Proven Skincare Review
Table of Contents
About Proven Skincare
I’m a skincare nut. Can’t get enough of the stuff. But with so many brands and science-y terms, in the past, I’ve struggled to find a formula that’s right for me. That’s why I’ve been hung up on custom skincare lately.
Proven Skincare provides clinically-proven, personalized treatments for your unique skin and lifestyle. I learned that by taking a 3-minute skincare quiz, I could address all of my concerns with a routine built just for me.
I’m not alone in my fascination with Proven either, the brand has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, Allure, and People magazine, and was a contestant on Shark Tank. It has 125k followers on Instagram too.
To say that there’s a buzz going on about this company is an understatement, but I had to wonder, are they worth all the hype?
In this Proven Skincare review, I’ll take an in-depth look at the brand and its products, customer ratings, promotions, and more, to help you decide if they’re really worth the buy.
Why You Should Trust Us
Our mission is to help you make better, more informed purchase decisions.
Our team spends hours researching, consulting with medical experts, gathering insight from expert professionals, reviewing customer feedback, and analyzing products to provide you with the information you need.
Overview Of Proven Skincare
Our skin is the first thing people see, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that skin problems such as acne, melasma, and skin aging have a substantial psychosocial impact.
In a review addressing the psychological impact of acne in teenagers, research found that it can affect quality of life, self-esteem, and mood. Moreover, the presence of acne was associated with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideations.
I know how I feel on bad skin days, and despite cover-up, it’s hard to achieve the same level of confidence I normally have.
Fortunately, skin problems can substantially improve with the right approach. But trying to find the right skin care product without professional advice can be time-consuming, expensive, and even self-defeating.
I’ve been through a handful of expensive products that are either too harsh, don’t work, or make my skin too greasy. It’s been tough to find the right one, so I relate to the founder’s story.
Proven Skincare began with a personal mission. Ming Zhao (founder and CEO) had difficult skin and she was always scouring the shelves to find products that would work for her.
Sounds familiar. For Zhao, the process was “frustrating, time consuming and expensive,” so she decided to reinvent it.
Ming partnered up with cofounder Dr. Amy Yuan, who shared her vision of a holistic approach to skincare backed by data, with individualized, real results.
The San Francisco-based company launched in 2018 while both of the women were pregnant. Talk about super moms!
How does it work? The team uses your answers to the Skin Genome Quiz to find the best ingredients for your skin and your Proven Skincare formula.
In this Proven Skincare review, I’ll explore the Skin Genome Project that backs the quiz, some of the questions covered, and sample formula results.
Before I get into all this exciting science, take a look at the highlights I rounded up for this Proven Skincare review:
- Backed by Ivy League science with the use of the Skin Genome Project
- Partnered with dermatologists and leading specialists
- Comprehensive questioning supported by science to formulate individualized products
- The company has an interest in your journey from its beginning and at each stage as your skin evolves
- Reasonably priced for premium products
- 35% savings with a subscription
The Skin Genome Project
If you’re not a science person/maybe you zoned out in high school biology, don’t worry. This genetic-based program is easy to understand without getting too deep into the technical stuff.
Proven creates their formulas using data from the Skin Genome Project, winner of MIT’s 2018 Artificial Intelligence award.
This project analyzes the effectiveness of 20,238 skincare ingredients, has information on over 100,000 individual products, over 8 million testimonials, and has been featured in more than 4,000 scientific publications.
It almost makes my head spin, until I remember that it’s a super-smart AI computer storing all this info.
On top of that data, the Skin Genome Project takes into account environmental factors including water hardness, humidity level, and UV index where you live.
That irritating sensation hard water sometimes gives you after the shower or harsh winds battering your face in the winter? Yeah…They can do a number on your skin.
The Proven Skincare Quiz takes these environmental factors into consideration. For instance, it asks you where you live, to get information on humidity level and UV index.
Using the data gathered on ingredients and other skincare products available, they’ve identified natural substances that are most effective.
