November 17, 2022
245: Ecco Bella | The Truth About Collagen, Bone Broth, & the Beauty Industry with Sally Malanga

Organic cosmetics expert Sally Malanga reveals the surprising components found in common personal care products that can harm your health and the environment in today's show. So continue to listen and discover safer and heal...

Organic cosmetics expert Sally Malanga reveals the surprising components found in common personal care products that can harm your health and the environment in today's show.  So continue to listen and discover safer and healthier beauty product options today!

This episode will cover the following:

  • The potential hazards of personal care product ingredients
  • Should you take collagen and bone broth?
  • How does the personal care product industry affect the environment
  • Why it is critical to encourage consumers to avoid harmful and climate-damaging animal products

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About Sally Malanga

Sally Malanga is a dedicated health and wellness advocate, entrepreneur, and designer of organic plant-based beauty and wellness products. Sally is a public speaker and board member of Friends of Animals, Primarily Primates, the New Jersey Sustainable Business Council, and Our Green West Orange. 

She received the top 50 women in business award from New Jersey Business magazine. Founded Ecco Bella to meet the growing needs of socially responsible consumers.

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[00:00:00] Sally Malanga: Collagen is a very poor source of protein, and your body simply breaks it down. It could put it in your toe, for all that matter, not necessarily your face. It's a shame that women are so prone to falling for these kinds of advertising deceit.

[00:00:17] Maya Acosta: You have more power over your health and what you've been told. This is the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions podcast. I'm Maya Acosta, and I'm passionate about finding healthy lifestyle solutions to support optimal human health. If you're willing to go with me. Together we can discover how simple lifestyle choices can help improve our quality of life and increase longevity in a big way. 

[00:00:41] Maya Acosta: Let's get started. Before I introduce today's guest, I wanna let you know that this week I am in Orlando, Florida, attending the Lifestyle Medicine Conference. I will be back next week to share with you details about the conference and all that I learned. In the meantime, please enjoy my conversation with Sally Malanga.

[00:01:02] Maya Acosta: Sally Malanga is the founder and CEO of Ecco Bella, a cruelty-free skincare and supplement company. Sally is a passionate advocate for animal rights and healthy living. She is on a mission to educate consumers about the harmful ingredients found in many personal care products. She has found that many of these ingredients.

[00:01:22] Maya Acosta: Heavy metals and flame retardants can have long-term health consequences. Fortunately, healthier alternatives are available, like her boon broth, which Sally will outline in detail. Through her work, she hopes to empower people to make more informed choices about their products and ultimately help create a healthier and more compassionate world.

[00:01:45] Maya Acosta: Let's get started. And as always, the full bio and the links for each of my guests can be found on the website Welcome, Sally.

[00:01:54] Sally Malanga: My pleasure. Thanks for reminding me about all the things I need to do. You know, when you wanna save people's health and educate yourself and others and save animal lives, you realize you have to move mountains, but. Really, you know, there's so many goodhearted people out there in our communities that want to do the right thing, that just need the information. And, uh, we're here to provide that information and motivation and good humor about doing it as well.

[00:02:24] Maya Acosta: Yes. I like the part of good humor. Yeah, we need to have a little bit of fun with all of this. So just to let you know, we have had someone come on, she is registered dietician who came on the show to speak to us about nutrition, but then she really wanted to address our listeners in terms of, um, personal products and things that are found in personal products that can be considered endocrine disruptors.

[00:02:48] Maya Acosta: So, for me, it is important that we talk. And that we promote healthier options for us. You know, myself, over 15 years ago, I stopped using a lot of different products, including hair products, skin products, very careful because, as we know, this whole industry is not really regulated, is it?

[00:03:08] Sally Malanga: It's regulated to the extent that they can put certain things in it that are long-term toxic, but short-term toxic, no. No one's gonna put anything super dangerous short term to murder you in your lipstick. But long-term, yes, those things can be found in personal care products. And we're talking heavy metals like lead that you know, long-term will have an effect on you.

[00:03:36] Sally Malanga: Coal Tar Dyes. Like red number two. That was in the, you know, maraschino cherries, Uh, Pulled off the market. There's PFAs, these, those forever chemicals that somehow get into our cosmetics. How is that possible? These are flame retardants and so on and so forth. And then, of course, there's the animal products that are deliberately put in what that come from, Slaughterhouse. So I can talk more about that, you know if you want, if your listeners want to learn about that as well.

