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FAQ Products

1. WHERE DOES THE NAME ZAO COME FROM?

David Reccole, the brand designer explains: « I have been touched by Eastern philosophies and ways of thinking, especially Buddhism. The idea of a range focused on bamboo came about in Taïwan. Bamboo plays an important part in Asia and Buddhism. I wanted the brand to depict this link. Buddhism has various expressions and several pillars. Amongst them, two are well-known and based on nature observation: ZEN and TAO. As an invitation to meditation, peace of mind, search of harmony and authenticity, following the example of Nature, ZAO is a contraction of these two words. »

2. WHERE ARE ZAO PRODUCTS MANUFACTURED?

ZAO products are manufactured in Europe. 
We work with 3 main manufacturers, chosen for their knowledge and expertise in different product categories: 
- Pencils: the German company Schwan manufactures pencils in Czech Republic ; 
- Nail polishes: the Italian company Cosmetic Service manufactures nail polishes near Venice (Italy) ; 
- All other ZAO products are made by Laboratoire Phytotechnique, Italian company near Milan (Italy). This company has been a key partner for over 15 years. Besides, David Reccole founder and director of the brand ZAO was at the start of Laboratoire Phytotechnique and its president from 2006 to 2013.
We trust these companies for producing organic certified quality products.
You can always find the place of manufacture on the product labeling (eg « made in Italy »).

3. WHERE DOES THE BAMBOO COME FROM?

Bamboo used for our packaging comes from China where it is worked locally. ZAO has created specific tools to model raw bamboo because they were not available elsewhere. Our local manufacturer uses these tools exclusively for ZAO packaging. 
We have chosen bamboo for the refinement and modernity it brings and because we are convinced that a certified organic make-up range should offer natural packaging. 
Each tree can store carbon but bamboo is particularly efficient: its exceptional growth speed makes it a champion for carbon capture during its life cycle. In this way, it helps ZAO with a decent carbon footprint. An environmental friendly refinement! 
Bamboo is also added to our formula by means of powder, hydrolate or macerate. More information in the Ingredients part of the FAQ.

4. HOW IS THE BAMBOO CUT?

Bamboo used for packaging is cut from 4 to 5-year-old stems, each of them being around 10cm diameter. Stems are cut at their base because it immediately allows rhizomes to create more stems.

5. CAN THE USE OF BAMBOO AFFECT THE RAINFOREST AND ESPECIALLY THE GIANT PANDA?

Actually and unfortunately Giant Panda is now concentrated in small protected areas in Center of China as it is shown below through brown color spots: 
 
Our bamboo forest is in Wuyishan, Nanping, Fujian, China, which is 2000 km far from the protected area where Giant pandas live. 
 
Then giant pandas diet is based on 2 main bamboo species : 
- Sinarundinaria fangiana = Bashania fangiana = Gelidocalamus fangianus which grows between 2300 and 3600 meters above sea level 
- Fargesia spathacea = Fargesia robusta which grows between 1600 and 2700 meters above sea level 
In all Wuyishan area, we don’t go above 1000 meters, so these species are not present. 
Our bamboo latin names are PHYLLOSTACHYS NIGRA for hydrosol, BAMBUSA ARUNDINACEA for stem powder and PHYLLOSTACHIS BAMBUSOIDES for rhizome extract. So none of them is part of giant pandas food.

6. WHAT IS THE GLUE USED?

It is a white glue for wood, a standard glue for now.

7. ARE PACKAGING MATERIALS RECYCLABLE ONCE THE PRODUCT IS FINISHED?

Recycling techniques today depend on the country you live in. We know that in France for instance, make-up products are too small to be recognized by the recycling equipment, for now. It is likely that it will be the same in your country. 
Thanks to a simple and innovative system, quite all our products are sustainable and refillable. Genuinely economical, the refills reduce costs and packaging, while also allowing to free creativity and play with our wide range of colors. The bamboo products also come in a classy pouch, making them even more sustainable – so they can hold one refill after another after another... 
On first purchase, customer chooses a bamboo item with makeup inside, on second purchase, one just has to buy the refill.

