By Annette Campbell Geoff Graham was thrilled when the natural cream he developed eased the pain of his baby son's eczema. He was delighted when it also helped his own battle with the frustrating skin condition. And now, he is over the moon that it's helping hundreds of thousands of others. On May 17, 2004, Woman's Day magazine ran a story about Geoff and his creation. The phones have hardly stopped ringing since. "The feedback has been phenomenal," he says. "It's obviously something people need and if I can help, then that's brilliant. Especially because I know exactly the kind of discomfort people are living with." Geoff, now 35, was born with eczema and at only three-months old had one of the worst cases of the condition reported at the time. Over the years he tried all sorts of lotions and potions, but nothing gave him long-term relief. When his son Ryan was born, it broke Geoff's heart to see that he had it too. "I said to my wife, Shannon, 'I've got to do something about this, for Ryan'," he recalls. This determined duo read all they could about skin and skin problems, especially psoriasis and eczema. They spoke with doctors and dermatologists and came up with their own "recipe" for a soothing cream. Geoff put aside his plans to become a commercial pilot and they ploughed their cash savings — about $14,000 — into starting their business. "The essential ingredients we decided on were Manuka honey, as it kills bacteria on skin; emu oil because it's full of vitamins E and A; and the herbal extracts calendula, gotu kola and propolis because of their anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties," Geoff explains. Friends and relatives tried it first and the feedback was so positive that they went ahead with plans for mass-production. Now Graham's Natural Alternatives boasts a range of 10 products for sensitive skin including bath oil, soap, shampoo, conditioner and a liquid called Mega Oil. They are also in the process of launching a natural treatment for head lice for people with sensitive skin. Geoff and Ryan, who is now seven, both continue to take the Mega Oil complex every day to maintain their healthy skin. And apart from his own physical relief, Geoff is thrilled that he is now providing a solution for so many others. "It's an absolutely amazing feeling," he says. Graham's Natural Alternatives are available in all health food shops and some pharmacies nationally. For more information phone (07) 5596 1708 or visit their website:

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