General

The founder of the brand, 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 vital 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 ZEN & TAO as an invitation to meditation, peace of mind, and the search for harmony and authenticity following nature's example

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. 

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 range of the products, have been tested on animals. Our 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/ 

Since 2015, most 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 has been certified vegan. We were able to eliminate the last ingredient of animal origin: organic beeswax, thanks to our R & D program.

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.

A cosmetic product containing 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 from the total vegetable ingredients, 10% organic ingredients out of the total ingredients, and 95% natural ingredients or natural origin.

Please see a summary chart following this link: http://www.cosmebio.org/fr/nos-label.php .Zao products organic certified contain at least 20% organic ingredients thanks to the European organic certification COSMOS.

We have chosen bamboo for its elegant and modern look, and also because we are convinced that an organic certified makeup range must use the original packaging. All trees store carbon, but the exceptional growth rate of bamboo makes it a champion of carbon capture during its life cycle. Bamboo is also added to our formulas in the form of powder, hydrolate, or macerate. The ingredients section of the FAQ gives you more information about it.

That is why ZAO products have a minimal carbon footprint. A real organic elegance!

The bamboo that we use for our packaging comes from an Asian protected area 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.
The bamboo used for packaging comes from stems from 4-5 years old and is about 10 cm in diameter. They are cut off at the base as the rhizome immediately creates new stems.
The bamboo we use is, therefore, not a part of Giant Pandas' diet. Unfortunately, Giant Pandas now live in small protected areas in central China. Our bamboo forest is situated more than 2000km from the protected area where Giant Pandas live. Also, 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 meters above sea level.

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

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

ZAO products are manufactured in Europe to benefit from the well know expertise and ingredients quality from Europe.

All our makeup cosmetics are manufactured by an Italian company. Our Pencils are manufactured by a German Company. Our Nail polishes by a French company located in Eure-et-Loire region. Our Makeup Removers by a French company based in Bouches-du-Rhone.

All the cotton pouches and packaging, support the employment of people with disabilities.

At the moment, only pencils, nail polishes, BB cream and Mineral Touch eyeshadows are not refillable. Indeed the rest of our range comes with the refillable feature: concealer, compact powder, bronzer, highlighter, blush, complexion base, fluid silk foundation, compact foundation, eyeshadows, primer, eyebrow powder, lipstick and lip balm, silk foundation, Mineral silk, mascara, eyeliner, gloss, and lip polish.
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 won't be recycled.
With our uncomplicated and fun refilling system, you can easily replace/swap your cosmetics in an economical and eco-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.
Each refillable bamboo casing product comes in an elegant pouch to be able to keep it even longer. Indeed, it prevents the products from opening in a handbag for touch-ups during the day.
Zao brushes are made of bamboo (handle) and synthetic nylon (bristles). 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. To effectively clean your brushes, we advise you to wash them in cold water with mild soap to preserve their quality. Then dry them flat on a cloth.
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 aluminum. 

The packaging of certain refills (e.g. pressed powders) is made of recyclable PET plastic materials, authorised by the organic certification specifications. However, since 2019, these packages have been gradually replaced by cardboard envelopes.

Our main priority is to develop our network of retailers to bring closer Zao cosmetics to you. Nevertheless, some of our lovely customers don’t have a close retailer to try our products yet.
However, we still decided to give you the opportunity to test some of our products in little reusable plastic containers. We know that those tiny containers are not accurate for our low-waste purpose. But we hope that you’ll be able to reuse them in the future, like carrying your toothpaste, your cream or any other use as those containers can lock strongly enough even to carry liquids.
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.

First of all, as ZAO products are certified organic and Vegan, they must comply with the strict certification specifications. This compliance can guarantee that our products are safe. Apart from these certificates, we are concerned about having safe formulas without any raw materials that could present a health risk. There is no reason that pregnant women cannot use Zao products. 

As for nail polishes, even if they are not organic, our "14 Free" formulas are much healthier than the standard nail polish formulas. They do not present any particular risk. There is no reason that pregnant women cannot use Zao products. Be careful, however, that the pregnant woman has no received contraindication from her doctor.

Ingredients

Silica is a nutrient found in connective tissue and throughout the human body. It participates in the synthesis of collagen and elastin and thus contributes to epidermal regeneration. Over time, our silica reserves decrease, leading to skin elasticity loss and demineralisation. It is, therefore, necessary to regularly replenish the epidermis. A silica supplement (oral or dermal) is then essential to maintain skin elasticity. 

