Proven Skincare Review

I have been ritualistic in my skincare routine since my teenage years. It was my aunt who introduced me to cleansers, moisturizers, and ways to treat pesky acne as a teen. 

As I grew older and my skin changed, so did my routine and the products I used daily. I’ve tried everything from the 10-step Korean Skincare Method to elaborate facials and peels with highly trained estheticians. However, the real difference in my skin being healthy and clear in my mid-30s is my consistency and choice of products that I use daily.

When I first heard about Proven Skincare, it was 2020, and I had accidentally received someone’s custom order at my front door. I was newly living in my home and hadn’t met any neighbors. So, with no way to figure out who the chrome-packaged skincare products belonged to, I held on to them for a few months, unsure what to do with them. 

One day, I ran out of my old faithful Fenty Skin moisturizer with 30 SPF and decided to try the Proven Moisturizer with 30 SPF. I figured it couldn’t hurt. I tried it and thought it was a good product until I restocked my Fenty. Admittedly, I did not use it very long, but I remember initially thinking it was okay. I didn’t realize this brand was custom-formulated until I began using it, and I told myself that one day, when I have a little extra to splurge, I will try the whole system.

Fast-forward a few years, and I have alternated between different brands, some new and some old. I am ready to begin using products that focus on my newer skin concerns, so it was finally time to give Proven Skincare a try!

My Proven Skincare Experience: Is it Worth It?

Proven Skincare personalized Kit
Photo by Ashley Gray

Overall, yes, I recommend Proven Skincare. They offer you a custom skincare routine, with a great starting quiz and sent me customized products. Skincare is highly personal. The journey to finding what works best for you takes trial, testing and genuinely knowing your skincare issues. Proven makes the process easier, especially if you are new to skincare, and they are definitely worth a try. 

As a professional makeup artist of 14 years, I know a thing or two about skincare, but I am not a dermatologist or licensed esthetician. My knowledge and understanding of skincare come from a confident perspective, but I am no expert.

For Proven to be effective, you only need to know your concerns, what ingredients your skin likes or dislikes, and be open-minded to trying something new.

For this review, I will discuss how effective or ineffective the products were and the subscription service and process itself. Many people are curious about the newfound custom approach and access to skincare. So, let’s dive deep into whether Proven Skincare is a subscription worth giving a go.

Personalized 3 Step Skincare Set | PROVEN

Experience the transformative power of Proven Skincare's scientifically advanced formulations, meticulously tailored to address your unique skin needs. Discover radiant, youthful skin with our personalized approach to beauty and skincare.

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Recommended readings for more skincare tips, guides, and reviews:

The Key Features of Proven Skincare

I love finding new skincare products, especially ones that offer some customization for my needs. Since my needs may change over time, I appreciate being able to take a very detailed online quiz to assess my current needs. 

Here are some of the other key features of Proven Skincare: 

Detailed, Personalized Online Quiz

In just three minutes, Proven’s online quiz promises to create a custom formula for your specific skincare needs. 

The online quiz starts asking you about the main skincare concerns such as sensitivity, redness, fine lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness or elasticity, hyperpigmentation, acne, dryness or other. Knowing your skincare concerns before you take the quiz makes the custom formulation that much better. You may have more than one concern, which is okay! 

There are lots of follow-up questions to assess the level of each skincare concern you may have, ranging from not concerned to extremely concerned. These follow up questions also go deeper into the areas of your face and your overal skin concerns.

Proven skin personalized

3-Step System That Covers the Basics

For $199.97, Proven Skincare has a 3-step system that comes with: 

This is a good place to start if you want to build a new regime with your everyday products, serums ($139.99), and eye creams ($79.99/each). 

Stunning Packaging

The packaging is gorgeous and sturdy, slightly justifying the steep cost. It’s chrome and shiny and gives a luxurious vibe, one of my favorite brand features. It looked beautiful on my vanity and made me want to keep using it despite some of my issues with the product. More on that later. 

Quick Ordering and Delivery

Overall, the online quiz, and ordering experience was simple, straightforward and easy. I got my products quickly as well and they were all packaged nicely.

