Once upon a time, I was a Girl Scout. And I was pretty damn serious about it, too. Every Monday, my parents would drive me to our local community center, where I'd sit perched on a yoga mat, paying rapt attention at hourlong meetings about God knows what. I'd be on my shit come spring, too, peddling boxes of cookies to hungry shoppers outside of Target. Yeah, I racked up a few badges here and there, but nothing was more affirming than my very first camping trip. I was so excited about learning how to build a fire, singing campfire songs over s'mores, and falling asleep underneath the stars.
But you know, of course, that it didn't go down like that, right? That weekend in 2000 was when I learned that the great outdoors and I do not get along. I don't remember much, aside from the mosquito bites that bubbled up in unspeakable places, the tears that I cried underneath those same fucking stars I wanted to peacefully sleep under, and my greasy, greasy face. The latter happened because I decided to cover every inch of my body with a sexy combination of SPF 50 Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen Lotion and bug spray. It took days to get the yucky white residue off afterwards.
I haven't been camping since, but I still do use SPF... uhhh, sometimes. My favorite NARS tinted moisturizer has SPF 30, but that's something that I only use a few times a week. If I know I'll be outdoors for most of the day, like at a festival, then I'll slather on Kiehl's Activated Sun Protector Water-Light Lotion For Face & Body, but only on my body. I just haven't found a face SPF that doesn't leave me looking like the shiny Brownie I once was, which is a problem considering STAT News released a study asserting that Black Americans are four times more likely than white Americans to be diagnosed with melanoma after their cancer has already spread.
Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa, the founders of Bolden, don't know my story, but somehow they heard my cry. Their answer: an SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer designed specifically for brown-skinned sun worshippers who don't want to walk around looking crazy. It's a small tube, but I've been using it for around two months now and still should have enough to last me until Labor Day, at least. Two pumps is really all you need, when properly layered. If your skin-care routine already encompasses other moisturizing elements (like serums and face oils), then a dab of this sheer formula can go right on top of your heavier moisturizer. It's so light that I usually forget I have it on. Fighting skin cancer and banishing ash? I'd say Bolden has earned a badge.
Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer, $28, coming soon to Bolden.
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