 There are two types of silica: 

  • Mineral silica: mostly found in crystal form. The human body can hardly assimilate this form of silica. The body assimilates only 10% of the absorbed mineral silica. 
  • Vegetal (or organic) silica: found in bamboo is more easily assimilated. The human body assimilates 70% of the absorbed organic silica. Organic silica is a widely used ingredient in Eastern medicine. It boosts collagen and elastin production improving skin's strength, elasticity, flexibility, and resistance and maintaining the hydration level.
The bamboo, a plant extremely rich in organic silica, is present in all our ZAO range products (apart from pencils). 

Bamboo powder: It is a white substance extracted from bamboo stems, extremely rich in organic silica. You can find this ingredient with INCI name: BAMBUSA ARUNDINACEA STEM POWDER.

Organic bamboo hydrolate: This component is obtained by bamboo leaves distillation and is extremely rich in organic silica. You can find this ingredient with INCI name: PHYLLOSTACHYS NIGRA EXTRACT or BAMBUSA VULGARIS LEAF EXTRACT.

Organic bamboo macerate: Organic bamboo macerate is an oily substance obtained from bamboo's rhizomes. A rhizome is an underground stem, usually growing horizontally, that each year produces roots and upward shoots of a plant. It is real storage and survival organ. You can find this ingredient with INCI name: BAMBUSA ARUNDINACEA STEM POWDER.

Like the bamboo powder or bamboo leaves hydrolate, organic bamboo macerate is extremely rich in organic silica. The advantage of macerate over powder or hydrolate is its ability to penetrate the skin's superficial layer better. 

It is essential to highlight that organic plants' active ingredients are much more concentrated than in conventionally grown plants.

Our makeup products combine makeup efficiency (colour, long hold, visual effect, texture), and skincare. Our ingredients have specific properties, for example: 

Bamboo: with its high level of organic silica is necessary for skin cell renewal.

Micronised silver powder: acts as an antiseptic, it was chosen by ZAO as a natural preservative.

Antioxidants: fight free radicals responsible for cellular aging and skin weakening. You can find antioxidants in ZAO products as Organic pomegranate butter, Ginkgo biloba leaf Extract, Organic babassu oil, Organic wheat germ oil, Red seaweed extract. 

Essential Fatty Acids: are rich in omega-3, omega-6, and vitamin F. They provide flexibility and elasticity to the skin, preventing skin barrier problems and increasing skin hydration levels. Here are some of the essential fatty acids you can find in ZAO products: organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, organic coconut oil, organic macadamia nut oil, organic almond oil.

Our foundations do not contain any sun protection factor. However, our new BB cream provides a Mineral Sun Protection Factor 15.

It is essential to highlight that sunscreen chemical filters are forbidden in natural and organic certified cosmetics, as most of them are harmful to humans and the environment. 

Only mineral sunscreens are allowed in certified organic cosmetics. The use of mineral sunscreens as a nanomaterial for sun protection is still a controversial subject. It does not mean that all mineral sunscreens will necessarily be in the form of nanoparticles.

For our ZAO BB cream SPF, we have used titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in the form of microparticles to achieve it. This way, there is no danger for humans or the environment.

The hypoallergenic fragrance, which is present in minimal amounts in ZAO products, does not contain any allergens. Overall, there are no allergens in ZAO products. 

Here is a list of the 26 allergenic substances listed by the European Union Cosmetics Regulation who may cause an allergic reaction: Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl alcohol, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Citral, Hydroxycitronellal, Eugenol, Isoeugenol, Amylcinnamyl Alcohol, Benzyl salicylate, Cinnamal, Coumarin, Geraniol, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde, Anise Alcohol, Benzyl cinnamate, Farnesol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Benzyl benzoate, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Methyl 2-octynoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Evernia prunastri, Evernia furfuracea. 

Their use is limited, and they must be included in the ingredients list if they are present in the final formula to a certain extent. The goal is to protect allergy-prone consumers by providing them with sufficient information at the time of purchase. They should know immediately whether the cosmetic product contains any allergens to avoid skin allergic reactions.