[00:04:09] Maya Acosta: Yes, and I guess when I was thinking about regulated, I guess what I was thinking of with personal. Skincare products, especially women and makeup, but just skincare products, all the claims that come behind that, you know, anti-aging products. And so anytime I go anywhere to uh, for example, even Home Goods, Not so much Home Goods, but there's a store nearby Marshalls, I think it is a full of creams and lotions and potions and all kinds of things that we can put on our skin, and they're mainly skin products. So yeah. Let's talk a little bit about your business, how you got that started, and then yes, let's move on to what is found in a typical product.

[00:04:49] Maya Acosta: And when you talked about the animal-based product, I was surprised to learn that even in. There are bright products, animal byproducts found in makeup as well, which I was shocked to know all, all this stuff, but yes. Sally, tell us how you got Ecco Bella started.

[00:05:03] Sally Malanga: Well, I was a volunteer at the organization on whose board I served now for the last couple of decades, Friends of Animals, and I met a woman who was courageous enough to sneak a video camera into the laboratory at Gillette, which was one of the most famous personal care companies. And, uh, they routinely used monkeys and mice and for testings, you know, these very ordinary products like deodorant. And, uh, we exposed it. Over time we decided to create a postcard campaign with a Bunny Rabbit on it. And we stood in the mall, and the postcard said on it, I won't buy from you, Gillette, or, you know, whatever big company was.

[00:05:52] Sally Malanga: You know, being revealed at the times using animals. And we had consumers come up to our table, sign the cards, we explained the problem, and we mailed the cards into the company. And then in the meantime, other organizations, uh, some had been around many years, Anti-vivisection leagues.

[00:06:12] Sally Malanga: And so on, and lots of animal rights organizations were jumping on this and exposing it, cuz it really wasn't necessary. You don't need to test on animals in order to make a safe cosmetics product. So I realized that there was a large contingent of consumers who would like to buy products not tested on animals. And I launched my company not only to do that but also to investigate. , the ingredients that were used in a personal care products as well.

[00:06:48] Maya Acosta: I learned about it not long ago, a few years ago. I'm an ethical vegan like I've mentioned. You know you come to this way of life for many reasons and for many different directions. For me, it was about health, and then I learned about all the things that happen with animals, whether it's for consumption or, like you're saying, for testing. And so then someone sat down with me one day and talked to me about what to look for in products, and you're referring to a little bunny that's found on the back of some of the beauty products. I don't have anything right now with me to show the listeners. 

[00:07:19] Sally Malanga: It's the Leaping Bunny certification that products undergo.

[00:07:23] Maya Acosta: And that means that the product itself has now been tested on an animal?

[00:07:26] Sally Malanga: Right. But the ingredients can be. Cause just about every ingredient has been tested on animals because it's the belief of science that if you test on an animal, somehow you'll be able to extrapolate that to humans, and that's just not true.

[00:07:43] Maya Acosta: How are you able to get a product approved if it's not tested on an animal?

[00:07:48] Sally Malanga: Products do not have to be approved by anyone. Have to be considered safe, but there's no approval, there's no regulator that would drive everyone crazy, to be honest. You know, cosmetics are topical. You put them on you.

[00:08:02] Sally Malanga: They're generally safe. So that's, that's just not, it's just not feasible to test thousands and thousands of cosmetic products. But the companies do take responsibility. You have to have insurance. You don't want a product to hurt anyone.

[00:08:18] Maya Acosta: Right. You still vulnerable for being sued or anything like that? If someone has certain claims? 

[00:08:22] Sally Malanga: Right. That's the reason why they would test to make sure they had good insurance coverage for, you know, the problems that do occur. But, uh, you know, I at some point decided that. Topical products could only go so far, and that if someone had a poor diet, if they were a smoker if they were a meat eater if they were drinking a lot of soda, eating lots of coffee, cake, and sugar.

[00:08:48] Sally Malanga: That there was no amount of topical skincare or pure, clean cosmetics I could put on anyone to really make them look good. So I realized that I needed to become more of an educator and create products that also worked internally, that helped bolster people's health, that help them look good from the inside out as well.