Proven formulas are developed in collaboration with Dr. Hollmig of Aesthetic Dermatology at Stanford University. The products are backed by science, data, and expert dermatology—and as you’ll see in this Proven Skincare review, the results are telling.
What customers are saying: “I have been using this for only a couple of weeks and WOW you see almost an immediate difference. I swear this stuff is magic – will definitely be my new go to :-).”
Proven Skincare Quiz
When you perform the Proven Skincare Quiz, you identify your main skin concerns: sensitivity, redness, fine lines or wrinkles, loss of firmness or elasticity, hyperpigmentation, acne, dryness or other.
I thought it was cool that as I progressed through the quiz, ingredients are added beneath the bar, as Proven planned a personalized formula for me.
Proven asks nonspecific questions in addition to the ones posed on your individual problem areas:
- If you have been diagnosed with skin conditions such as rosacea, seborrhoeic dermatitis, facial psoriasis, or eczema/atopic dermatitis;
- How your skin feels presently and in photos;
- Whether your products are addressing your concerns;
- The amount of plane travel, screen time, sun exposure;
- And your zip code.
It’s thorough, and I like that about Proven.
The entire process takes 3-5 minutes, then you receive a personalized prescription, which suggests a set of 3 Proven Skincare products.
Each product includes detailed information on the ingredients: the role they play in combating your dermatological issues, and how they contribute to healthy skin.
You can buy individual products, make a one-time purchase of the set, or subscribe to receive it discounted (more on the Proven subscription later on).
I took the quiz 4 times for this Proven Skincare review to give you an inside look at the Anti-Aging, Acne, Hyperpigmentation, and Dry Skin formulas. If anyone asks, I’m one of four quadruplets…with the same name…
What customers are saying: “I am shocked how well this works. I’m a sucker for skin care products, but this time I thought I’d take before and after pictures and see if it was really doing anything. My concern was sagging skin. My pictures, a month apart, same room, same time of day, no facial expression, are amazing. The difference is obvious.”
Proven Skincare Anti-Aging Formula
Picture me, at my computer, selecting the fine lines and wrinkles concern.
Full disclosure in this Proven Skincare review: I am in my late 20s and do not have deep lines or wrinkles, but I’m definitely interested in preventative measures and slowing down the aging process.
Here are some sample questions Proven asked me, with 4-5 possible answers varying from not concerned to extremely concerned:
- How concerned are you with fine lines and wrinkles?
- Specifically, how concerned are you about the wrinkles around your mouth or forehead?
- Are you concerned that your skin is thinning, wrinkled and sagging?
- And what about fine lines, wrinkles, or crow’s feet around the eyes?
I answered some questions on how much time I spend in front of a screen (probably too much), if I wear sunscreen regularly (I’m pretty good with that), and other environment-related questions I mentioned earlier.
Pretty cool, right? Proven uses your zip code to fill in the data in the second box (because who would be able to answer questions on factors like ‘humidity forecast,’ aside from a meteorologist?).
Their award-winning technology ensures that the Anti-Aging Formula is suited to your skin and lifestyle.
The scientists on the team select 51 active ingredients to cleanse, protect and renew your skin, and—I love this—no one else will have the same formula. Except for my make-believe identical sisters, that is.
Proven breaks down the costs associated with the Anti-Aging Formula:
- Cleanser: $35
- SPF Moisturizer: $55
- Night Cream: $95
You can purchase individual products or the entire Anti-Aging Set ($145) for a 2-month supply of the daily routine.
With an auto-refill membership, the 2-month supply costs $119, and the fourth set is free.
According to happy Proven Skincare customers, 81% see more radiant, brighter, and younger-looking skin.
Since the Anti-Aging Formula varies across individuals, yours won’t include the same ingredients as mine, but you can get a sense of the info Proven provides:
- Granactive Retinol: a retinoid near prescription strength, though gentler; promotes cell turnover and renewal and improves the clearness and smoothness of skin. As described in a review published by the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology in 2016, many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of topical retinoids in the treatment of photoaged skin (skin with deep wrinkles, inelasticity, easy bruising, mottled pigmentation, and roughness). Common side effects include skin irritation, redness, and skin desquamation (peeling). It’s not recommended to use retinoids during pregnancy.
