Allergies and irritations can manifest themselves in all sorts of ways. Skin can be a particularly sensitive organ of the body and the range of diseases and conditions that affect humans seems to grow longer as the years pass by.

The supermarket shelves are full of products proclaiming to be ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ — but there are question marks over exactly how many chemicals they contain.

Tim Davies has developed a range of products and set up a company, Senzimi, based in Eynsham.

He came up with the idea for the company after researching into the subject for wife Claire who has very sensitive skin.

“I started doing some research to help her and other people. The more I looked into it, the more I realised how little was being done to help people with sensitive skin conditions,” said Mr Davies, 39.

Mr Davies believes the field is very confusing and it is difficult to pin down what factors can irritate people with sensitive skin conditions. But what he did discover is the “massive movement” towards using natural products.

While there are some well-known brands that cater for sensitive skin conditions, Mr Davies says they are often chemically based.

“A lot of consumers don’t like the idea of putting petroleum-based products on sensitive skin. I did the research and decided to do something about it. I worked with a cosmetic scientists, giving them my research into ingredients used by different cultures all over the world.”

After about two years, he was able to come up with four core products, a moisturiser, cleanser, shampoo and conditioner which were tested on people suffering from a range of skin conditions including psoriasis and eczema with a positive response.

Mr Davies’ career path has been varied. After leaving school, Mr Davies he into the insurance industry, starting in an administrative role with HSBC which took him to Hong Kong in the mid-1990s.

Returning home he returned to education to study for a degree in financial service and human resources management which allowed him to move back into insurance broking at a much higher level working for firms including Willis, Marsh and Lloyds.

“I had a lot of clients who were investment bankers lending money to various governments. It was a complex, detailed line of work.”

It was high powered stuff but Mr Davies eventually grew restless with finance and decided to take a totally different direction.

“I got to a point where I realised I am not really a city boy. I really liked the idea of landscape design and found a post-graduate course at Oxford Brookes University.

“After that I set up my own gardening and landscaping business and ran it for six years.”

It was during this time that he met and married Claire and that, combined with a painful back injury, led to the change of direction and Senzimi became his next project — but it has not been an easy path.

Four years ago he launched the skincare range online. He has found the market challenging during the interim period and the recession has not helped.

But now, due to his belief in his products and the potential demand for them, he has relaunched in what he hopes is a more favourable economic climate.

“Trying to sell a brand new product in a challenging retail environment was very tough. I did approach larger retailers but being a small producer, it was very difficult. I did get into some smaller retailers and health stores but a lot of them went out of business,” he explained.

But Mr Davies is hoping persistence pays off. Backed by his Middlessex-based manufacturer he is hoping his product range will find favour. Of course, the market is as competitive as ever, but he feels that because Senzimi products are between 90 and 99.75 per cent natural, he can make headway with discerning customers.

His products are not the cheapest, priced between £11.99 and £15.99, but that reflects the price of the ingredients which include Neem oil used in traditional Indian medicine along with frankincense.

“It is the lowest price possible for the quality,” said Mr Davies.

As for marketing, Mr Davies has decided to take a traditional approach.

“We are going to start treading the streets of Oxford, approaching as many independent retailers as we can. We will use them as case studies before approaching the larger stores.”