Proven is a personalized skincare brand that was featured on Shark Tank and the TODAY show. The brand describes their product line as “personalized, clinically effective skincare formulated for you based on your skin.”
But is personalized skincare legit, or is it just a marketing gimmick? Does Proven use research-backed ingredients for improving skin quality? Does the brand use any questionable additive ingredients? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of Proven Skincare?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Proven’s formulations based on medical studies to give our take on whether the brand is likely to improve skin quality or if it’s a waste of money.
We’ll share our concerns about the full ingredient lists (or lack thereof) and feature unsponsored Proven customer reviews.
Missing Personalized Ingredient Lists
In researching this article, we submitted test responses on Proven’s website to see what a full “personalized” formulation would look like.
However, when we reached the stage of the personalized formulation checkout, the full ingredient lists were missing, as shown below:
This appears to be just a technical bug, since not a single ingredient is showing, but this is a consumer safety issue and we urge Proven to immediately rectify this.
Consumers need to know what the ingredients are in their skincare products so they can make informed, safe purchase decisions and avoid ingredients they may be allergic or sensitive to.
Proven does sell some standard, non-personalized cosmetics which we’ll review in the next section.
Proven Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients in Proven’s cleanser are shown above. This product contains a number of research-backed ingredients.
Panax ginseng extract was shown in a 2017 medical review to have a potent anti-aging effect. The study authors described that the appearance of wrinkles: “...remarkably improved with [Panax ginseng] administration. Ginsenoside Rb1 reduced the increase in skin wrinkling.”
L-mandelic acid was shown to improve lower eyelid skin elasticity by 25% and skin firmness by 24% in a 2018 clinical trial. This ingredient may also have anti-acne effects.
Papain is a strange choice for a topical product in our opinion. This enzyme was shown to cause water loss and have a strong allergenic effect in human cells in a clinical trial published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.
The human cells component of this trial was an in vitro (test tube) study, which is a weaker standard of evidence than a trial with live human participants.
Green tea extract is a powerful natural moisturizer, as we documented in our review of a green tea mask brand called Ordolava.
We consider this cleanser highly likely to improve skin quality and provide a moisturizing effect. It’s free of unhealthy fragrance and preservative chemicals, and if it didn’t contain papain, we would recommend it from a formulation perspective.
The brand’s Day Moisturizer contains two ingredients that may be questionable from a health perspective: fragrance and phenoxyethanol.
The former of these ingredients was described in a 2016 medical review as a risk to human health.
We would recommend Proven’s cleanser over the brand’s moisturizer.
But how do real users rate and describe the effects of Proven Skincare? We’ll feature some unsponsored customer reviews in the next section.
Real Users Review Proven Skincare
A YouTube creator named Cassandra Bankson reviewed Proven Skincare along with two other personalized skincare brands. We’ve timestamped the video below to start when she begins discussing Proven:
A YouTube creator named “hannyybakes” had a more favorable review of Proven Skincare:
Is Personalized Skincare Overrated?
Personalized skincare makes sense logically: everyone has a unique skin biome and unique genetics, which suggests that tailored skincare formulations could yield optimal results.
However, we haven’t come across much convincing medical evidence that personalized skincare is actually effective based on current technology.
As we discussed at length in our review of personalized cosmetics brand Spoiled Child, we haven’t come across any clinical studies comparing personalized skincare to off-the-shelf skincare products and finding personalized skincare to be more effective.
Proven Skincare does appear to be clinically tested, which is a good sign of the brand’s legitimacy, but without a comparison to standard skincare formulations we cannot confirm the necessity or benefit of personalized formulations like those sold by Proven.
Our Clean Skincare Picks
There are skincare products that contain ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality generally.
Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top skin cream pick because of its effective and clean formulation. It contains hyaluronic acid which was described as a "skin-rejuvenating biomedicine" in a medical review due to its ability to reduce wrinkles and signs of facial aging.
Interested consumers can check out Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.
Interested consumers can check out HydraGlow at this link to the product page on the official brand's website.
The only oral supplement we recommend for skin quality improvement is Bulletproof Collagen Powder.
Oral collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to improve visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.
Interested consumers can check out Bulletproof Collagen Powder at this link to the product page on the brand's official website.
None of the products recommended in this section contain additive ingredients that we consider questionable from a health perspective.
Pros and Cons of Proven Skincare
Here are the pros and cons of Proven Skincare in our opinion:
- Clinically tested
- Cleanser should improve skin quality
- Moisturizer should improve skin hydration
- Cleanser has no inactive ingredients we consider questionable
- Ingredient lists for personalized products are missing based on our test
- We can’t find convincing evidence for personalized skincare
- Moisturizer contains fragrance
- Moisturizer contains phenoxyethanol