Skin Elements is an award-winning, publicly listed (ASX: SKN) natural formulation company based in Australia, with the mission of improving the health and wellness of people across the globe, without harming the planet. With this remaining its fundamental purpose over more than two decades of operation, the company is going strong, and it is now looking to break into the UK market with its revolutionary Soléo Organics sunscreen. Recognised as our Best Natural Sunscreen Brand 2024 – Australia, we speak to Executive Chairman and CEO Peter Malone to discover what makes its products stand out entirely from the rest.

Australian-made. Cruelty-free. Vegan. Reef-friendly. Biodegradable. Organic-certified. These are the principles behind everything that Skin Elements does. Having seen a gap in the market for natural alternatives to chemical sunscreens and face creams, Skin Elements noticed how, in recent years, and particularly since the pandemic, there has been a growing awareness and interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy planet. There is increasing evidence, knowledge, and awareness of the effects of harmful, aggressive toxic ingredients on our bodies, livestock, crops, land, and waterways. 

Peter Malone cites, “What used to be only a focus for ultra-healthy people has gone mainstream. It is completely normal now for consumers to want to know what ingredients are in the products they use on themselves and their families, so they can buy products that aren’t harmful. This topic has gone from a private conversation amongst a minority of people to a public conversation that crosses demographics and geographies.

“More and more informed and climate-conscious consumers and businesses are demanding eco-friendly and biodegradable solutions with improved efficacy and performance properties, and in our view this demand for alternatives to chemical-based products are not being taken seriously by the large global companies.”

With this in mind, Skin Elements set about crafting formulations that meet these evolving expectations. Keeping R&D at its core, the company’s products use an advanced evidence-based process for creating natural formulae. It all began when Leo Fung, who was researching into sunscreens and an alternative to synthetic preservatives, met entrepreneur Peter Malone and they, together with Craig Piercy, founded Skin Elements. The hard work commenced leading to the invention of the innovative proprietary anti-microbial SE Formula™ biotechnology.

The SE Formula™ has gone on to form the base of every natural product created by Skin Elements, with each formulation being scientifically proven and independently verified for high performance, using only natural, plant-based ingredients, and completely leaving out the synthetic chemicals and substances. With this groundbreaking approach, the company can formulate products that are safer, more effective, and longer lasting than any competitor.

“We have already spent almost 20 years developing and refining our formula and this is a material advantage for us over the rest of the industry because we will be first to market with this innovation. Even with their much greater access to capital for substantial R&D investment, you can’t rush product development and testing if you want to do it properly, so they are years away from catching up to us.”

As an R&D company, Skin Elements knows that it is its people who bring its purpose-led business strategy and culture to life, with Peter saying, “It is very fulfilling for all of us to come to work every day knowing we are creating products that are healthy for people and the environment. This purpose is something we are very passionate about and proud to be a part of.” At the foundation of this are values of ‘Sustainability’, ‘Quality’, ‘Innovation’, ‘Integrity’, ‘Health and Wellness’, and ‘Collaboration’, all of which are highly reflective of its team’s commitment to creating products that are quality, safe, and support peoples’ health and wellbeing.

In terms of ‘Sustainability’, the team remain committed to sustainable practices that protect and preserve the planet. From responsibly sourcing organic ingredients and not testing on animals to minimising the company’s environmental footprint, the team ensure that their processes and products contribute to a healthier world. Having healthy sustainable business operations is integral to the way the organisation operates, its values, and its mission. This approach is made possible through three key areas across the company: responsible sourcing and testing; environmental stewardship; and recyclability and biodegradability.

“Our sunscreens are reef-safe, and our packing is all recyclable; even our consumables such as tape and packing peanuts are made from biodegradable substances like cornstarch,” Peter tells us. “We consider ecological impacts when designing and manufacturing our products. Our packaging is 100% recyclable, and our formulae are biodegradable, developed to have no negative impact on the environment, even when in landfill.”

‘Quality’ is an extremely important factor to Skin Elements, too. Excellence remains at the heart of everything it does, with it rigorously testing every product to make sure they meet the highest possible standards of quality and safety, and provides customers with the best natural health and wellness solutions.

