SunButter Skincare

From sailing through French Polynesia to hiking to Mount Everest base camp, Tom Hiney from SunButter is not one to sit back and watch. Have a read to learn more about his adventures and how your favourite reef safe, plastic free sunscreen came to be!

Tom and Sacha

Sacha and Tom, Founders of SunButter Skincare


Name and position? Tom Hiney // Co-founder and Director of SunButter.

Where in the world is SunButter made? SunButter products are made in Australia and I work from the Mornington Peninsula, Australia.

How did the idea for SunButter form? My fiancé and I worked as wildlife guides throughout the tropics and were searching for a reef safe sunscreen that was packaged plastic free. When we couldn’t find one, we started hand making our own. Word got around and demand increased, and we then engaged a pharmaceutical company to make it for us and get it through all the TGA testing so we could SPF rate it.

What is SunButter’s mission? Protecting people and oceans.

Fish net

When people think of SunButter, what would you like them to think of? A perfect product for keeping adventurers and the planet safe. Slip a tin in your pocket or pack, and stay sun smart and planet smart! So many of our customers re-purpose their tins and fill them with goodies (like coffee or spices) for their camping trips.

Does your SunButter have anything else they work on, aside from making epic sunscreen and zinc? We donate 10% of profits to three environmental partners: Project Hiu, Thin Green Line Foundation and Island Conservation. We are a 1% For The Planet member and have a crisis donation fund for things such as wildlife rescue during the last Australian bush fires. We are also very heavily involved in our local community; Sacha founded the Rye Seaside Scavenge and we’re very busy at the moment with the Save Westernport campaign.

Why make the effort to create environmentally friendly sunscreen, as opposed to simply making a standard one? The planet is pretty amazing, and I think customers are happy to choose a product that causes no harm or less harm. When there wasn’t a sunscreen that met our ethical and environmental demands, we created one and the community response has been incredible!

If you could choose to use only one SunButter product forever, what would it be? I LOVE our SPF50 sunscreen! It works beautifully, rubs in clear, feels great on your skin and the tins are pretty cool, too!

Favourite thing to do outside of work? Be in the ocean! Sacha and I both love to surf, snorkel and dive. Surfing is a huge passion of ours for both mental and physical well being. I'm also a big fan of rugby union and basketball. 

Free Dive

What’s the most memorable adventure you’ve ever been on? Oh gosh, when working as wildlife guides we got to go to some amazing places - Easter Island, The Pitcairn Islands, lots of trips around PNG, sailing through French Polynesia and safaris in Kenya.

One of my personal favourites, though, was about a decade ago when my sister and I were hiking solo to Everest base camp. It was her birthday so we’d scheduled in a rest day. When I woke up to make a cup of tea, I realised I could see Mt Everest. Until that point we hadn't seen it, so I woke her up and we stood for couple minutes just staring at the world's tallest peak before clouds settled back in and it was gone for another few days.

Top 3 things you can’t go on an adventure without? Sacha, SunButter and a reusable bottle.

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