ZAO products are suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and acne-prone skin. Comedogenic ingredients are not an issue when used in lip, eyelashes, or nails products. As far as other products, we prefer to be careful about using such ingredients. ZAO wants to limit the use of comedogenic oils and butter in its products as much as possible. 

Therefore, you can find the following ingredients that are potentially comedogenic but used in limited quantities to get their benefits:

– Mineral silk: wheat germ oil (0.5%) and cocoa butter (1%)

– Cream eyeshadows: wheat germ oil (0.5%)

– Pearly eyeshadows: soybean oil (less than 1%)

– Mineral touch: soybean oil (less than 1%)

– Compact powder and blush: cocoa butter (1%)

We have chosen not to use essential oils in our products due to their high sensitisation risk.

As ZAO cosmetics are made of natural and organic ingredients, some raw materials such as oils can sometimes give a quite strong and a little unpleasant smell. We use a minimal amount of fragrance to cover up this natural smell and enjoy the use of ZAO products even more. This fragrance does not contain any allergens and is introduced in minimal quantities in all ZAO products range to limit allergic reactions.

Please note that we use hypoallergenic and 100% natural fragrance. 

The organic certification of Zao beauty brand ensures that the products are GMO-FREE. The absence of GMOs is one of the key principles of 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 are no GMOs in ZAO cosmetic products.

Be sure that our product doesn't contain any gluten. Gluten is a protein found in many foods made of wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats. Beyond the "gluten-free" trend, some individuals suffer from a coeliac autoimmune disease. ZAO products contain two raw materials derived from cereals, especially wheat: WHEAT GERM OIL And POTASSIUM PALMITOYL HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN.

These two raw materials do not contain Gluten as we have the supplier's certificates that guarantee its absence. 

Intensive cultivation of palm oil, mainly in Indonesia, leads to massive primary forest destruction in favor of palm plantations. Palm oil and ingredient complexes derived from palm oil are widely used in cosmetic products. Palm oil is easily recognisable in a product ingredients list by its INCI name, which is "PALM OIL". It may also be identified by the following name: "ELEASIS GUINEENSIS (PALM) OIL". The cosmetic industry uses many palm oil derivatives, more challenging to identify because the word PALM does not appear in the ingredients list. 

Zao products may contain palm oil derivatives, but it is essential to understand that it is difficult to exclude them as raw material suppliers don't offer other alternatives. Nevertheless, we are trying to do our best by selecting only RSPO certified palm oil derivatives. 

Note that PROPYLENE GLYCOL found in our Eyeliners is from vegetable sources, accepted by Ecocert COSMOS. We also use organic certified palm oil derivatives. For other raw materials frequently used as palm oil derivatives, we have managed to find an alternative.

RSPO certified palm oil is the best alternative we have at the moment. However, we do not give up and are trying to find new raw materials. 

RSPO for Round table for Sustainable Palm Oil is an association founded in 2004. It aims to promote the growth and use of palm oil that meets specific sustainability criteria at all levels: producers, traders, distributors, ...

RSPO standard's set of criteria are applied to all the steps of transformation of palm oil up to its selling. Its aim is to guarantee the traceability of sustainable palm oil, up to the final product. RSPO certified palm oil shows companies commitment and also certifies sustainability. You can find more information about RSPO certified palm oil here https://www.rspo.org/

Here is a list of raw materials derived from RSPO palm oil present in ZAO products: SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, ZINC STEARATE, SUCROSE PALMITATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, GLYCERYL CAPRILAT. Our suppliers' certificates guarantee that their raw materials are derived from RSPO certified palm oil.

Organic farming prohibits primary forests destruction. This certification, therefore, ensures that these derivatives are taken from specific palm oil plantations that are not responsible for deforestation.

Ingredients used in certified organic 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 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).

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 can ensure today.

ZAO products do not contain aluminum salts. Aluminum salts such as aluminum Chlorohydrate, used in deodorants and antiperspirants, is still a controversial subject. This debate involves aluminum salts that can increase breast cancer risks depending on where it is applied, and the amount used. However, you may find the following INCI names on our ingredients lists: 

MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM SILICATE: It is a completely chemically inert mineral ingredient (clay type) that has nothing to do with an aluminum salt. This raw material presents no health risks.

CALCIUM ALUMINUM BOROSILICATE: This raw material is not an aluminum salt and is considered chemically inert.

ALUMINUM POWDER (CI 77000): This raw material is used in cosmetic pigments and is added only to our nail polishes.