[00:09:11] Sally Malanga: And that was pretty revolutionary when we started doing it. We, too, supplement products that help build your beauty from the inside out. So that's a very important notion that I think, uh, consumers need to get behind.

[00:09:28] Maya Acosta: Mm-hmm. . Right. Exactly. And also we do for skin products like you said, topical products, we do absorb those ingredients into our system, don't we?

[00:09:39] Sally Malanga: Yes, to a certain extent, depending on the molecule size, you are absorbing what goes into those products and, uh, topical skincare, well, I learned that they don't really contain too much that's beneficial. They could be a good moisturizer, that sort of thing.

[00:09:57] Sally Malanga: But I really became an advocate of nutraceuticals. You know, those are the very powerful vitamins. that actually can have a benefit to us. And so I also became a very strong fan of liposome technology, which requires an extra step when you're making products. But I always wanted to make the finest products for our customers. 

[00:10:24] Sally Malanga: And so we take these nutraceuticals. Deeply pigmented, bright reds, bright orange, bright yellow lycopene that comes from tomatoes. Bright red astaxanthin, which comes from algae, which is what makes a salmon pink or a lobster red, and, uh, lutein, for example, which comes from marigolds bright yellow. So those very precious nutraceuticals, we actually encapsulate them in liposomes which we call podosomes cuz they're strong and because they are subdivided into trillions of droplets that are so small, you know, a trillion of them could fit on the edge of your fingernail. 

[00:11:11] Sally Malanga: And now, those liposomes can go deeper into your skin than regular skincare products because of the teeny tiny size of those little spheres. And then, so they go in there, and then they're delivering pow, pow, pow, these great little bursts of deeply pigmented vitamins, and your skin just loves it. Absolutely loves it. So that's, to me, I would only use those types of products, and that's what we make.

[00:11:41] Maya Acosta: So what you're talking about is if someone were to have a healthier, for example, diet of consuming carrots and tomatoes. And those sorts of foods, we would see probably a little improvement on our skin in general, but most people don't really take the time to consume all these great foods. So the supplement helps us a lot with our skin.

[00:12:01] Sally Malanga: Correct. We took those deeply pigmented nutraceuticals, and we turned them into a powder called NutraChic, which when you mix it up with water turns bright red, it's so pretty and it tastes like berries. And then you drink it. You can make a shot out of it, whole glass, put ice in it, you know, lime, whatever you wanna do to enjoy it. But it's a very serious supplement because these nutraceuticals are very in tune with your own body's intelligence.

[00:12:49] Sally Malanga: So instead of eating, if you don't feel like eating a bunch of carrots, well, you know, carrots, spata, Carin will build up under your skin. If you eat too many carrots, you'll see your skin starts to turn a little bit yellow. So instead of doing that, you can have the drink, and that will then build up under your skin. It'll be invisible. You won't see it, but it is protecting you from the ultraviolet light of the sun, just the way it protects the salmon who's out in the ocean. And their skin needs to be protected from, you know, the everlasting rays of the sun that beat down on them. 

[00:13:11] Sally Malanga: All day long, or a flamingo that's bright pink, their feathers are protecting them because they're eating the sea algae. So we followed nature and we created that drink, and it's just the best thing for skin protection, and we offer it as. An alternative to those people who are taking these animal collagen drinks. And I can share more about that with you when you're ready.

[00:13:37] Maya Acosta: Yes, actually, please tell us more about it. I was surprised. So I'm familiar with collagen and I have been hearing more and more about Bone broth, and I'll be honest, I don't pay a lot of attention, only because I have no interest in consuming bone broth, but I'm starting to see it in more grocery stores and I'm starting to hear it on television that people are really pushing for this bone broth. Why is that?

[00:14:01] Sally Malanga: The campaign got Milk is one of the biggest marketing campaigns I've ever seen and in my lifetime. The hype for animal bone broth and collagen drinks is even bigger than the hype for that got milk campaign animal bone broth is hype to the idea that if you soak bones, animal bones, okay, which come from cows, pigs, chickens, and then even fish, if you soak it in boiling water, somehow the minerals are gonna leech into the water because that's what people think. You know, Grandma's chicken soup is, and scientists have actually tried to replicate that in the lab, and it is a complete myth. The minerals do not leach into the water. You are not getting any minerals.

