Zao Makeup make healthy products for your skin and the planet. Today, they are proudly 100% natural, animal-friendly and certified organic. Wow!
From their beginnings, Zao Makeup have chosen to work exclusively with organic products for their foundations, mascara, eyeshadow and all other products in their range. The cosmetic products are made from plant extracts and vegetable waxes and oils such as the vegetable fat shea butter used in their lipsticks. Zao Makeup know the origin of all of their products. For example, they can tell you that the arabic gum used in Zao Makeup mascaras to prolong their shelf life comes from a resin secreted by Acacia trees in Senegal.
All Zao products are certified organic by Ecocert (according to the Ecocert Greenlife and Cosmos Standard standards) and have the label Cosmebio, except for the nail polish. The brand does not use synthetic preservatives or fragrances. By choosing chemical-free ingredients, they minimise soil and groundwater pollution and protect biodiversity.
Zao Makeup want to avoid harmful palm oil derivatives when possible but find it difficult to avoid when the suppliers have no alternatives. When they have to, they try to only use RSPO-certified palm oil derivatives. This does, unfortunately, mean Zao Makeup products cannot be guaranteed palm oil-free.
All Zao Makeup products are certified vegan by the Vegan Society. At the end of 2018, they phased out their last animal-based ingredient, organic beeswax, and replaced it with a plant alternative. Years of research led to that milestone. Even the Zao Makeup brushes now use synthetic hair instead of animal hair. To dye their products, Zao Makeup don’t use animal products such as carmine. Many cosmetic brands kill aphids to dye their products red but at Zao, you can be sure that no animal has been killed or harmed for your product!
Zao Makeup has also obtained a Leaping Bunny Cruelty Free certificate so you can be sure that none of the products or raw materials have been tested on animals.
So how are the products tested? Well, cosmetic products do not necessarily have to be tested on animals to prove their safety. It is important to make sure ingredients are safe and certifying that they’re organic does just that. It is equally important to ensure ingredients are approved by the organic cosmetics standards (for ex: Ecocert, Cosmos). Tick! Zao Makeup has them all.
Every cosmetic product is also checked by a toxicological expert before it is put on the market. Without their permission, the product cannot be sold.
Zao use bamboo to package their products. Why bamboo? Bamboo grows quickly and efficiently and is good at absorbing CO2 from the air. Bamboo is often harvested in China without damaging the habitat or lifestyle of pandas. Zao have designed an innovative machine to process the raw bamboo into packaging which did not exist before!
COSH! is still investigating Zao’s certificates so at this moment in time, we are not sure whether their bamboo production has any certification guaranteeing fair and good working conditions as well as sustainable forestry practices. We will check this out for you.
Make-up packaging is often too small to be recycled using. That’s why Zao makes its products refillable so the bamboo packaging can be reused when you buy a new product. But this system is not yet zero waste because the refiller bags contain plastic. So the brand is taking big steps to reduce waste but is not yet 100% zero waste.
The packaging of certain refills such as their compact powders are made from recycled PET plastic. Since the end of 2018, they have started to gradually replace this packaging with paper envelopes.
With the exception of the bamboo packaging, Zao Makeup products are produced in Europe. Zao Makeup has been working with an Italian supplier Phyto Technical for over 15 years.
For their other products, Zao cooperates with 3 manufacturers who each have their own field of expertise: the German manufacturer Schwan for pencils, and the French manufacturers Fiabila for nail polish and Priobonat for make-up removers.
Due to the long-term collaboration and close relationship with their suppliers, Zao can guarantee the quality of their products.
Here, at COSH!, we give them a 9 out of 10 for transparency although we would like to know more about the suppliers of the original raw materials.
For more information about Zao Makeup, please contact the following retailers.