At a young age, Ashley Rankin was introduced to taking advantage of all of nature’s benefits. Lessons in appreciating Mother Earth’s gifts were instilled in her by her father, who grew up watching his father grow food on over 100 acres of land in Lorman, Mississippi. Now that she’s older, she appreciates the lessons that were passed on to her.
“My dad learned the values of natural living by watching my grandfather grow his own food and avoid pesticides,” said Rankin, who earned a biology/pre-medicine degree from Alcorn in 2009. “These are quality standards of life that I’m grateful to have been taught. The older I get, the more I advocate for a natural lifestyle.”
Rankin has turned her passion for nature into a budding business with her all natural skincare line, AR Naturals. The line consist of high quality butters and oils, natural, biodegradable exfoliates like sugar, sea salt and jojoba beads and plant-based dyes that are both gentle on the skin and environmentally friendly.
When pursuing a master’s degree in biotechnology at Penn State, Rankin realized that a number of chemicals she experimented with in the laboratory were used to create basic skin and hair products. Her realization, along with her own struggles with sensitive skin, motivated her to create something that would appeal to people like her.
“I suffered a number of skin conditions from childhood on. The realization that most commercial skin care products contain irritating chemicals, along with my lifelong struggle with sensitive skin, spurred my curiosity to find more natural alternatives.”
Adopting the practice of using natural skin care products has worked wonders for Rankin.
“The skin is the body’s largest organ. Anything put on the skin can potentially be adsorbed into the bloodstream. Everyday, we inadvertently come in contact with a variety of chemicals, but the products we put on our skin is something we can control. I’m a proponent of receiving the benefits of natural skin care, while limiting exposures to synthetic ingredients, as often as possible.”
Rankin is using the success of her skincare line to give back to her community. A portion of her company’s earnings are donated to the Denver Food Rescue, whose mission is to reduce barriers to fresh, healthy food in local, lower income Denver communities. Rankin is thankful for the opportunity to use her resources to help others.
“It feels wonderful. As a business owner, it is important that I minimize waste and support sustainable business practices. As a public health professional, I am passionate about supporting food sustainability and promoting health equity in local communities. Donating to the Denver Food Rescue gives me a sense of pride.”
Visit www.ARNaturalsSkin.etsy.com to check out Rankin’s products.