[00:14:56] Sally Malanga: But what you might be getting is lead, which is a very powerful neurotoxin which accumulates in the brain which is prevalent in the bones and the marrow of animals who are subjected to. Falling lead all over the place in our environment, whether it's from hunting bullets or, um, power plants or emissions from cars, it's out there in the environment.

[00:15:21] Sally Malanga: Animals are eating it, it's accumulated in their bones, and then you're boiling it and drinking it. Right? So bone bra is, it's hype.

[00:15:28] Maya Acosta: I was thinking it's basically cow bath, water, basically dirty bath water. 

[00:15:34] Sally Malanga: Correct. And sadly, people. It makes a little sense in our minds, right? But the reality is disaster. And then there's the collagen powders.

[00:15:46] Sally Malanga: Well, those are, you know, coming from slaughterhouses. Again, this is comes from the skin and also bones of cows, pigs, chickens, and fish. So it's quite gruesome. Oh, it is. And again, it's complete hype. That if you take these powders and mix 'em into some sort of drink and drink it down, it's going to make your face have less wrinkles and your joints be more flexible.

[00:16:17] Sally Malanga: And in fact, I was sitting in a sauna a couple of weeks ago, and there were a couple of very obese women in the sauna talking about how they were putting these various collagen powders in their coffee in the morning. And sometimes I'll say something, you know, when I hear conversations often I will, but I didn't this time cause I was busy relaxing.

[00:16:39] Sally Malanga: I just thought, oh, these poor women, they have no idea how they're wasting their money because collagen is a very poor source of protein. And your body simply breaks it down. It could put it in your toe, for all that matter, not necessarily your face. So once again, it's fantastic marketing hype, and it's a shame that women especially are so prone to falling for these kinds of advertising deceit.

[00:17:08] Maya Acosta: We are very vulnerable because they feed into our insecurities. You've said that it's a 600 billion beauty industry. The beauty and the supplement industries are one of the world's largest purchasers of the slaughterhouse products. I think sometimes that if we were to look at it from that perspective as women, that most of our products, the main ingredients come from slaughterhouses, we probably wouldn't be so quick to purchase these items.

[00:17:37] Sally Malanga: Well, there's a lot of denial, whether it's denial of what's in products, and then there's deceit because they're not necessarily going, say, on the label animal slaughterhouse, glycerin, animal slaughterhouse tall, and you know they're not gonna say that on the label. You have to ask the company cuz there's vegetable glycerin, which we use.

[00:18:00] Sally Malanga: Or there's animal fat glycerin, for example. You wouldn't know that. So you have to go to a company that you know is trustworthy and make your decision about that sort of thing.

[00:18:12] Maya Acosta: Let's talk about the impact that some of these products have on our climate. Couple days ago, I was speaking with someone about just how hot it is in Texas. You've probably been hearing in the news, and this individual said it's hot every. It's getting hot everywhere. You hear what's happening in Europe, our planet is warming up, and we understand sort of like why we want to eat more plant-based foods. We wanna sort of, I think nowadays a lot of people understand that we wanna move away from even beef consumption because it's a great contributor.

[00:18:43] Maya Acosta: But how does just, you know, having these personal products, skin products, how does that affect this climate chaos that's going? 

[00:18:52] Sally Malanga: I created a product, I think is a great transition product for people who want to test out a plant-based diet, and I created something called Bone Broth, which is a replacement challenger to animal bone broth, and we actually do have minerals in it. It's got 72 trace minerals, 12 grams of protein. It's got anti-inflammatory properties, and it tastes delicious, and we've got fantastic reviews on it. And so instead of buying animal bone broth, you can make your own delicious. Of boom broth, and you can also even give it to your pets.

[00:19:37] Sally Malanga: That's one way of taking some of the heat out of the animal marketplace because the bones that they use for bone broth and so on is kind of like an ancillary product to the meat industry, and you take that profit out of it, and it's not. Wonderful of a business for the meat industry because, you know, animals, they use the animal flesh, of course, to sell meat, ground meat, and steaks, and so on. But they have to then sell the skins to go for leather and the bones for other things. So they make a profit on every part of this poor deer animal. And in the process of that, we are heating up the planet so that it's going to be unlivable. There's definitely going to be a correction in the food supply.