- Ubiquinone: renews and brightens the skin, stimulating collagen and elastin with long-lasting benefits. Oxidative stress leads to skin aging. Ubiquinone is a well-studied antioxidant that combats oxidative stress resulting in anti-aging effects on the skin. Topical ubiquinone is well-tolerated.
- Mandelic Acid: derived from almonds and firms and brightens the skin. In a study conducted in California, 24 participants between 42 and 68 years old applied topical mandelic acid to the lower eyelid skin twice a day for 4 weeks. The authors reported an increase in the elasticity of the lower eyelid skin of 25.4%, and an increase in the firmness of 23.8%, improving the overall quality of the skin. Mandelic acid is well-tolerated.
- Curcumin (Turmeric Extract): delays the appearance of aging and strengthens the skin.
- Ginseng Extract: a superfood that brightens and smoothes the skin.
- Green Tea Extract: an antioxidant that prevents cell damage, nourishes the skin, and protects the skin barrier.
- Ferulic Acid: a plant-derived substance that protects the skin against UV exposure, pollution, and signs of aging. As described in a review by K. Zduńska et. al, ferulic acid has antioxidant properties, protects the skin from photodamage, and accelerates wound healing. It delays skin photoaging processes and provides brightness to the skin. It’s also well-tolerated.
- Niacinamide: softens the looks of wrinkles and dark spots. In one study, 50 women with photoaging signs applied topical 5% niacinamide to half of their faces for 12 weeks. After that period, the authors reported a significant improvement in skin appearance (reduction in fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, red blotches, and skin yellowing) as well as an improvement in skin elasticity. It’s usually well-tolerated.
- Matrixyl 3000: a patented ingredient that reduces the look of wrinkles in 28 days.
- Pomegranate Extract: boosts collagen and fights mineral pollutants.
These are just some of the 50+ ingredients prescribed in my Anti-Aging Formula.
Some of the ingredients are not specific to anti-aging. For instance, since I wear makeup, Licorice Root Extract and Probiotics are also included to assist in the cleansing process.
You’ll receive regular check-ins with Proven estheticians and dermatologists to make sure you’re on track with your skincare regime and are satisfied with the results.
What customers are saying: “I’m in my 60s and have all the usual nonsense you get when you spent your teens and 20s eschewing sunscreen in favor of chasing the perfect tan. I started using Proven about a year ago…I had a large “sunspot” on my left cheek. Nothing got rid of it or lightened it… until today… when I looked in the mirror and realized it’s GONE.“
Proven Skincare Acne Formula
If you think acne is a teen problem, let me assure you, it’s not. According to the International Dermal Institute: “Clinical studies indicate that between 40 and 55 percent of the adult population age 20-40 are diagnosed with low grade, persistent acne and oily skin.”
It may feel like you’re the only adult around experiencing acne, and I have one word for you ladies: makeup. Ok, two words: skincare.
Whether you get a sprinkle of pimples when you’re stressed, a monster of a cyst during your period, or persistent, seemingly untreatable acne, it’s definitely a confidence killer.
That’s why I thought it imperative to explore Proven’s Acne Formula and the quiz that goes with it. These are some of the questions you’ll be asked, with answers ranging from never to all the time:
- How often do you experience acne/breakouts?
- Do you have blackheads (clogged pores) or whiteheads?
- Do you get bumps that are tender and inflamed and look swollen and pink?
- What about large, red, and inflamed pimples?
- How often do you experience those bumps/pimples?
Questions are answered, ingredients pop up on the screen, et voila:
My Proven Skincare acne regime has 36 active ingredients and matches my location, incorporating unique factors like water hardness, temperature, humidity forecast, UV index, and air quality (which influence all skin issues in some way, shape, or form).