8. WHY IS THERE NOT MORE REFILLABLE PRODUCTS? WHEN WILL MINERAL SILK REFILLS BE AVAILABLE?

Most of ZAO products are refillable: concealers, compact powders, cooked powders, blushes, complexion base, silk foundations, compact foundations, eyeshadows, eye primer, eyebrow powders, lipsticks, and lip balm. 
Mineral silk refill will soon be available. We have worked on a refillable dispenser that will allow a nicer and cleaner use due to a better-controlled spreading than with the actual dispenser. 
Regarding the other types of products such as mascara and lipgloss, we are currently facing a technical issue that makes refills difficult to properly seal. We carry on working on this matter and would like to offer you soon a complete range of refillable products.

9. ARE REFILLS IN PLASTIC MATERIAL?

Some refillable products, such as pressed powders, are sold in a plastic material which is allowed by organic certification because the material is recyclable. 
Regarding refillable themselves, they are made of various materials depending on the product, e.i. : Silk foundation tubes are in polypropylene (PP), lipsticks mechanisms require several materials such as aluminum…

10. WHAT IS THE NEED FOR THE POUCHES?

Each product comes in a lovely pouch in order to protect it and keep it longer. For instance, pouches prevent from products opening when you carry them in your handbag for a perfect look all day long.

11. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN ZAO MAKE-UP BRUSHES?

ZAO make-up brushes are made of bamboo (handle) and synthetic nylon as far as the hairs quality is concerned. Synthetic over natural because the brand commits to protect animal welfare and does not wish any to be distressed, let alone killed, for the manufacture of make-up brushes. Therefore you can clean them with mild soap and some cold water. This should be efficient and still preserving their quality.

12. HOW DO ANTI-AGEING INGREDIENTS ACT WHILE IN MAKE-UP PRODUCTS?

Despite the precautions taken by ZAO, if you suffer from an allergic reaction following the use of one of our products, we are truly sorry. We would advise you to go to your doctor or dermatologist in order for them to determine the cause and treat it. The practitioner will then be able to link or not the allergic reaction to the product and inform the local authorities if required. Afterward, we invite you to contact us and let us know what happened, the name of the product used, its lot number and where you bought it from.

13. WHY USE TITANIUM DIOXIDE IN PRODUCTS?

Ingredients used in cosmetic products must not be tested on animals, according to the European Regulation n°1223/2009. However, some other regulations may still ask for those tests. For instance, REACH is a European regulation striving to protect human health and the environment against risks linked to chemical substances. In order to reduce the number of trials on animals, the regulation still supports the substitute methods to assess those risks.
ZAO range has been certified « Leaping Bunny » by Cruelty-Free International, for some years (cf. Cruelty-Free Certificate).
This organization works towards stopping animals suffering from experiments around the world. Certification prevents any ingredient used in ZAO range to be tested on animals. Of course, finished products as well have not been tested on animals. You can find more information by clicking on the following link: https://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/

14. WHY USING ALUMINUM IN ZAO PRODUCTS? WHAT ARE THE QUANTITIES?

Cosmetic products do not need to be tested on animals to prove their safety.
It is about using safe ingredients, such as organic ingredients and those approved to be used in organic cosmetics by standard setters (eg: Ecocert, Cosmos).
Each cosmetic product sold in the European Union must first be approved by a toxicological expert. This person assesses the safety of the product. If the assessment conclusion complies with current regulations, the product can be used by consumers. Otherwise, the brand has to work again on the composition of the product and go again through the toxicological expert assessment.
ZAO products have not been tested on animals and each of them has successfully passed the safety assessment.

15. IS THERE ANY SQUALENE FROM SHARK IN ZAO PRODUCTS?

Eyeshadows, blushers, pressed powders and compact foundations are compacted or poured into metallic pans. Since these are also refills fixed thanks to magnets, the metal used must be magnetic.
The aluminum would not work since it is not. We, therefore, use tinplate for all Zao pans.