[00:20:27] Sally Malanga: We're not gonna be able to devote like we do now, 67%. Uh, farmland going to just raise a couple of mono-crops, corn, soybeans, for example, to feed to these poor constrained cows and pigs and chickens. We can't do it. It's taking up too much water. It's taking up too much land. It's deforesting. . And so it's killing the planet.

[00:20:54] Sally Malanga: It's killing the animal, and it's killing the human. It's going to collapse, and so everyone needs to get ready, start looking for, you know, plant-based things that you would enjoy eating. It's not a sacrifice. It really isn't. It's really an opening up of a, a whole new world of fantastic, colorful, delicious, all-multicultural types of foods.  That will save your butt, basically.

[00:21:24] Sally Malanga: I mean, chickpeas, lentils, avocados, there's all kinds of things you can substitute for meat, and I suggest that people their next meal. Don't pick anything with a face. Do not eat anything with a face. Eat a dish, a pasta, and don't be so afraid of carbs. Carbs are fantastic. Your body lives on carbs, and you have some protein as well. You're gonna save the planet doing that.

[00:21:51] Sally Malanga: It's up to us because you can't save enough electricity and gas. To stop climate change. It's 80% is coming from animal agriculture, and that's what science is telling us now. We have to get used to those statistics and deal with it.

[00:22:06] Maya Acosta: So your boon broth has 72 trace minerals and 33% of daily calcium. So some of my listeners may still think that calcium only comes from dairy, uh, which I myself now when I think of calcium, I think of greens. But tell us what sort of ingredients are found in your bo broth.

[00:22:27] Sally Malanga: The primary ingredients are plant-based proteins, and the calcium source, again, the best source ever. Most bioavailable. Is sea plants. So seaweed essentially, and this is processed mineralized seaweed that we use. And you know, we have an affinity to the sea, seawater and our own blood are very similar. So sea calcium is very bioavailable. In fact, you know, we have, I think the last I read was we have the highest osteoporosis rate in America in the world and the highest dairy eating. So dairy is not helping you. It's cruel. It separates mothers and babies, women. As women, we can't participate in that kind of behavior towards, um, mother animals. 

[00:23:17] Sally Malanga: We just can't. The mother animal is in despair, seeing her baby separated. The milk is then pumped out of her body to give to humans, and then it's marketed and hyped to the extreme where you think. You're gonna die if you don't have it. It's all false, and we have to relearn all these nutritional facts,

[00:23:39] Maya Acosta: Right? When you see footage of dairy cows and how they're just in sort of like this rotation, depending on the farm, depending on how everything's happening, they're just like, Machines that are constantly being, the milk is constantly being extracted from them. They're just machines going at it. And then you see, I don't know, footage of people just playing around with milk or bathing in milk, or just tossing milk and wasting milk. 

​​[00:24:04] Maya Acosta: You think, Oh, the poor animal and everything that it endured for us to waste so much of what it has given us. It's such a shame. If you had to say like three or five reasons why people should go out and buy Ecco Bella, how would we put it? How we move away from toxins? That's one.

[00:24:23] Sally Malanga: Okay. Products that feel good when you use them, they feel good on you. They actually have good science behind them. So you get great results. They work internally and externally, so you actually double your benefits. There's a great woman-owned company behind it that's very passionate with customer service, that's superlative. You know, our customer service, they love our customers and take very good care of them. 

[00:24:51] Sally Malanga: And then you're, of course, eliminating any harm to animals. So everyone says they love animals. Time to act like you really do love animals, not just your dog or your cat. Time to realize that you love all animals and treat all animals with respect because it reflects on us as human beings. You know, how we treat animals is karmic. And the Buddha said, First, do no harm. That is our philosophy, and it's a good way of life.

[00:25:19] Maya Acosta: And for those of you who don't have an idea of what we're talking about when it comes to caring for animals and ch making a better choice. For example, eating more plant-based foods, you really need to see the documentary Cowspiracy because Cowspiracy shows you the things that we've been prevented from seeing.