Here’s a cost breakdown of the Acne Formula:
- Cleanser: $35
- SPF Moisturizer: $55
- Night Cream: $95
You can choose which products you want or get a 2-month supply of the Acne Formula for $145, marked down from $185. If you opt for the auto-refill membership, you get a 2-month supply, with the fourth one free for the cost of $119.
Check out the highlights of my Acne Formula:
- Granactive Retinol: near prescription strength but gentler than tretinoin, it promotes cell turnover and gives you smooth skin. Topic retinol has been used for decades in the treatment of acne. In a clinical trial that involved 61 patients with acne, half of them received treatment with retinol 0.05%, and the other half a placebo lotion. Authors found that 88.8% of participants treated with topical retinol showed a fair to excellent overall improvement. Not recommended for dark skin tones as it can cause hyperpigmentation.
- Sulfur & Tea Tree Oil: One review highlights the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of these agents. Both have proven mild efficacy for acne vulgaris treatment.
- Salicylic Acid and L-Mandelic Acid: powerful and effective acids that peel away the surface of the skin for more even pigment. Evidence shows that salicylic acid and mandelic acid are both safe and effective for the treatment of acne and can be used in all skin tones. While mandelic acid can be used during pregnancy, salicylic acid is not recommended for pregnant women.
- Hamamelis Virginiana Leaf (Witch Hazel) Extract: reduces irritation, redness and inflammation.
- Probiotics: reinforce the skin’s natural barrier. In a review published in 2015, researchers concluded that probiotics may hold potential in the treatment of acne and photodamage.
- Vitamin D: has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that could help in acne treatment. However, evidence is insufficient to make a statement. Some studies showed a correlation between acne and vitamin D deficiency. The topical application of vitamin D can improve vitamin D serum levels.
- Willow Bark Extract: an exfoliator that shrinks the appearance of large pores.
- Green Tea Extract: helps to protect the skin’s barrier.
- Squalane: a plant-based agent oil that can be used as a safe, light moisturizer that will not clog your pores.
That’s not even 30% of the active ingredients in my Acne Formula. It’s a power-packed set of natural ingredients to keep that dreaded acne away and at bay.
On the website, an impressive 90% of customers agreed that their skin is rid of impurities since beginning the treatment.
What customers are saying: “I recommend Proven. I had very red skin, hyperpigmentation, dryness and acne flare ups. I saw a difference in redness after one week. Redness was completely gone in two weeks. Several weeks later the acne stopped significantly. Now 9 weeks later, I almost don’t need makeup anymore. My skin looks great and feels smooth.”
Proven Skincare Hyperpigmentation Formula
The last set I’ll look at in this Proven Skincare review is the Hyperpigmentation Formula.
For those with pimple problems, hyperpigmentation often follows (especially if you can’t fight the urge to pop them). Other factors trigger an increase in melanin production, including sun exposure, hormonal influences, and age.
These are some of the questions that the fourth Julia quadruplet was asked, with answers ranging from not concerned to extremely concerned, or yes/no/partially/not sure:
- How much of a concern is hyperpigmentation for you?
- Did you notice more hyperpigmentation appearing after sun exposure?
- Do the hyperpigmentation spots feel raised or bumpy on your skin?
- Did hormonal changes cause or worsen your hyperpigmentation?
- Is the hyperpigmentation the result of acne, acne scarring or other skin injuries?
As per usual, there were also questions on age, gender, skin tone, skin sensitivity, and environmental factors. At this point in my Proven Skincare review, you know what comes next:
Proven provides the price points for individual products in the Hyperpigmentation Formula:
- Cleanser: $35
- SPF Moisturizer: $55
- Night Cream: $95
The auto-refill Proven Skincare membership is marked down from $185 to $119 for two months of the Hyperpigmentation Formula.
One advantage of the auto-refill (aside from price) is that the fourth month’s supply is free. If you prefer a one-time purchase, you’ll receive the Cleanser, SPF Moisturizer, and Night Cream for $145, marked down from $185.