ZAO products do not include talc in their recipes. Considering its lousy reputation and the fact that it is a potential endocrine disruptor, we have decided to exclude talc from our products.

Pencil green 604: talc is present in the green pigment in the final product but in a minimal quantity. We are trying to replace this pigment to remove talc, but it is rather challenging as there are only a few other pigments with this particular shade of green.

ZAO products do not contain nanoparticles. Nanoparticles raise ethical and public health debates as they can be absorbed by human cells due to their same size (10-9 meters). These cells would let the nanoparticles penetrate the body. After entering the body, they will then be stocked, and depending on their nature, the body would not be able to eliminate them. Long-term consequences of such nanoparticle absorption are unknown. That is why, according to the new European Cosmos standard, the ingredients containing nanoparticles are PROHIBITED. All organic products certified by ECOCERT must meet some fundamental criteria, such as the absence of GMOs, parabens, phenoxyethanol, nanoparticles, silicon, PEG, perfumes, and synthetic dyes, or ingredients derived from animals (except for those naturally produced by them: milk, honey...). Ecocert and Cosmos certification conditions ensure organic products respectful of human beings and the environment. Certification bodies have assessed specific nanomaterials in cosmetic products as safe. For example, some nanomaterials, such as mineral derivatives (titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) are accepted in sunscreen products certified organic.

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

Titanium dioxide found in ZAO products is in the form of MICROparticles. ZAO products do not contain any NANOparticles.

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a white opacifying pigment that has been used in cosmetics for decades (toothpaste, face cream, body lotion, makeup,...). This pigment is also used in other everyday life products: food, home, and car paint, etc. There is a controversy surrounding titanium dioxide in the form of nanoparticles because it can indeed be considered an endocrine disruptor and potentially cause cancer. ZAO products do not contain any nanoparticles. 

Nanoparticles raise ethical and public health debates as they can be absorbed through human cells of the same size (10-9 meters). After entering the body, they will then be stocked, and depending on their nature, the body would not be able to eliminate them. The long-term consequences of the absorption are unknown. That is why the new European Cosmos-standard does not allow ingredients containing nanoparticles. 

We want to reassure you that we do not use titanium dioxide in the form of nanoparticles in ZAO products. Titanium dioxide present in ZAO products is in the form of microparticles. Microparticles are 1000 times larger than nanoparticles. They do not pass through the skin barrier and do not reach our cells (because they are too large). Therefore they do not present any health risk.

Particles sizes: MICROparticles: 10-6 m = 0,000 001 m = 1 thousandth of a mm, NANOparticles: 10-9 m = 0,000 000 001 m = 1 millionth of a mm

Silver is an excellent natural preservative that does not present any toxicity risk to our body as long as we avoid NANOparticles. All ZAO products, apart from pencils, contain micronised silver powder. 

In our formulas, silver plays a crucial role in preservative and skin antiseptic. Silver has been chosen precisely due to its inherent antibacterial qualities. The reason why very few companies (and no makeup companies) use silver as a preservative is only due to its high price of more than €10,000 per kilo. 

Silver is also used in band-aids, burns treatment, prostheses conservation before transplantation in the human body; it has been considered for more than 2,000 years as a water purifier and a disinfectant. That is why in the Middle Ages, nobles and wealthy people used to drink and eat from silver tableware. Silver is an excellent bacteria killer by asphyxiation.

Natural preservatives are as effective as chemical preservatives used in non-organic cosmetic products. 

All cosmetic products, organic or non-organic, sold on the European market must pass a test that verifies the efficacy of their preservative ability. This test is called a "challenge test" and consists of introducing bacteria into product samples and then checking that they do not grow.  All ZAO products have successfully passed this efficacy test. 

Moreover, the silver powder is so effective that it can be used in a much lower quantity than that of traditional chemical preservatives. We, therefore, also reduce the risks of allergic reactions.

Is silver powder dangerous?

Generally speaking, the problem with using metals consists in their particles size: nanoparticles are controversial because they can be absorbed by the human body cells with the same dimensions 

(10-9 meters). After entering the body, they will then be stocked, and depending on their nature, the body would not be able to eliminate them. 

The silver that we use is microsilver (trade name), as it is in the form of microparticles. Their size is between 1 and 10 microns, which is about 1,000 to 10,000 times larger than nanoparticles.

