Proven Skincare Review: An Ingredient Analysis

Proven Skincare Review: An Ingredient Analysis


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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:

Proven Skincare missing ingredients example

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

Proven Cleanser ingredients

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 containing ingredients shown in clinical trials to be effective for reducing wrinkles and improving skin quality.

Annie Mak Vitamin C Serum is our top anti-aging serum.

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.

HYDRAGLOW by CLEARSTEM is our top moisturizer pick.

It features bakuchiol as an active ingredient which was described in a 2014 clinical trial as "clinically proven to have anti-aging effects." 

Bulletproof Collagen Powder is our top skin supplement.

Collagen supplementation was shown in a medical review published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology to reduce visible signs of skin aging as well as improve skin elasticity and skin hydration.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Pros and Cons of Proven Skincare

Here are the pros and cons of Proven Skincare in our opinion:

Pros:

  • Clinically tested
  • Cleanser should improve skin quality
  • Moisturizer should improve skin hydration
  • Cleanser has no inactive ingredients we consider questionable

Cons:

  • 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
  • Expensive
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews

Conclusion

Proven is a skincare brand that fails to differentiate itself from other personalized skincare brands in our opinion.

It’s a good sign that the company has funded clinical tests on their products, and we do consider both of the Proven formulations that we reviewed (cleanser and moisturizer) likely to be effective.

However, when we submitted test responses to get a personalized skincare formulation, the ingredient list was entirely missing, which is concerning.

We hope that Proven fixes this because consumers deserve access to full ingredient lists so that they can make safe purchase decisions.

We haven’t come across much convincing medical evidence that personalized skincare is more effective than “standard” skincare. While the idea makes sense in theory, we haven’t come across one single clinical trial that tested the effects of a personalized skincare routine and found it to be superior to a “standard,” non-personalized skincare routine using off-the-shelf products.

For consumers intent on purchasing a Proven Skincare product, we would recommend the brand’s cleanser.