The folks at Proven Skincare excel at putting together clever combinations of ingredients that cover all the bases. In this formula, there’s a powerhouse duo of retinol kojic acid and mulberry extract.
Kojic acid is a fungal product that reduces hyperpigmentation, while mulberry extract is a component derived from a plant that showed skin-lightening effects.
Don’t forget a drop of Proven Skincare prickly pear seed oil to reduce redness and dryness. Vitamin C and licorice root will help with that redness too.
That’s only a handful of the ingredients in my Hyperpigmentation Formula.
If I can trust the reviews on the website, this Proven set is extremely helpful for reducing the effects of melanin overproduction: 87% of customers noticed a more even skin tone.
What customers are saying: “Very happy with the products. Skin looks better than it has in years.”
Proven Skincare Dry Skin Formula
Just like the other quizzes I took in this Proven Skincare review, I learned that you’ll be quizzed using evidence-based questions to formulate your Dry Skin Formula.
- Does your skin feel itchy, especially at night?
- Does your skin feel (or look) flaky or scaly?
- Does your skin feel rough, patchy, or uneven?
- Are you concerned with dark circles under or around the eyes?
- Does your current skincare routine address all your skin concerns?
I developed a Proven Skincare formula for a male between the age of 34 and 39, without sensitivities. I specified the formula to a hard water hardness, a temperature of 50-90F, and a humidity over 60%.
Proven provides the price points for individual products in the Dry Skin Formula:
- Cleanser: $35
- SPF Moisturizer: $55
- Night Cream: $95
Here are the more nitty-gritty details for this Proven Skincare product:
- $119 for the auto-refill membership, marked down from $185.
- Two months supply and the fourth set is free.
- A set for a two-month supply as a one-time purchase is $145 marked down from $185.
- A set includes a cleanser, an SPF cream, and a night cream.
The product for our male prototype addressed dry skin, offering hydration.
Squalane, Ceramide, and Sodium Hyaluronate are all ingredients that help the skin to gain and retain moisture. Proven Skincare’s Shea butter helps to do this work too.
Hyaluronate or hyaluronic acid is a molecule present in the extracellular matrix and has the capacity to retain water. There are also some ingredients that help to fight the pesky effects of inflammation, like Vitamin E and Iron.
I didn’t lose sight of the fact that this fellow travels often; green tea extract and ylang ylang oil give some extra support to the skin barrier and moderate oil production.
The results: 94% see an increase in the softness of their skin, 87% saw smoother skin and 81% saw a brighter complexion.
What customers are saying: “Let me paint you a picture of the face I had before Proven.. incredibly dry, flaky and rough to the touch… Initially after using Proven the first time my face felt so AMAZING… Now my face is GLOWING, I mean GLOWING. So moisturized so soft.”
Proven Skincare Membership
Proven Skincare offers a recurring membership for customers committed to their skin routine. I know that results can take a few months to show up, so I think something like this would be useful.
Once you sign up, the team ships the products to you, and you’re billed at intervals of 4, 6, or 8 weeks depending on your selection.
With your membership, you receive a 35% discount on the total value of the product set. When you have a Proven subscription, your journey is followed closely by the team who can personalize your formulations to stronger active concentrations as your skin changes.
The program is super flexible since you can cancel or modify your subscription whenever you like. For more info on conditions, check out the FAQ section of this Proven Skincare review.
Membership Sign Up
Signing up for the Proven Skincare membership is easy. Start by visiting ProvenSkincare.com
To subscribe to the membership as a new customer, you can either:
- Purchase full-sized product(s) (default 8-week subscription plan)
- Purchase full sized product set (default 8-week subscription plan)
If you’re a returning customer, visit your Account page, where instructions for the sign-up process are provided.
What customers are saying: “Fewer breakouts and fewer products.”
Proven Skincare Reviews: What Do Customers Think?
The company makes a lot of claims on their website and quotes customer satisfaction figures, but for the sake of this Proven Skincare review, I wanted to dig deeper.