The Pros of Proven Skincare

Proven skin swatches
Photo by Ashley Gray

Pro: The Quiz Was Thorough

First things first, I had to take a quiz to narrow in on my skin’s most prominent needs to formulate my 3-step routine. This quiz asked general and specific questions that helped tailor the experience uniquely to me. I knew this would be the most essential step of the process. 

Answering these questions honestly and openly is imperative to get the best formulation. The initial question will ask you to highlight your main skin concerns, and depending on your answer, the questions will become more specific. 

Let’s say you selected that you deal with sensitive skin. The follow-up questions would seek more information and details about how sensitive your skin is and the various factors that cause this issue for you. 

This leads me to one of my favorite features of the quiz. As you answer the questions, your ingredient list builds on the right side of the screen. 

You get to quickly become familiar with the ingredients that target the concerns you’re being asked about and know what will be incorporated into your formula. Proven doesn’t keep this a mystery, which shows that this brand is backed by science and wants to inform you precisely what you’re putting on your face from the get-go. 

To me, this is a massive pro with all of the skepticism around skincare ingredients and knowing what’s safe and what isn’t. Other general questions include age, water intake/diet, race or demographics, and sleep habits. They even ask about your stress level, allergies, and daily routines such as wearing and removing makeup, sun exposure, etc. 

Needless to say, the questions are comprehensive, proving that they understand that many factors affect the health of our skin, and they’re to be considered when coming up with an effective regime. This was a plus because even though I am confident in my knowledge, I learned some new things by taking it. I love a short and sweet yet thorough quiz. I felt I was in good hands with the information collected, and I also found a lot of value in there being two other quizzes to address eye care and serums. 

Pro: Quick Formulation and Shipping Times

Once the quiz was completed, I was taken to purchase my products. For my first order, I added the personalized serum for a sale price of $99 instead of the standard $139.99. The 3-step system cost me $129.99 on sale, usually $199.97. 

This was still on the pricey side for me, but I will get into the cost of everything later on. After completing my purchase, I was led to my dashboard, where I found the products! It took about five days for my formulation to be complete and two days to arrive, in line with the timeframe listed on the site. This was right in line with the shipping policy they have listed on their site, and I appreciated that the shipping was free, considering the cost of the products.

Con: It Is a Bit Expensive Comparatively. You Pay for the Customization and Ease of Ordering.

If you go on to the Proven Skincare website, you will notice that there is always some promotion or discount code to use to lessen the cost of their products. I wonder if this is done because they want customers to know they’re getting a deal or if the products are only worth the discounted price, so they continuously sell them at a discount. 

Whichever is the case, the products are still a bit too expensive for the convenience and ease that you get. If you are new to skincare or need a new customized skincare routine, the cost of the products is worth it, but know that you can get similar products elsewhere for less. 

It all depends on what your needs are. 

Do you get a lot of products for the cost? Yes. 

The costs for these products are comparable to Sephora: If you were to go into Sephora and buy similar products that aren’t customized for you, you’d likely spend the same amount. 

Proven Skincare did give me a ton of free gifts, and with my order, I received three freebies: a spa headband, a toiletry bag, and lip balm. 

However, with the way the subscription works, the standard timeframe or replenishment schedule is eight weeks. If you are looking to save costs and don’t need that amount of product, you can push it to 12 weeks or create your custom delivery date. 

The average person will have to work hard to quickly get through full-size products, so I recommend adjusting the delivery timeframe to save money. 

Once 12 weeks pass, you will need to redo your quiz and reformulate it for the next season that you’re in. Your replenishment cycle is auto-filled, so if you need to adjust the formula, you will need to set a reminder to go into your dashboard and adjust it on your own.

Overall, I do think the cost of Proven Skincare is worth it if: 

  • You like the convenience of not having to continually replenish your skincare products
  • You commit to your daily skincare routine and use the products (if you are not a daily user, I recommend changing the delivery schedule to 12-week timeframe)
  • You have new skincare concerns and need some expert guidance to build a new skincare routine

I struggle with keeping track of all my subscriptions online and billing dates, so those auto payments might creep up on me. I would have loved it if Proven had two options for ordering: a subscription service and a dedicated custom formula and buy-once option. If I wanted to address new skincare concerns, I would have loved to test new products without committing to the subscription service.

Con: Great foundational routine, but I need a bit more.

