Posed image of Germaine Bolds-Leftridge

Germaine Bolds-Leftridge already owns a marketing company that has cultivated multicultural brands, including Oyin Handmade, Curls Dynasty and Mielle Organics. Now, she is prepared to launch her own brand to benefit women in the “platinum” age group. (Courtesy photo)

By Megan Sayles
AFRO Business Writer
Report for America Corps Member

After 30 years of selling and marketing multicultural beauty brands under her company GBL Sales, Germaine Bolds-Leftridge is launching her own brand of skincare products dedicated to women of color over the age of 50.

IKNOW Skincare Solution Treatments will provide what she calls the “platinum” age group with a regimen that will address the needs of their skin, which are distinct from their White counterparts.

Bolds-Leftridge, a graduate of Morgan State University, was inspired to design her own beauty brand after her mother died last summer. She said her mom had beautiful skin, and even in her hospital room, she continued to nourish it.

“It was like a light bulb went off, and there are a lot of skincare brands that just throw in that it’s for a woman of color,” said Bolds-Leftridge. “This brand was created intentionally with love and authenticity for women of color 50 plus platinum group.”

Both her mother and grandmother owned salons, so taking this path into the beauty industry came naturally to Bolds-Leftridge.

According to the entrepreneur, the skin of women of color sags while their counterparts’ skin wrinkles. In light of this, Bolds-Leftridge has purposefully put ingredients into her products that help to plump up the skin and make it more vibrant. Rather than resist the aging process, her products embrace it. “You will never hear us talk about anti-aging because I don’t believe there is such a thing,” said Bolds-Leftridge. “As long as God allows you and gives you the privilege of living another day, you’re aging.”

The skincare line will feature eight products, and the names encapsulate the new relationship buyers have with their skin. Some of the products include Me First, a plum enzyme powder cleanser; Immerse, a neroli hydrosol mist that acts as a cleanser and toner; Eyes Matter, a smoothing eye serum; and Very Necessary, a broad spectrum SPF 40 moisturizer. The latter was made intentionally to promote use of sunscreen in women of color, some of whom think the melanin in their skin is enough to protect them from the sun.

The products will be sold online, and the brand’s website will be live in the next couple of weeks to start sales. One advantage IKNOW Skincare Solution Treatments has over its competitors is its affordability.

This entrepreneur hopes her brand can prevent women of color from getting caught in the “age trap,” which she described as something that inhibits them from continuing to imagine a future for themselves. “The skin is our largest organ, and what we’re trying to do is help these women to think about their relationship with their skin in a different manner,” she said.

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