Microparticles do not pass through the skin barrier and do not reach our cells (because they are too large). Therefore, they do not present any health risk.

 Particles sizes: MICROparticles: 10-6 m = 0,000 001 m = 1 thousandth of a mm, NANOparticles: 10-9 m = 0,000 000 001 m = 1 millionth of a mm

ZAO products can potentially contain insignificant traces of heavy metals as they are naturally present in our mineral pigments as impurities. Heavy metals (Nickel, Lead, Copper, Chromium, Zinc, Cadmium, Mercury, Arsenic, and Barium) are not used in ZAO products but can be found unavoidable impurities in mineral pigments. Pigments bring colour and different shades to a makeup product and therefore are essential. 

One of the fundamental principles of organic makeup is to use only natural dyes and ingredients. Natural pigments, without doubt, offer a narrower range of colours and shades than the conventional cosmetic product range, but we continue working on adding new colours to the palette. 

We use only natural mineral pigments in ZAO formulas. Our mineral pigments can potentially contain some traces of heavy metals. Let's take a look at Nickel in one of our pigments pink dye CI 77007 (ULTRAMARINES): Nickel is potentially present in this pigment with a concentration ranging from 0 to 50 PPM, or between 0 and 0.005 %. (PPM means parts per million; 1 PPM = 0.0001%). Given that the amount of pigment in ZAO products never exceeds 20%, there may be a maximum of 0.0001% of Nickel in the final product. 

It is essential to highlight that chrome is not an ingredient added as such in the products. However, there are two things that you should know about: 

All ZAO formulas contain natural mineral pigments. Mineral pigments can potentially contain heavy metals traces and, therefore, insignificant hints of chrome. Some of our products contain a green pigment, Chromium Oxide Green (CI 77288). Some people may be sensitive or allergic to this pigment. If you have an allergic reaction, please consult your doctor or an allergologist. 

Here is a list of Zao products where this pigment is used: Eyeliner Green 073 / Eyeshadows 116 / Eyeshadows 214 / Lip scrub 482 / Eyeshadows 276 (green eyeshadows from clin œil n° 2' palette) / Concealer Green 499. This green pigment allows us to obtain the shades of green that would otherwise be difficult to achieve. The palette of natural pigments available for certified organic cosmetics remains narrow even today. 

Since the ingredients present in our products are 100% natural and are certified organic, it is challenging for us to replace this pigment. However, we are concerned about the safety of this pigment and therefore decided to rectify the formula of the products containing this pigment. We will soon offer you new shades. 

Maltodextrin is not an ingredient added as such to our formulas. Maltodextrin that you can find in some of our products comes from another cosmetic ingredient used in our recipes: Cayoma Olive. You can find more information about this ingredient on the manufacturer's website by clicking on the following link https://www.qenax.com/products/cayoma-r-olive. 

After checking all our formulas, we can assure you that maltodextrin is only present in some of our powders with a concentration in the finished product between 0.00005% and 0.012%. Most of the time, it is derived from starch and especially from rice starch. Rice is a natural, gluten-free cereal. Our supplier also confirms that maltodextrin is GLUTEN-FREE.

It isn't easy to find certified organic formulas for nail polishes. Organic raw materials available on the market do not perform well enough to formulate Organic nail polishes (especially in terms of drying or hold time). 

Nevertheless, ZAO decided to offer nail polishes free of harmful ingredients (including phthalates), and enriched with silica (bamboo sap). You can use them without moderation! 

Zao nail polishes formulas do not contain phthalates, especially dibutyl phthalate, which is known to be an endocrine disruptor and may cause eye irritation (tearing, conjunctivitis) and upper respiratory irritations (rhino-pharyngitis, bronchitis). Headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hematuria, dizziness, photophobia (light sensitivity) and nephrotoxicity can be caused when ingested or inhaled.

We are continually working on making our products more respectful of the environment and your health. We have therefore replaced chemical solvents by agro-solvents (from corn, potatoes,…). Besides, ZAO nail polishes are «14 Free» and vegan as well. 

ZAO has developed a formula excluding the 14 MOST HARMFUL raw materials.  Nail polishes often contain petrochemical raw materials that may cause adverse health effects either by nail penetration or inhalation. The number before the word FREE indicates the number of harmful ingredients that are excluded from the formula. It is essential to highlight that there is no official list of the raw materials covered by the label "X Free".

