By ALESHA CADET
Tribune Features Reporter
Eczema can be a very uncomfortable, even painful condition to live with. But for Alexia Hanna it is much more than that: it is the inspiration for her unique skin care line.
Ms Hanna was diagnosed with eczema in her teenage years. She later married the love of her life who discovered that he, too, had eczema. Then, their first child also developed the medical condition which causes the skin to become inflamed or irritated.
Eczema is characterised by itchiness, red skin, and a rash. In cases of short duration there may be small blisters while in long-term cases the skin may become thickened. The area of skin involved can vary from small to the entire body.
When her son showed signs symptoms of eczema, Ms Hanna found herself at a loss which store-bought products to use on his delicate skin, as they were expensive and not as effective has she would have liked. So she decided to take the "do it yourself" route; mixing her own creams and lotions at home.
"When my first son was born, I was not surprised that he had eczema as well. I tried all of the baby products for eczema and sensitive skin, but they became too costly and didn't seem to keep him as moisturised as they should have. Always a fan of DIY, I started reading about home remedies and blends that could help. I started making his body wash, diaper cream and lotion. After that, I was making a batch of products for our little family on a weekly basis, and Island Apothik just grew from that," said Ms Hanna.
Her Island Apothik brand, a home-based company, made several appearances at various festivals around town in 2017, showcasing its body scrubs and body butters in a wide array of scents, as well as exfoliants and essential oils that suit various skin care needs.
"I was in banking for the last nine years before deciding to take this leap of faith in May of 2017. I am happily married with two beautiful boys and a daughter on the way. I've been making my own bath, body and some household products for about five years now. At Island Apothik we believe in fresh, organic products with little to no preservatives, so we create products in small batches, mostly made to order so as to maintain the integrity of the product," said Ms Hanna.
It brings her great joy and satisfaction to have clients say they look and feel better due to Island Apothik products. For her, seeing a person's skin looking healthy and well-nourished thanks to her products is the best reward.
Ms Hanna's goal going forward is to one day become a leading skin care company in the Bahamas; becoming a household name. She would also like to promote the benefits of self-care through healthy skincare regimens and aromatherapy.
"In the next few years we envision a storefront where clients can come in and browse our products in person and receive tips, advice and sample products. We plan to widen our base by extending our brand to the online community. We also see a lifestyle blog in the works that will discuss a more organic, natural and holistic approach to skin and body care as well as the household. 2018 will see the launch of a few new products such as facial scrubs, masks, body oils, body wash, bath soaks and tub teas, and a few products specifically geared towards men, mommy and baby," she said.
"We already use indigenous ingredients like Bahamian coconut oil and salt, however, we plan to incorporate even more locally sourced products in our recipes. We are beefing up our social media presence and physical presence, as we will be doing much more craft markets and fairs this year.
For more information on the brand, check out Island Apothik on Instagram and Facebook.