A Review of Bolden's SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer To Hydrate Skin

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Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer

Bolden Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

What We Like
  • Formulated with vitamin C

  • Doesn’t leave a white cast

  • Plays nice with other products

  • Doesn’t leave behind a sticky residue

  • Hydrates without feeling greasy

What We Don't Like
  • Pump dispenser can get stuck

If you’re looking for a sunscreen formulated to brighten, hydrate, and protect without leaving a white cast or sticky feeling on the skin, give the Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer a try.


Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer

Bolden Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

We purchased the Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer so our writer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.

Sunscreen. The dermatologist-recommended white goop used to protect our skin from the sun.  Wearing sunscreen daily has never been a priority for me on beach vacations, and even when I did slap some on, I wasn’t applying it properly. For most of my life, I bought into the myth that Black folks can’t get a sunburn, or worse, get skin cancer. In fact, not only do we get skin cancer, we are more likely to die from it than our white counterparts.

Now as a beauty writer, getting the facts from dermatologists about the importance of sun protection has changed my view completely. Now that I protect my skin daily, I see the value of using a facial sunscreen on my neck and decolletage daily. However, as a Black woman, I know how many sunscreens of the past and the present leave a white cast and sticky residue. Bolden from day one has formulated their skincare products for Black skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, so I’m excited to put their SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer to the test.

Ahead—my honest review of this SPF moisturizer.

Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer


About My Skin: Combination, prone to dark spots and hormonal breakouts

At this point, I know my skin pretty well. For starters, it hates when I overdo anything, so I have to treat my skin with products that are effective yet gentle. Each morning, I wash my face with a cream cleanser. Though in the summer months, I use a gentle foaming cleanser to cut through the oil my skin produces.

Next, I follow up with hyaluronic acid, vitamin C serum, and sunscreen. At night, I treat my skin. I start with an oil cleanser (on days I wear makeup) and then double cleanse with a gentle foam cleanser. I follow up with hyaluronic acid, retinol, and facial oil. For an extra treatment for my dark spots, I treat my skin with a glycolic acid pad twice a week. 

The Packaging: Needs a little work 

The sunscreen comes in a green tube with a pump. Initially, I loved the design. However, once I began to use the product daily the pump didn’t always cooperate. In addition, the clear cap used to cover the dispenser broke and I’d find product residue left inside after each use. 

The Feel: Lightweight and hydrating 

I love the texture of this sunscreen: it's creamy, yet lightweight.

As I apply it over my skincare products it glides on without pilling or leaving a white residue behind.

I love the texture of this sunscreen: it’s creamy, yet lightweight.

We’ve all had an experience with sunscreen that leaves the face feeling sticky. I am happy to report this sunscreen feels just like a moisturizer. No sticky residue even after hours of wear in the summer heat. One other benefit is this is perfect under makeup and even plays nice with primers. 

Bolden Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

Ingredients: Brightening and hydrating 

Bolden’s sulfate, paraben, and phthalate-free facial moisturizer is formulated with broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) protection, vitamin C, squalane, and safflower oil. The formula’s vitamin C (tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate) is a stable form of the brightener that helps stimulate collagen production and fades skin discoloration aka hyperpigmentation. And squalane protects the skin’s intercellular matrix, reducing dryness and fine lines, while safflower oil repairs the skin’s barrier.

The Results: Protected skin without a residue

When applying other sunscreens after my serums, I often get pilling. But with this formula, there was no pilling. And, best of all, no white cast or sticky residue. When used without makeup my combination skin never became an oil slick—even when the temperatures reached the high 90s.

With makeup, the same was true and applying this before my primer didn’t cause any problems. Again, there was no pilling or product separation and my makeup stayed intact without any overproduction of oil. 

Bolden Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

The Value: Worth it

As a daily use sunscreen, a little of this goes a long way. Anything that protects my skin from harmful sun rays and is boosted with skincare-like ingredients is worth it in my book. 

Bolden Brightening Moisturizer SPF 30

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

Similar Products: Great options 

Black Girl Sunscreen SPF 30 ($16): This oxybenzone and octinoxate-free sunscreen soothes and smooths out skin with avocado, jojoba, and sunflower oils, cacao, and vitamin C-rich carrot juice to help protect melanin-rich skin.

Supergoop Daily Dose Vitamin C + SPF 40 Serum ($46): Infused with 10 percent vitamin C and niacinamide, this dual-use SPF brightens and protects from both UV and blue light.

EltaMD UV Sheer Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ ($32): This lightweight, hydrating formula offers up to 80 minutes of sweat and water-resistance protection and is packed with squalane, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and zinc oxide

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a sunscreen that protects and brightens without leaving a white cast or a sticky residue, the Bolden SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer is worth a try. It is now in my daily rotation and will be for a long time to come. 


  • Product Name SPF 30 Brightening Moisturizer
  • Product Brand Bolden
  • Price $28.00
  • Weight 2 oz.
  • Ingredients Active Ingredients: Homosalate 15%, Octisalate 5%, Avobenzone 3%, Octocrylene 2.7% Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Cetearyl Olivate, Silica, Sorbitan Olivate, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Trehalose, Squalane, Parfum, Phenoxyethanol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes, Tocopherol, Allantoin, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Oryza Sativa Bran Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Helianthus Annuus Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Acetyl Rheum Rhaponticum Root Extract, Panthenyl Triacetate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Sodium Hydroxide
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Gupta AK, Bharadwaj M, Mehrotra R. Skin Cancer Concerns in People of Color: Risk Factors and PreventionAsian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2016;17(12):5257-5264. Published 2016 Dec 1. doi:10.22034/APJCP.2016.17.12.5257

  2. Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin HealthNutrients. 2017;9(8):866. Published 2017 Aug 12. doi:10.3390/nu9080866

  3. Jeong EH, Yang H, Kim JE, Lee KW. Safflower Seed Oil and Its Active Compound Acacetin Inhibit UVB-Induced Skin Photoaging. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2020 Oct 28;30(10):1567-1573. doi: 10.4014/jmb.2003.03064. PMID: 32522955.

  4. Huang ZR, Lin YK, Fang JY. Biological and pharmacological activities of squalene and related compounds: potential uses in cosmetic dermatologyMolecules. 2009;14(1):540-554. Published 2009 Jan 23. doi:10.3390/molecules14010540

  5. Streit L. 8 impressive benefits of carrot juice. Healthline.

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