If you’re really into skincare like I am, now and then, you want to exfoliate or use a mask to give your skin some extra love. Most people need to incorporate extra steps into their routine, so with Proven offering a less extensive product suite, you’ll be forced to purchase another brand. The problem is that you may not know what other brand or product will work best with your Proven system.

My Proven Skincare Review: Do These Products Work?

The 3-step routine is meant to work together to deliver visible results. In an email from their in-house dermatologist, I was informed that the products are potent and could take a while to incorporate into my routine for consistent usage. 

In my case, I had a slight reaction to my products, even by incorporating them slowly. Before receiving my Proven set, I used the Shani Darden Cleansing Serum, Retinol, and Peptide Moisturizer. 

Let’s break down the products that I received a bit more!

My Serum: CosRX Snail Mucin and Byoma Clarifying Serum

Proven Skincare serum
Photo by Ashley Gray

My serum was the CosRX Snail Mucin and Byoma Clarifying Serum, and I double cleansed with a cleansing balm by It Cosmetics. These products are gentle on my skin and focus on hydration, anti-aging, and pH balance. 

The retinol percentage from Shani Darden is unknown, yet effective. If you know anything about skincare, you have to be extremely careful with retinoids because they can cause adverse reactions to your skin if not used properly or are too high of a percentage. 

So, when I experienced some initial irritation with my Proven system, I thought it could be the retinol. With more use and going back to see the ingredient breakdown for my products, I realized that my night cream and all-in-one serum contained retinol. 

This perplexed me because I realized I could not use the serum during the day or as often as I would any other serum I owned. Retinoids are best used at night, 1-2 times a week, because you are not exposed to the sun. 

I was annoyed that I paid an additional $100 for a product I could only use at night, or if at all because I didn’t need a double dose of retinol in my routine. Also, I could not use the night cream nightly because of the Granactive Retinoid in it as well. This left me without a nighttime moisturizer to use consistently.

My Personalized Cleanser

Proven Skincare cleanser rotated
Photo by Ashley Gray

I used the cleanser alone without removing my makeup first. It was ineffective in removing all my makeup, so I still had to double cleanse with my balm by It Cosmetics. 

The texture of the cleanser was silky and felt like softened butter. I could tell the cleanser was made to cleanse my face without stripping it of its natural moisture. However, after rinsing it off, I wouldn’t say I liked how my skin felt. 

Proven skin results
Photo by Ashley Gray

I felt like I had an oily film on my skin or as if I tried to rinse Vaseline off my face. When I used it in conjunction with my cleansing balm, I felt this less, and my skin felt very hydrated, but I was not too fond of the cleanser as a whole compared to my Shani Darden cleansing serum.

My Personalized Moisturizer

Proven Skincare moisturizer
Photo by Ashley Gray

The moisturizer’s texture was described on the site as lightweight. However, if I’m being honest, I did not like this either. 

One of the main concerns I listed during the quiz was dryness. My system tried to address this issue in my cleanser, and not so much in my moisturizer. I would have liked the moisturizer to be heavier or provide more intensive hydration. 

Most people prefer their moisturizer to be lightweight and non-greasy. I like to see and feel the glow, and I can always tell when a moisturizer penetrates my skin. 

After a few hours of wear, I would notice my skin looking visibly dull and as if I never applied it to begin with. 

My formula contained a small percentage of sodium hyaluronate, a.k.a. Hyaluronic acid. With the amount of this being so little, only 0.92%-1.12%, I realized that my usual products had 2% or higher. Hyaluronic acid is a key ingredient for maintaining moisture in my skin, and I was disappointed to see my Proven moisturizer didn’t have more. 

One benefit of the moisturizer was the SPF protection, but it only contained 30 SPF, which is standard for most skin care products. I think there are better SPF moisturizers out there that have worked for me in the past.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Can you reformulate your Proven Skincare products if something doesn’t work out?

Answer: In short, yes, you can. You have 35 days from your first order to reformulate your items. Once you pass this window, you will have to retake your quiz and must do so before your next billing date or set is mailed. 

I could have reformulated my moisturizer, night cream, and moisturizer to remove or add ingredients. Still, with the high price point and my sensitivity to their percentages, I opted not to and just canceled my subscription. It takes at least eight weeks to fully incorporate the products into your routine and allow time for your skin to get used to them. 

