Skin Elements uses scientific research to create innovative natural health and wellness products that harness the powers of nature
“People are switching to organic, natural ingredients all over the world,” says Peter Malone, CEO and one of three co-founders of Skin Elements. “They are also concerned about the impact of their purchases on the planet. So are we.”
With Skin Elements, Peter and his team are not just bringing people- and planet-friendly formulations to skincare, but developing new categories in health and wellness – the “Skin” of Skin Elements is an acronym for “science, knowledge, innovation, nature”. As an entrepreneur who has worked in diverse industries from architecture to automotive to telecommunications, Peter was used to innovating, but, in his first foray into skincare, the company was creating formulations from scratch. He and Leo Fung, naturopath and fellow co-founder, travelled the globe looking for ingredients that deliver the Skin Elements formulations of today.
“We have been working on natural and organic formulas for more than ten years now,” says Peter. In 2015, the company, based in Perth, Australia, released for market testing its first brand and product line based on these formulations. Soléo Organics is a zinc-based sunscreen range with botanical extracts and antioxidants that are gentle, moisturising and hypoallergenic, suitable for babies, pregnant women and those with sensitive skin.
One of the main development challenges was finding a way of preserving the raw ingredients so the cream could compete with more commercial brands. “Soléo Organics can sit on the shelf for three years and won’t degrade,” says Peter. The formula also had to be manufactured in a way that causes no harm to workers from fumes or byproducts, biodegradable to reduce its impact on the environment – and internationally relevant. “Whether you live in the UK, Japan or North America, we tested the products on different skin types,” he adds. This is very important with sunscreen, as exposure levels vary globally.
Skin Elements products have been designed to exceed the performance of conventional beauty and wellness brands. “Natural sunscreen doesn’t need to have a caked-on, white-face look,” says Peter. “People want to rub the sunscreen in and not see it, so that is what we have created.”
The company has further products in development, such as Elizabeth Jane, an organic cosmetic skincare range for sensitive skin, for release in 2024. PapayaActivs, a medicinal range to treat skin conditions without the use of steroidal creams, is in final phase-three trials. “We used the research to create therapeutic creams for eczema, arthritis, and psoriasis,” Peter says.
Next came SuprCuvr, a hygiene disinfectant and hospital-grade alternative to the “highly toxic” sprays that kill bacteria and viruses such as Covid-19. There is also the SuprCuvr Invisi Shield hand sanitiser. “You can use it on your hands, face, surfaces and spray it on your food,” says Peter.
Today, more than AU$5 million worth of Soléo Organics sunscreen has been sold in Australia, but Peter’s ambitions don’t stop there. “We want to see our sunscreens used by people around the world,” he says. By 2024, Skin Elements products will be sold in high-street retail. “It will be a global breakthrough and the product to use.”
As awareness grows of the impact of some chemicals on the body and environment, Peter believes demand will multiply for products made with natural ingredients. “It has taken a lot of research to be what we believe is the best in the world,” he says. “No one has solved this problem so far – there were no textbooks. But now we can say that Skin Elements is bringing new and better products that won’t harm you or the planet.”