Students should try a more organic lifestyle

By Maddie Steen

Students should consider switching from their store-bought bath products to all-natural, organically-made alternatives.

Chemicals and toxins can be absorbed through skin and transferred into the bloodstream without us knowing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. To eliminate the chance of repeatedly coming in contact with toxins that are in soaps, buying organic products made with natural ingredients is a great alternative.

Walmart, Target and other chain stores carry a few lines of organic products like Burt’s Bees or Jason, and both brands tend to be more expensive than non-natural products based on my own shopping experiences.

Frustrated with the unaffordable prices, Amber Shanks, 38, of DeKalb, decided to change that by opening her own store, Organic Essentials, 314 E. Lincoln Highway.

Organic Essentials offers a wide variety of aromatic soaps, creams, scrubs and other types of skin care products and remedies. Shanks has begun to make big changes adding clothes, healing stones, jewelry and other handmade creations.

Students should be educated and aware of what ingredients they use on their bodies at an early age so as to set healthier habits for themselves in the future.

Shanks’ goal for Organic Essentials is not only to provide affordable organics but to educate others. In hopes of spreading knowledge on organic products, Shanks holds bimonthly workshops to teach others how create their own products that will keep their family safe and chemical-free. Whatever attendees make at these workshops, they can take home along with the recipe.

“I would like it to be everywhere,” Shanks said. “It makes me upset that it’s only a select few that can afford organics. Everybody else has no choice but to use unknown chemicals on their bodies and that’s not fair. The doors need to be open for everybody.”

Students should actively seek out products such as those sold at Organic Essentials, not only because they contain no synthetic ingredients or smells but by creating a demand for these products, more small shops could open up near campus that could make going organic more convenient.

“…It’s about giving our children products that aren’t going to do more harm then good,” said Katie Liker, 32, of DeKalb. “So many commercial products have ingredients you can’t pronounce, so it’s great to know I have someone I can trust, creating products we use in our everyday lives that are high quality and affordable, and we know exactly what’s put into them without having to go to Google.”

I use organic skin care products mainly because it is not made with artificial or synthetic chemicals. On top of promoting the general health of myself and the environment, I’ve also noticed cleaner skin, fewer allergies and less acne.

Until Organic Essentials opens more stores in the sourrounding areas, students can find and order their products online on or