On TrustPilot, Proven Skincare received an average of 4.6/5 stars out of a whopping 3.8k reviews with many singing a song to the tune of “FINALLY, something that works.”
Customers said that the products are effective, produced visible results, and are affordable. They were also happy about the customer service they received.
Many commented that when they were feeling completely defeated about their skincare, they tried Proven and noticed changes immediately.
For some customers, results took longer but they came nonetheless. The efficacy of Proven? Excellent across the board!
Here’s how one customer on TrustPilot summarized the entire brilliant experience:
“I have been using the Proven skincare line for a few weeks now and so far I love it. It’s made quite a big difference in my skins appearance, fine lines are nearly gone, less blackheads, no acne, lighter dark circles under my eyes, and my skin no longer struggles with being greasy. Their customer service is top notch too. I highly recommend them!”
Customers who posted reviews on ProductHunt were similarly happy across the board. Check out what one skincare enthusiast had to say about the brand:
“This product has been life changing for me. I have never been able to follow a skin care routine, but the ease of use and effectiveness of Proven keeps me motivated to use it consistently. I recommend it to everyone I know.“
Buyers also said that their skin was far more hydrated, balanced, and clear since they began their Proven Skincare regime. Their advice? Try it for yourself.
Is Proven Skincare Worth It?
It’s a rare feat that both customer service and the product meet the highest standards in the eyes of the customer, but Proven Skincare achieves it.
I love knowing that the product is “backed by the highest level science, and that the quiz supports each customer by getting to know their skin intimately.”
For the level of quality and thought that goes into these products, they’re of average price or lower compared to high-end beauty and skincare brands.
Proven Skincare gets even more points from me because, unlike other brands, the team stays with you through the journey providing support when needed.
In the end, I think Proven is great and would recommend it to anyone looking for a one-stop shop.
Rather than having an entire medicine cabinet full of skincare products, you can opt for three personalized ones that have so many ingredients, you don’t need a crazy amount of products.
Proven Skincare Promotions & Discounts
I hunted the website for deals to put in this Proven Skincare review.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a Proven Skincare promo code or a Proven Skincare discount code, but I did see that the brand has a referral program.
Share the brand with a friend and you’ll each get $25 when they make a purchase.
Additionally, when you subscribe, you’ll get 30% off your order, plus free gifts, and a Reformulation Guarantee.
Where To Buy Proven Skincare
You can purchase Proven Skincare products on ProvenSkincare.com, Sephora, Nordstrom, Walgreens, and Amazon.
If you’re buying from Amazon, make sure to verify that the seller is actually Proven Skincare. I’ve found that’s the best way to ensure what you get is authentic and truly customized.
Cancel Proven Skincare Membership
I should note: In order to be eligible for cancellation with Proven Skincare, you must submit your request 3 business days before your next subscription date.
It’s not a big deal to cancel your Proven Skincare Membership. Simply email [email protected].
Proven Skincare Shipping Policy
Proven Skincare ships to anywhere in the continental US.
They are working on getting their products all around the world, and if you’re interested, you can email the team at [email protected] and you’ll be the first to find out when they can ship to your area.
Shipping times vary based on your location. After you check out, Proven needs 1-2 weeks to finalize your personalized formulations prior to shipping.
Once shipped, you can expect your skincare products to arrive in 5-7 business days.
Proven Skincare Return Policy
According to the website, the Night Cream and SPF Moisturizer are eligible for re-formulation within 28 days of purchase.
Email [email protected] and the customer experience team will find the fit for your skin needs.
For all other orders, the products are personalized for your skin, and for that reason, returns are not possible, though as a subscriber, you’re covered by the Reformulation Guarantee.
This promises one free reformulation for any products that don’t fit the bill.
Contact Proven Skincare
If there are any questions you’re left with after this Proven Skincare review, you can contact their team in a few ways:
- Fill out the Contact Form on their website
- Phone: 1-650-427-0836
- Email: [email protected]
- Mailing Address: 350 Townsend st. San Francisco, CA 94107
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