This comes alongside ‘Innovation’, believing in its power to drive progress within the industry. The team are continually exploring new scientific advancements and technologies to develop cutting-edge products that are truly industry leading.

The company also conducts all of its business with ‘Integrity’, guaranteeing honesty and transparency in everything it does. Building trust with its customers, partners, and stakeholders is paramount to Skin Elements, and it upholds the highest ethical standards.

Also key among its values is ‘Health and Wellness’, being dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing of its customers. It creates products that promote a healthy lifestyle and empower individuals to achieve their wellness goals naturally.

Lastly, ‘Collaboration’ is an important factor in making Skin Elements’ mission a reality, with it valuing partnerships and working closely as a team and with external partners. By working together and sharing knowledge, the Skin Elements team is able to achieve greater outcomes and drive collective success.

“We are the only formulation company which is dedicated to developing 100% natural health care alternatives to mass-market chemical-based products. This is the reason for our existence and is what has driven us every day for almost 20 years.”

Talking more about what makes Skin Elements stand out in its space, Peter tells us how some large pharma or research companies only dabble in it, producing a variety of ‘natural’ products but using synthetic chemicals to enable product preservation. While some companies are in fact responding to the market’s desire for natural products, Peter says “the major players still have their heads in the sand”, adding, “Well, why wouldn’t they, when they have the market covered with cheap, easy to produce chemical products? But, in our view, this had to change because consumers are demanding it, and that demand wave is turning into a tsunami!” This is what makes Skin Elements different.

Thus, from the outset, in the creation of its products, Skin Elements has maintained the implementation of its three-phase strategy, rigorously researching, accrediting, testing, and refining its formulations to create products that are superior and ready for global commercialisation.

The use of its SE Formula™ is phase one of the process, enabling the team to develop an all-natural formula that meets the needs of the desired field and purpose, whether suncare or skincare. Indeed, the SE Formula™ phase of the development process focuses on science-led investigations into natural ingredients and processes to prepare prototype formulations. It is here that the team establish robust processes to ensure manufacturing, storage, and distribution timeframes of the product formula to support efficacy, quality, and lifespan.

Once the formula has been developed, phase two can begin, where the team complete regulatory approvals, certifications, and closed-group consumer testing pilots. This is a very thorough stage which takes may years of commitment by the company’s R&D experts, performing multiple product laboratory trials, closed-group consumer testing pilots, and iterative formula enhancement to gain regulatory approvals and certifications.

Once these phases are complete, Skin Elements can produce test batches and undertake consumer test marketing in its main target market, with this leading to continued product enhancement until the formulation process is finished.

Finally comes the third phase. With an approved and tested product and test marketing complete, the product is ready to launch into distribution, where the company seeks large scale manufacturing or distribution agreements. This is the stage that it has reached with its first formulation, the flagship Soléo Organics, for which development began in 2001. The process of creating Soléo Organics certainly came with its challenges in order to become the first sunscreen globally to use plant-based ingredients and no chemical preservatives. It required multiple ingredient sources, formulations, and manufacturing processes that were evaluated over the period of seven years before the product was ready for market testing.

Now, Soléo Organics has solidified its position as the best UV radiation protection product on the market, and the range has expanded to include sunscreens that meet different requirements for different activities, including high water resistance, feather light texture for everyday use, anti-ageing formula for the face, and highly sensitive ingredients for babies.

“The fundamental purpose and principles upon which Skin Elements was founded have never been more important to consumers, businesses and Governments as we all learn to live and operate in new and more health-conscious ways.”

Peter enthuses, “We are very proud of the Soléo Organics range – our first product and the flagship of Skin Elements. Soléo Organics is a natural and organic skincare formulation, providing a highly effective, high-performance chemical-free sunscreen. It was the first application borne out of the company’s SE Formula™ R&D programme.

“Skin Elements is now progressing to commercialise the Soléo Organics sunscreen formula. We are in advanced negotiations with a leading health and wellbeing retail chain in the United Kingdom, including investigations into large-scale manufacturing and distribution opportunities for Soléo Organics including white label ranges.”

