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I’m 23 years old and no didn’t have a skincare routine before this article.

I know what you’re thinking. How could a member of Gen-Z who spent the last two years on TikTok during the pandemic not have experimented with a million skincare brands to try? Simply put, I never found much that worked enough to stick with long term and dermatologists are expensive.

More detailed, I never had huge issues with my skin until later in my early adulthood, which honestly is sometimes worse than getting through the pizza-face teen years earlier in life. Whether it’s due to hormones or the stresses of being a young adult on my own, my chin is now a haven of white heads, my nose a field of blackheads and my wallet sad from so many half-empty bottles of face washes, lotions and creams that I’ve abandoned in my medicine cabinet.

A screenshot of the Proven Skincare site after getting results from Sophie
Proven Skincare

Intro PROVEN, a custom skincare brand with over 23,000 5-star reviews that takes your individual needs into account when creating your very own routine and set of products. They offer a unique bundle of skincare products, normally priced at $189.97 but for New York Post readers they are discounting the system to just $99, or 47% off plus free shipping. To get in on the offer, first-time subscribers can use code NYPOST99 at checkout.

Because of my aforementioned impatience with collecting products, this was already perfect for me, since after taking a detailed quiz about my skin, problem areas and even seemingly odd questions like how often I am on an airplane and in front of my computer, I was presented with a simple three step set of products that would arrive at my home the next week.

What is PROVEN skincare?

A photo of a Proven Skincare box with three silver products inside and notecards around it describing the products
Sophie Cannon

While waiting for my products to ship, I took a look at the company as a whole, since the internet is littered with so many different skincare concoctions and I wanted to know what set Proven Skincare apart and the answer laid in A.I.

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Using a proprietary artificial intelligence called The Skin Genome Project, Harvard Business School grad and PROVEN Founder and CEO Ming Zhao and computational physicist Amy Yuan created a database that took data from eight million consumer reviews and over 100,000 skincare products, 4,000 academic journals and 20,000 skincare ingredients to really figure out how to personalize skincare at a human-by-human, case-by-case basis.

The system, which won a 2018 MIT AI Idol award, is now what powers the introduction quiz I just took to determine which three formulas would be set to my house to try, targeting my concerns and taking into account factors that most other brands don’t, like my geographical region, pollution, water quality and how much sleep, water and screen time I get per day.

Since then, Zhao and Yuan have appeared on Shark Tank and The Today Show and more, to discuss this truly high-tech skincare system. And while the Sharks did end up passing on the product, here’s why you should take another look.

The review

A screenshot of the Proven Skincare site and results from Sophie
Proven Skincare

Since I started completely fresh faced aside from my daily Neutrogena face wash, I was excited to see what this system could do for my almost-virgin skin. Knowing I was lazy when it came to routines, I set alarms for my skincare, making sure to use the three products each day for seven days to start.

Diving into the products, I was sent a 3-in-1 cleanser to clean, tone and exfoliate, a daily moisturizer with SPF 40 and a night cream to round out the three-step system. Along with the actual products, you also get a super detailed account page on their site, outlining each ingredient and how it works to target the skin issues from the quiz, mine being acne, lack of sleep and lack of hydration (because what young adult drinks enough water and actually sleeps 8+ hours a night?)

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My initial feelings when trying the products for the first time was just how easy the system is to use, even if you’ve never had a skincare regimen before like me. I felt that the cleanser did a good job of removing the day’s dirt and grime out of my pores while not overly drying out my skin.

Of course, that’s what the day moisture and night cream are for too. The moisturizer was actually my favorite product of the three, since it is super lightweight on the skin, which is pretty impressive since it also contains sunscreen. The night cream is obviously thicker, but I didn’t mind, since it felt pretty pampering to have on my skin as I went to bed each night. However, it does smell a bit like sulfur to match its yellow color, which did surprise me.

Since skincare takes a little while to really work and also differs from face to face, I did take before and after pictures after using the products for a full week. While they aren’t as shocking as a teen acne commercial, I did find that my skin was less red, smoother, brighter around my eyes and I had less acne on my chin and nose than I did a week prior, although I’ll spare you the close-up images of that.

A side by side image of Sophie
Sophie Cannon

I’ll keep on using the products until they run out and then reassess how my skin is doing. PROVEN Skincare will also do this, as after each round of products runs dry they will present you with newly formulated items to address seasonal changes, three months, five months and seven months into your treatment.

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The pros:

  • Super in-depth quiz to help the AI figure out what three formulas you need to target your individual skin.
  • A simple three-step system, that even the laziest of us (me) can follow.
  • 100% cruelty-free ingredient with no phthalates, parabens, SLS, formaldehyde or palm oil.
  • Runs on a subscription bases every 4, 6 or 8 weeks and subscribers get up to 35% off each recurring order.
  • Very easy-to-follow instructions for use, plus a detailed plan for the entire treatment, season by season.

The cons:

  • It is a bit pricey, at $189.97 for the three products that last two months each.
  • Since products vary by season and may have different levels of active ingredients to best address your skin’s changing needs, it’s advised to reorder every two months to get the full effect of the products.
  • Since the night cream does contain sulfur as a beneficial ingredient, it does smell a bit like sulfur (and is yellow, too!) so if you are super sensitive to smell, this is something to note.
  • Not necessarily a con, but your skin may purge in the beginning, so don’t panic, but also don’t expect clear skin right away.
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