[00:25:38] Maya Acosta: So you see a lot of footage, but you learn a lot. Well, it's conspiracy. And then there's another one. What's the, uh, Dominion was the, uh, movie that I watched that really showed me. What happens to animals for the sake of us consuming them or using the byproducts for skincare or products, just purses, and other things?

[00:25:59] Maya Acosta: But it's important for us. Um, my listeners are not used to us talking about this sort of content. So for anyone that wants to know more, like, for example, of what really happens with animals when they're being raised for our consumption, I think it's great to watch either Cowspiracy or Dominion. But we also know that when I was referring to personal care products not being regulated is that people can make all sorts of claims for the most part.

[00:26:24] Maya Acosta: And yes, while the product, the ingredients may not be deadly, they also may not be very beneficial. And so you find chemicals and things in hair products, for example, that we may not want on our skin. So we talked about what is wrong with consuming bone and broth collagen. What is the relationship between using a personal collagen product at home and how a consumer can impact the planet?

[00:26:48] Maya Acosta: We talked about that. A business that's socially responsible. If people are interested in purchasing your product, what is, uh, the best link for them to visit?

[00:26:57] Sally Malanga: I would love to have people visit It's. Ecco with two Cs, it means behold beautiful cuz all of our customers are beautiful people.

[00:27:07] Sally Malanga: So that's, and there'll be a nice coupon there waiting for them. They sign up, and they can also have a free consultation if they like if they sign up for a consultation. We have a wonderful person. We'll talk to them about their individual needs for natural makeup. Liposome-based skincare and the supplements as well.

[00:27:33] Sally Malanga: So we're here to help. Is your social

[00:27:34] Maya Acosta: Is your social media by the same? 

[00:27:36] Sally Malanga: Yes. Ecco Bella Beauty, so on Instagram and Facebook.

[00:27:40] Maya Acosta: Wonderful. I'll make sure to put the links in the show notes. And I don't know if I asked, but how long have you been in business and what's the feedback that you've received from some of your customers?

[00:27:51] Sally Malanga: Well, we've been in business over two decades, so. Uh, we usually set the trends and don't necessarily follow the trends, and our customer reviews are all made public on our website and also on Amazon, and we are very responsive to all of our customer requests and needs. That's what, you know, being a company who really focuses on service does. We're very sensitive to everybody's best interest. 

[00:28:22] Maya Acosta: This is wonderful. Thank you for coming on the show to share with my listeners about your product. Is there anything else that you'd like to share or a final message that you have for our listeners?

[00:28:33] Sally Malanga: Enjoy your life. Don't be stressed. Make small changes and come join people that are helping to save the planet and not hand ring about it. We're doing things to save the planet that are so easy. One of my favorite things is to go out to any vegan restaurant and CE and participate in a fantastic culinary experience from the local cafe to the finest. You know, places, there's so much innovation going on, it's so delicious. It's not really a hard transition to make and, uh, do, uh, get some of our boon broth and to enjoy and benefit from.

[00:29:11] Maya Acosta: Thank you again, Sally, for coming on the show today. My absolute pleasure. Sally Malanga is the founder of Ecco Bella, a company that makes nutraceuticals and skincare products. She became interested in this area after volunteering with an organization that worked to expose animal testing in the cosmetic industry.

[00:29:30] Maya Acosta: She realized that many consumers would like to buy products not tested on animals, so she decided to launch her company. Ecco Bella's products are made with nutraceuticals, vitamins that work with the body's intelligence. The company also uses liposome technology, encapsulating nutraceuticals in tiny spheres that can penetrate deeply into the skin.

[00:29:52] Maya Acosta: The company's products are designed to help people look good from the inside out. They offer an alternative to collagen drinks, which are made from animal products and are full of toxins. Ecco Bella’s products are safe and effective and help promote overall health and wellness. I would love to hear what you thought about today's episode.

[00:30:11] Maya Acosta: Please leave me a And as always, my friends, thank you for listening. You've been listening to the Healthy Lifestyle Solutions Podcast with your host Maya Acosta. If you've enjoyed this podcast, do us a favor and share with one friend who can benefit from this episode. Feel free to leave us an honest review on Apple Podcast that helps us to spread our message. Thanks for listening.