Proven does offer the disclaimer that you may experience an adjustment period where you see signs of redness or irritation, but I believe this can be avoided. I have dove in head first with other brands, did not build them in slowly, and faced no reactions or irritation upon first usage. Proven offers this disclaimer because of the potency, but in my time with the products, people could be experiencing this because ingredients are double-dosed and placed in the wrong products. 
They don’t offer refunds either, so if you aren’t satisfied, you must cancel your subscription or reformulate within the 35-day window.

Question: Does Proven work with real dermatologists to create my formula?

Answer: Proven’s formulas are created with their co-founder and creator of the largest skincare database, Dr. Amy Yuan, Dr. Hollmig, former Head of Dermatology at Stanford University, and artificial intelligence. So, you will receive a formula allegedly approved by a human being. 

However, from my experience, the AI component is causing ingredient overlaps. Also, considering the number of people likely buying subscriptions, it’s unrealistic to expect only two people to review and approve all formulas. These products don’t need prescriptions, so while it’s nice that the brand was started by people who understand skincare, it would be better if real people helped you one-on-one.

Question: How easy is it to cancel, really?

Answer: Proven does hold its standard that you can easily cancel at any time. They will try to bait you with additional products, discounts, and “Are you sure?” but if you’re adamant about leaving the subscription, you can easily do so. Once I canceled, I could still log into my account, see my order history, complete the ingredient list, and have the option to reactivate. If you need to reactivate and it’s been at least eight weeks, you will have to retake your quiz, which I appreciate because things change. 

Alternatives to Try


Curology is an excellent alternative to the costly Proven Skincare Line for a slew of reasons. Number one, the cost is so much better. Similarly, you will begin with a quiz to assess your skin’s needs. 

The big difference? Curology offers personalized skincare systems that real human dermatologist experts review because products are prescribed to you instead of being slightly generalized. They also provide customized plans for hair, basic starter kits for $28 to introduce yourself to the line slowly, and a 30-day trial to test the products. 

Proven is missing the mark with no trial to ease your way into new products or ingredients. Skincare is a personalized journey, so perhaps if they had a trial period that allows you to reformulate or simply give them a try, I would feel much better about spending almost $300 later. 

Another bonus to trying Curology as an alternative is that many of their nonprescriptive products are sold in stores such as Ulta and Target. So, there’s room to move back and forth between customization and general items. I personally love their acne patches that zap pimples in a night!

Pure Culture

Another great option to try instead of Proven is from a brand called Pure Culture. Similarly, Pure Culture uses the data collected from AI and industry experts to collaborate on curating a custom skincare routine for you. Pure Culture’s price for a 3-step kit is $79, much more affordable than Proven’s $200 price tag. 

Pure Culture also has multiple options for trying out a custom kit, plus some staple products that are already formulated. The formulas are all plant-based and can be suitable for those who like clean beauty products. Some of the ingredients they use are flax seed, pomegranate seed oil, aloe vera, and many more. While I have not tried this brand, I would be open to doing so. I like the idea of plant-based skincare because I have very sensitive skin. Sometimes, clinical or lab-made ingredients can cause my skin to react slightly. 

Conclusion: Do I Recommend Proven Skincare?

To try Proven or any of the other brands I recommended, you will need to have a good understanding of how your skin behaves. It’s important to answer the questions honestly, and because your formula will be curated party by AI, be prepared for potential hiccups. 

I think Proven Skincare does a lot of things right. The products are high quality, and the customization is nice, but knowing how much personalization is required to get skincare right, I would recommend talking to a human esthetician or dermatologist before ordering to really get to know your skincare concerns, especially if you have more serious issues (allergies, skin issues). 

To get the most out of your Proven Skincare routine, you do have to commit to using the products daily and that’s where having the subscription option is great. You don’t have to fuss about restocking the products on your own. 

Overall, I can say that it is worth trying Proven Skincare if you are looking for a new skincare routine, know what your issues are, and need the convenience of ongoing product delivery!

Personalized 3 Step Skincare Set | PROVEN

Experience the transformative power of Proven Skincare's scientifically advanced formulations, meticulously tailored to address your unique skin needs. Discover radiant, youthful skin with our personalized approach to beauty and skincare.

Get Your Formula
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
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