There is plenty to be thrilled about when it comes to Soléo Organics sunscreens. They come with a long list of benefits for users, providing natural sun protection without any harmful chemicals. Completely free from sulphates, parabens, and petroleum, and made without any synthetic ingredients, Skin Elements’ sunscreens are created with care and suitable for daily use. Each ingredient is hand-picked for its purity and efficacy, making them hypoallergenic and suitable for babies, pregnant women, and even those with extremely sensitive skin.

The formulation of Soléo Organics features a patented non-whitening clear (micronized, non-nano) zinc oxide, which means the sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection by reflecting both UVA and UVB radiation. Also enriched with botanical extracts and antioxidants, the sunscreen shields the skin from harmful sun rays, as well as strengthens, nourishes, and nurtures the skin.

After such robust R&D, the team’s hard work on Soléo Organics sunscreens is being recognised, with the product range receiving countless awards and rave reviews from customers. Soléo Organics has been celebrated through multiple global awards as the number one suncare product, including those from The Washington Post, Elle magazine, and the US Environmental Working Group (EWG). Soléo Organics has also been a finalist in the Clean Beauty Awards 2022.

This comes alongside glowing reviews pouring in from customers, which Peter states are “important to us, as we know in the laboratory that we have an innovative formulation, but knowing that our customers feel the same way reinforces to us that we have developed an incredible product and there is a lot of demand for it”.

One customer, Jayme R. from New Zealand, can’t rate the sunscreen high enough, saying, “We love the coconut sunscreens from Soléo Organics! I use the lighter one for less time in the sun and the thicker one for beach days. Does the job without a long list of undesirable chemicals. Great sunscreen for the whole family, including a three-year-old and six-year-old. Thank you!”

Yarger from America, equally elated, shares, “I have tested many daily creams, and this one is the best one I’ve found that meets my criteria: goes on thin, works well, and gets a good ranking from the EWR sunscreen list.”

Kourtney from America, also delighted, comments, “I am allergic to most sunscreens but not this one. I love it! It goes on smooth and clear.”

Leanne G. from Australia also can’t get enough: “I’ve finally found an incredible sunscreen for the face: SPF 50, waterproof, and a light zinc oxide formula suitable for sensitive skin. I wear it every day under makeup. Please, don’t ever discontinue it!”

Ultimately, Skin Elements’ entire business model has always been about disruption. It is aware of how people of all age groups are recognising the importance of healthy living and climate protection, and how the global sunscreen market is experiencing significant growth. In 2023, the market was valued at approximately $12.3 billion, and it is expected to continue expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.21%, reaching around $15.716 billion by 2028. Indeed, this growth is driven by increasing awareness of health implications of chemical ingredients and rising need for sun protection due to higher global temperatures and UV radiation exposure (Global Sunscreen market Report, 2023).

With its sights now set on the bright future ahead, this will involve more tireless innovation and disruption within the health and wellness industry. First on the list is the exciting opportunity to make its products available for purchase in the UK. To support this, the company will be undertaking independent laboratory testing of key performance specification for the UK market, with the initial phase of documentation, systems setup, and due diligence currently underway. This testing will confirm and enable certification of the sunscreen formulation as both an SPF 50 and five-star rating, which has never been achieved by a natural organic sunscreen formula.

Peter tell us more about Skin Elements’ plans for the future: “Having created a completely new global product segment with the natural sunscreen programme, we will continue to invest in research and development to leverage our proprietary anti-microbial SE Formula™ biotechnology to create other formulations. While our focus remains on Soléo Organics, we are already progressing formulation development in the skincare sector with natural therapeutics products and natural cosmetics range.”

Overall, it is easy to see how Skin Elements has come to be named Best Natural Sunscreen Brand 2024 – Australia, between its robust formulation process and dedication to supporting the wellbeing of the planet and its people. Skin Elements has come a long way since 2001 and it will only keep reaching new heights as it continues to dominate the health and beauty industry for the better.

For further information, please contact Peter Malone or visit