Skin cancer these days have become quite a common occurrence especially in certain geographic areas such as Oceania. Early detection of such cancer with high accuracy is of utmost importance, and studies have shown that deep learning- based intelligent approaches to address this concern have been fruitful. In this research, we present a novel deep learning- based classifier that has shown promise in classifying this type of cancer on a relevant preprocessed dataset having important features pre-identified through an effective feature extraction method. Skin cancer in modern times has become one of the most ubiquitous types of cancer. Accurate identification of cancerous skin lesions is of vital importance in treating this malady. In this research, we employed a deep learning approach to identify benign and malignant skin lesions. The initial dataset was obtained from Kaggle before several preprocessing steps for hair and background removal, image enhancement, selection of the region of interest (ROI), region-based segmentation, morphological gradient, and feature extraction were performed, resulting in histopathological images data with 20 input features based on geometrical and textural features. A principle component analysis (PCA)-based feature extraction technique was put into action to reduce the dimensionality to 10 input features. Subsequently, we applied our deep learning classifier, SkinNet-16, to detect the cancerous lesion accurately at a very early stage. The highest accuracy was obtained with the Adamax optimizer with a learning rate of 0.006 from the neural network-based model developed in this study. The model also delivered an impressive accuracy of approximately 99.19%.