Kara Goldin has gone from the Silicon Valley tech scene to beverage entrepreneur and is now entering the beauty world.
Goldin, a former AOL executive and chief executive officer and founder of Hint — the flavored water brand carried everywhere from Whole Foods to Target to Google’s campus (where it’s the “official flavored water”) — is launching her first personal-care product. A range of sunscreen available in three scents that mirror her beverages quietly launched on Drinkhint.com early in February and will see a national rollout over the next few months.
The SPF30, which comes in a spray to start, contains real fruit essences like Hint’s flavored water counterparts. Formulated without oxybenzone or parabens, the chemical sunblock is available in Grapefruit, Pear or Pineapple and retails for $24 a bottle.
The impetus for starting with sunblock was three-fold for Goldin.
“For years, I had tiny little pre-cancer patches….Just purely out of consumer consumption, when I used products that had oxybenzone or parabens I’d find that these spots would grow. My dermatologist said not to use them, but I asked myself why are [they] in so many products?” Goldin said.
She explained that in addition to the ingredient piece, price (“trusted brands were $45 a bottle”) and smell also factored in to her decision to start development on an SPF a little over a year ago.
“Our pursuit of this was really to say, ‘Can you have a great product that smells and feels good and remove ingredients that are known to be not good; that’s our mission,” Goldin said.
She drew a parallel to Hint’s main business: unsweetened water with flavor derived from real fruit essences (for comparison, flavored water market leader Vitamin Water uses sugar in its drinks). Goldin started the company after quitting a soft drink habit that had her drinking eight to 10 servings of Diet Coke a day — and she hasn’t looked back. Sunscreen mist is just a start, she maintained, hinting that other forms of sunblock and other products will soon follow.
She declined to comment on sales, but the company is said to be nearing $100 million in retail revenues.