Of course, sunscreen is important—it’s a product that should be used year-round, especially in the summer, but finding an option that doesn’t leave a weird, chalky film on dark skin can often feel like a losing battle. Even if you try to blend it in, a faint veil remains, and the products that promise they won’t usually end up pilling with a white residue. That’s all thanks to the zinc and titanium dioxides used in the sunscreens, which reflect sunlight, but are only undetectable against pale skin tones.
Enter Bolden USA, a skincare line formulated specifically for richer complexions. The range was created by sisters Chinelo Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa, who grew up in Nigeria and wanted to create a line of products specifically targeted to address the skin issues faced by women of color. Currently, the range includes a toner and cleanser, both meant to address hyperpigmentation, and shea oils created with ethically-sourced shea nuts from Burkina Faso. A glycolic acid serum and a sunscreen formulated especially for dark skin, the latter of which we’re most excited about, will be the next to launch.
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“I always ask myself [when buying sunscreen], ‘Is this a product that wil leave a white cast on me?’ and then I realize, whoever made the sunblock probably didn’t have me in mind,” Chiozie tells OkayAfrica. “We’ve tested the Bolden sunscreen on ourselves and a wide spectrum of skin tones, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Folks are very excited that we are increasing the number of product options that work really well for their skin concerns.” Instead of the aformentioned zinc and titanium oxides, Bolden’s formula uses octinoxate and avobenzone to protect against the sun’s rays, with a side of squalane for moisture, and safflower oil to help repair the skin’s barrier. It’s basically a sunscreen that moonlights as a skincare serum.
Check out the Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer at boldenusa.com priced at $28—the product will officially launch soon, so make sure you sign up for the brand’s newsletter to find out exactly when you can expect yours.