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I’ve been using PROVEN Skincare for about two years. The brand first caught my eye in college as I scrolled through Instagram. Its promise of a three product routine was highly appealing, as I tended to alternate between “makeup wipe and pray” and whichever cleanser’s packaging I happened to like most at CVS that month. I could handle three products.
Since skin loves consistency, I figured PROVEN’s multifunctional offerings could keep me on the straight and narrow. Two years later, it’s safe to say the brand has delivered.
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Skincare From “The Most Comprehensive Skincare Database Ever Created”
Although by now more *custom skincare* options have popped up on the market, PROVEN Skincare was the first I found.
Developed by Ming Zhao and Dr. Amy Yuan, educated at Harvard Business School and Stanford University respectively, PROVEN Skincare launched in 2017. The brand graduated from the winter 2018 cycle of the Y Combinator, winning The MIT AI 2018 award for its Skin Genome Project™ which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze data from over eight million consumer reviews, 4,000 academic journals and 20,000 skincare ingredients – for its one-by-one personalization formula.
Zhao and Yuan hope that simplifying and customizing each person’s routine allows for a quick, easy, and effortless way to get to the root of your skincare needs. Third-party clinical reviews have proved their clean, nontoxic, and cruelty-free formulas to be enormously effective.
Taking The Quiz
When I first signed up for PROVEN Skincare, I took a quiz asking me all about my skin and skin concerns. At the time, I was living in rural Virginia, headed shortly to my hometown in Florida after graduation. With the exception of my college town, I had lived in hot, humid climates. My skin has lots of freckles, and I’m more likely to have many small acne bumps than a big, noticeable zit or breakout – subtle, but consistent texture. Plus, my twin sister and I have rosacea. Certain histamines, like red wine, provoke an immediate pink flush that sticks around for hours (so people can always tell if I’ve had a drink).
In addition to skin type, the quiz also takes into account season, stress level, alcohol consumption, UV index, water hardness in your zip code, and more, so your formulation will change with each shipment dependent on outside factors too.
Some questions were easy, while others required more familiarity with the nitty-gritty of my skin, but overall I checked out pleased with my experience. At $129.99, the PROVEN Custom 3-Step Skincare Routine isn’t cheap, but is meant to last you two months – and often lasts me longer, which I’ll get to shortly as both a pro and con of the brand’s structure.
My Custom Regimen
PROVEN Skincare’s system includes a personalized cleanser, night cream, and daytime SPF moisturizer. It arrives in three sleek silver bottles that always look great on my bathroom shelf. Each is available à la carte, although using the system altogether will yield the greatest benefits.
I use the Personalized Cleanser ($34.99) both morning and night. It’s mostly clear, with a slight white cast, and is gentle on my skin yet deeply penetrating. Once a week, you’re supposed to leave this face wash on as a purification mask, although I often forget.
The rest is easy enough. In the morning, I use the Personalized Daytime Moisturizer ($54.99) with SPF. I love knowing that sunscreen is automatically included in my daily routine and formulated just for me. Having lived in both Florida and Hawai’i, sunscreen custom-made for my skin makes PROVEN feel worth it alone, especially knowing it works thoughtfully with the rest of my system.
At night, I swap out the moisturizer for the Personalized Night Cream ($99.99), which feels rich and decadent. For me, it’s occasionally been a yellow, clay-like mixture (with a sulfuric odor, if you’re sensitive to strong scents) and sometimes a fluffy white. The yellow has occasionally made me question whether the coloring is on-target or has oxidized over time when I’ve been particularly slow with my use. The night cream, however, has always been my favorite of the products because of its intense hydration and silky, luxurious feel.
By bundling the three together in this Personalized System ($129.99), you’ll save more than if you were to buy each product individually.
My Honest Opinion After Two Years Of Using PROVEN Skincare
As promised, the PROVEN regimen is easy to stick to – simple enough that I’ve kept up with it for two years and counting. I feel confident it does its job. Online, the shipped formulations are displayed along with my previous ones, listing out each included ingredient and why it addresses my problems.
The labels assigned to my profile make me laugh in slight offense; I’m 24, and estimated I might have 4-6 drinks weekly. So the brand has labeled me an “extreme alcoholic,” as well as “severely dehydrated” and “highly stressed.” My profile seems to have a much more extreme view of myself than I do. (I drink water, I swear.)
My one frustration with the PROVEN system is the shipping frequency. Although I use it daily, perhaps I don’t use it enough. Even stretched out to the maximum break of twelve weeks, I’m never finished with my bottles before the next ones come. Not only is it expensive and wasteful, but it also makes my seasonal formulations ever-so-slightly inaccurate. It’s fall, but I still have to go through my spring skin care because I hate throwing away a half-full bottle mid-use, even if it means I might be using a slightly different formula. I wish the brand had the option to buy only as you need.
In that sense, I do think that if you have a rapidly changing lifestyle (say you move often, or change up your habits), the formulations may be *too* precise – but worst case scenario, they’re as accurate as what you buy off the shelf.
I’m also a product reviewer, which means I’m often trying out new serums and creams. PROVEN is always my baseline, but I’d love to know more about how the system interacts with others. Retinol? Vitamin C cream? Deep cleansing masks? Realistically, even the skin minimalist will be using another product or two at some point. Having only three products makes me consistent, but others may crave more extended rituals.
The most appealing aspect of the PROVEN skincare system – and the reason I’ve been a loyal subscriber – is the trust I have in my skin routine.
Knowing I have the sun protection, cleansing, and deep nighttime hydration I need goes a long way in fortifying my confidence, especially as my stress and hormone levels may fluctuate. While it’s expensive for me, a gal previously accustomed to picking off the shelf at a drugstore, it feels like an excellent value for that kind of reassurance. If you’re like I am and your ideal skin routine involves not thinking about it too much, PROVEN Skincare is a great pick for you. And if you’re attuned to each ingredient, combination, and issue, the meticulous formulation is also for you!