

    In the area where the bamboo is cropped for ZAO, the altitude does not exceed 1000 metres so these species are not present.

    The Latin names of our bamboo derivatives are PHYLLOSTACHYS NIGRA for hydrolates, BAMBUSA ARUNDINACEA for powder from the STEM and PHYLLOSTACHIS BAMBUSOIDES for rhizome extract.

    The bamboo we use is therefore not a part of Giant Pandas' diet. 

     

     

    WHAT IS THE GLUE USED?


     

    At the moment we are using a standard white wood glue.

     

     

     

    CAN THE PACKAGING MATERIALS BE RECYCLED ONCE THE MAKEUP PRODUCT IS FINISHED? IN WHICH BIN SHOULD THEY BE DISPOSED?


     

    Recycling techniques today in many countries are not efficient enough to sort makeup products as they are too small to be processed by the current equipment. If we put them in waste sorting bins, they won't be recognised and so will not be recycled.

    That's why ZAO products are sustainable and refillable.

    Thanks to our easy and fun refilling system, you can easily replace your product in an economical and environmentally friendly way by buying only a refill. You keep the bamboo container and use it as you wish. Each bamboo product comes in an elegant pouch to be able to keep it even longer. Apart from reducing costs and packaging they also allow you to try and change colours depending on your mood.

     

     

    WHY ARE THERE NOT MORE REFILLABLE PRODUCTS?


     

    Most ZAO products are refillable: concealer, compact powder, cooked powder, blush, complexion base, fluid foundation, compact foundation, eyeshadows, primer, eyebrow powder, lipstick and lip balm, silk foundation, Mineral silk, mascara, eyeliner, gloss and lip polish. At the moment only pencils, nail polishes and Mineral Touch eyeshadows are not refillable.

     

     

    ARE RECHARGES MADE OF PLASTIC?


     

    The packaging of certain refills (e.g. pressed powders) are made of recyclable PET plastic materials, which are authorised by the organic certification specifications. However, since the end of 2018, these packages have been gradually replaced by cardboard envelopes.

    As for the refills themselves, they are made of various materials, all of them are recyclable, e.g. the silk foundation tubes are made of polypropylene (PP) whereas the lipstick mechanisms require several materials, including aluminium.

     

     

    WHICH METAL ARE GODETS MADE FROM?


     

    Eyeshadows, blush, pressed powder and compact foundation are compacted or poured into metal godets. They also can be used as refills and should be magnetic.

    Aluminium could not suit because it is not magnetic. So we use tinplate for all Zao refillable pans.

     

     

    WHAT'S THE POINT OF THE POUCHES EXCEPT LOOKING PRETTY WHEN YOU BUY THEM?


     

    Each bamboo product comes in an elegant pouch to be able to keep it even longer. For example, they prevent the products from opening in a handbag for touch-ups during the day.

     

     

    HOW TO CLEAN ZAO BRUSHES?


     

    ZAO brushes are made of bamboo (handle) and synthetic nylon (hair). We have chosen to use synthetic hair rather than natural as we are committed to ensuring that no animal is mistreated, injured or killed during makeup brushes production.

    In order to effectively clean your brushes, we advise you to wash them in cold water with mild soap to preserve their quality.

     

     

    WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HAVE AN ALLERGIC REACTION?


     

    If, despite the safety measures we have taken, you notice an allergic reaction while using one of our Zao products, we are really sorry. We advise you to visit your doctor or dermatologist to diagnose and treat the reaction. Your GP will then be able to confirm if the reaction is caused by one of our products or not and you can then inform the relevant authorities.

    Afterwards we invite you to contact us to inform about the diagnosis, the name of the product, the lot number and where you purchased it.

     

     

    YOUR FINISHED PRODUCTS ARE NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS BUT WHAT ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS?


     

    Ingredients used in cosmetic products no longer need to be tested on animals, according to the European regulation no 1223/2009. However, there are still some regulations that require these tests, such as REACH, a European Union regulation put in place to better protect human health and the environment against any risks caused by chemical substances. In order to reduce the number of animal trials, it nevertheless encourages alternative methods to assess these risks.

    ZAO range has been certified "Leaping Bunny" by Cruelty Free International, for several years (See Cruelty Free Certificate). It is the leading organisation in this field, which aims to stop animal experiments all over the world. This certification ensures that none of the ingredients used in the products range have been tested on animals. It goes without saying that finished products are not tested on animals either. You can find more information on this certification by clicking on the following link: https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/

     

     

    HOW ARE PRODUCTS TESTED IF NOT ON ANIMALS?


     

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

    Firstly, you need to use well-known safe ingredients, such as certified organic ingredients and the ingredients approved by the organic cosmetic product standards (e.g. Ecocert, Cosmos).

    You should also note that each cosmetic product was checked by a toxicological expert before placing on the market. This expert assessed the safety of the product. If according to the results of this assessment the product complies to the current regulations, then it can be placed on the market. Otherwise, the brand cannot sell this product.

    All ZAO products were not tested on animals and successfully passed the safety test.

     

     

    INFORMATION ABOUT THE SAMPLES

     

     

    Due to the high demand we had and the fact that some of our lovely customers don’t have a close retailer to try our products, we recently have made samples available.

    Unfortunately, we didn’t find any supplier meeting our requirements with small batches of metal samples containers. However, we still decided to give you the opportunity to test some of our products in little reusable plastic containers. We know that those little plastic containers are not really accurate for our low-waste purpose. But we hope that you’ll be able to reuse them for other purposes in the future, like carrying your toothpaste, your cream or any other purpose as those containers can lock strongly enough to even carry liquids.
    Please keep in kind that those samples are only here to help you confirm that you’re making the right choice for your product. They are not the best solution and are not to be considered as a real ZAO makeup product, as they, unfortunately, are not as low-waste as we would expect any other of our product to be. They are just here for only one purpose: to give you the confidence you’re making the right decision on a specific shade, and avoid the waste that could be made if you chose a product that doesn’t suit you.