Wellness Spotlight: Q&A With Hint Founder and CEO Kara Goldin

Courtesy of Hint Sunscreen

Hint Water

When you're having a long day in the salon with back-to-back appointments, it can be tempting to reach for that Diet Coke to give yourself a quick energy boost in the afternoon. But we all know that those sugar-laden drinks are filled with artificial flavors and preservatives, which aren't the best for us health-wise (or beauty-wise, for that matter!) For those of you who want more than just plain water to satisfy those taste buds, Hint Water is a delicious alternative. Available in flavors like pineapple and watermelon, it's pure water that contains natural fruit oils and essences—and free of sweeteners, preservatives and GMOs.

Recently, Launchpad sat down with Hint founder and CEO Kara Goldin, who gave us the scoop on the brand's foray into the beauty industry, her wellness routine, and much more.

LAUNCHPAD: How did you come up with the name for your brand?

While I was thinking about what to call the brand, I thought of many names that were already taken or did not make sense to all. Finally, I suggested the word "Hint" to my husband who was helping me trademark the name. I thought that it not only was a great name, but also had the option of helping people understand what the product was as well as what we were trying to do—give people hints.

LAUNCHPAD: What inspired the creation of Hint?

The inspiration really began with wanting to change my lifestyle as well as my family's. An examination of our food choices led to eliminating diet drinks and juices, switching to water—but I was always very bored with plain water. To me, plain water is sometimes just not enough. From there I started experimenting with slicing up fruit and putting it in my water, and found that it made the experience of drinking water much more enjoyable since I actually liked the taste. The result was a hit with my friends and family. I thought to myself, 'Why wasn't any other beverage company doing this?' All of the "healthy beverages" on the market still had some kind of sweetener in them, so I decided to take it upon myself to develop Hint.

Hint Water

LAUNCHPAD: Tell us about your expansion into the beauty industry.

The simple answer is, I couldn't find a sunscreen I actually liked. I created Hint Water because I needed to solve a personal problem related to my health and couldn't find anything on the market that accomplished that, much so the same with Hint Sunscreen. I wanted a sunscreen for myself that was free of oxybenzone and parabens—two suspect ingredients commonly found in sunscreen. I also wanted a sunscreen that smelled GREAT—not like a piña colada, and that felt great when applied—not sticky, itchy or greasy. Moreover, I wanted a single sunscreen that did all the above and WORKED. I looked everywhere, from grocery stores to pharmacies to specialty stores, and it was shocking how hard it was to find all of these things in one bottle. So I decided to make one myself.

Some of the biggest businesses were started to solve a personal problem. While problem-solving should be at the root of every business, having a personal stake in the development of your product or service can really give you the passion and drive it needs to succeed. For me, that stake was my health.

LAUNCHPAD: What sets your products apart from other sunscreens?

For a long time, I never thought twice about what I was putting on my skin. I have had pre-cancer cells on my face, and after many visits to the dermatologist, I discovered that when I used skincare products or cosmetics containing oxybenzone, these cells seemed to grow. Although there is not a clear position on oxybenzone, some studies have shown that oxybenzone may enhance pre-cancer cells, so it seemed crazy to me that we'd be putting it on our skin. Meanwhile, parabens—a category of preservatives commonly used in sunscreen—have been linked to hormone disruption and breast cancer.

Once I found an effective SPF solution that would eliminate these ingredients, I had to make sure it felt awesome—I used to itch when I put on sunscreens that contained minerals or zinc. So we devised a formula that goes on silky smooth in a fine, continuous mist and dries fast. The best part? It smells delightful, which makes the application process enjoyable. We use the same fruit essences that we use in Hint Water to give Hint Sunscreen a delightful and subtle fragrance (currently pineapple, grapefruit and pear). Not surprisingly, the amazing scent is all people have been talking about. At the end of the day, I consider myself a consumer advocate. I care about health and helping consumers get the healthiest products they can without sacrificing enjoyment. This is what sets Hint apart from the rest. So far, that's been a delicious water with no sweeteners and an SPF that smells amazing, but there's no telling what's next.

Hint Water

LAUNCHPAD: How do you practice wellness in your life?

I start each day with a 45-minute hike through the Marin headlands with my husband and dogs. This is en essential part of my morning routine because it allows me to get centered and reset before diving into my day. Exercise is very important to me and truly helps me stay balanced and centered. Starting my day with it ensures I feel refreshed, energized and ready to take on anything.

LAUNCHPAD: Any future plans for the brand?

We are very excited about the future of Hint and we are definitely looking to expand a bit ore into the beauty space, but we're not trying to create a line of beauty products and be everything to everyone. At the end of the day, everything we create at Hint ladders up to our mission to make it easy and enoyable to live a healthier lifestyle. There are exciting things to come, so stay tuned!

For more information, visit the official site here.

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