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A few years back, I realized I needed to use an acne face wash on a daily basis to keep my skin from breaking out. I’m not blemish-prone by any means, but I’m also the type to freak out over even one pimple popping up on my face, which is why I don’t play games when it comes to being proactive and choosing a cleanser that will stop breakouts before they even start.

Enter 2020, which, if you’ve been following my skincare columns, you know hasn’t been kind to my face. As much as I loved Bliss’ new Clear Genius line, when my skin decided to enter a drought, it didn’t seem smart to overdo it with it a cleanser and toner packed with salicylic acid that felt gentle enough but wasn’t doing my parched skin any favors. Still, when I turned back to oil and jelly cleansers like Glossier and Bobby Brown, hydration returned to my complexion, but so did a few blemishes. Call me crazy, but I’ll take a few dry spots over a few pimples.

As I started working on our fall and winter skincare guide, I took a closer look at the products on my own shelf and I noticed Bolden’s Skin Clarifying Cleanser declared it prevents breakouts, but there was no salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide to be found. Instead of using those common acne fighters, Bolden’s clarifying cleanser is formulated with Zinc Gluconate, which regulates sebum production and fights bacteria responsible for blemishes, and Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract, which is antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory.

Though I wasn’t familiar with either of those ingredients, I was in desperate need of a cleanser that would keep my skin clear and hydrated so, scared as I was, I took a chance on Bolden. When I say I didn’t notice a difference in my skin, I mean that in the best way possible. I didn’t experience any irritation from switching over to a new brand, my skin wasn’t dried out, and, more importantly, I haven’t had any breakouts since testing this product during the past two weeks.

Having finally found the secret — or secrets — to eliminating my dry skin, I couldn’t take a chance on a cleanser drying my face out, but Bolden hasn’t even come close to doing so. The pH-balanced formula has also helped my skin maintain its newly restored radiance, for which I am more than grateful. Using this cleanser in conjunction with Bolden’s SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer (which doesn’t leave any hint of a white cast) and hyaluronic acid has kept my skin on the mend and I have no intention of turning back.

The cherry on top of all this is the fact that Bolden was created by Chinelo Chidozie and Ndidi Obidoa, Black women entrepreneurs who created a cruelty-free skincare brand specifically for people of color. Their products are paraben and sulfate-free and they are made right here in the United States. Want to know more? Check out their full line of products here.


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