Some cosmetic brands claim that their nail polishes are "10 Free" or "12 Free", but if you look at their ingredients list, you will see that there are ingredients known to be very dangerous or harmful for health, that are rarely found in nail polish formulas. They are not concerned by the "X Free" label but allow to use "12 Free" or "13 Free" tags. These brands misuse this label without making any real effort to adapt their formulas. We should then be careful! 

Even if there is no official list, you can find the following ingredients excluding from our formulas:

TOLUENE*: respiratory and skin irritant;

FORMALDEHYDE*: reprotoxic, irritant and known as carcinogenic;

DIETHYL PHTHALATE*: possibly an endocrine disruptor (banned in cosmetic products in Europe but still allowed in the USA);

FORMALDEHYDE RESIN: less toxic than formaldehyde but may contain traces of formaldehyde and cause irritations;

PARABEN: endocrine disruptor and highly allergenic;

XYLENE*: eyes, skin and lungs irritant;

CAMPHOR: endocrine disruptor and highly irritating;

ROSIN*: irritating and allergenic;

STYRENE: endocrine disruptor, irritant, carcinogenic;

BENZOPHENONE: (1-benzophenone and 3-benzophenone): has been identified as an endocrine disruptor and is highly allergenic. 

TRYPHENYL PHOSPHATE: endocrine disruptor

OCTOCRYLENE: endocrine disruptor

CYCLOPENTASILOXANE: endocrine disruptor

METHYL METHACRYLATE: very irritating and allergenic 

(*ingredient potentially present as an unavoidable impurity trace) 

Squalane or Squalene used in ZAO products is only from vegetable origin, mainly derived from olive oil. 

Currently, Squalene is harshly criticised because the use of Squalene of animal origin can be harmful to marine biodiversity. Historically, Squalene was extracted from shark liver, which resulted in the overexploitation and death of the species. Unfortunately, some beauty brands carry on using it, either on purpose or not. However, Squalene can also be found in plants (derived from olive oil, cane sugar, rice, etc.). 

We couldn't use any Squalene of animal origin considering our respect for the animal world. And as you know, our certified organic products must comply with a significant number of rules, including the ingredients' selection and traceability. Ingredients derived from dead animals are strictly prohibited. Furthermore, our products are also certified Vegan & Cruelty-Free by PETA. You can, therefore, be sure that our products do not contain any squalene of animal origin. 

Squalene is naturally produced by most plants and animals, including humans (it is found especially in human sebum). Its structure is similar to the skin lipids structure. Thanks to its excellent chemical affinity with the skin, it quickly penetrates the skin and gives it a silky touch.
Squalene has many benefits. It is an excellent emollient that smooths and softens the skin helping to restore the skin lipid barrier. It is also an indirect moisturiser that protects against dehydration and keeps the skin soft and smooth. Squalane is a stable derivative of Squalene, less sensitive to oxidation. Being more stable and having the same properties as Squalene, squalane is most commonly used in cosmetics.

ZAO respects the animal world and does not use any carmine in the product. The whole range is certified Vegan and cruelty-free by PETA.  

Deep purple pigment is derived from cochineal females (known as Dactylopius Coccus). This insect lives on Opuntia cactus variety and is mainly cultivated in Latin America, Peru is the world's largest producer. Dactylopius coccus female is used to produce different shades of red, orange, and scarlet. Also called carmin, this dye is named after the carminic acid found in the body and eggs produced by the female.  

The insect produces this acid under stress to protect itself from predators. Insects are killed by immersion in hot water (dried afterward) or exposure to sunlight, steam, or the heat of an oven. Each method produces a different colour. This dye is widely used in food, confectionery, pharmacy, and cosmetics to satisfy the demand of "natural colour". Indeed, the term "natural colour" generally sells, but when we know that it takes 70,000 insects to produce 500 grams of cochineal, as well as the extraction conditions of the pigment, then it is evident that the use of carmine is not ethical.

ZAO's choice is not without consequences, that's why we do not have any red or fuchsia lipstick.  Our products are certified organic and therefore do not contain any synthetic pigments. The only way to have a red lipstick would be to use carmine because there is no other stable natural pigment of the red colour. Mineral pigments are of ochre, or orange, there is no solid red. But we continue laboratory trials to find an alternative solution!

If You Have More Questions