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Which Is The Best Customizable Skincare Brand?
After what felt like a lifetime of struggling with acne, hyperpigmentation, dry, sensitive skin and trying everything, I was about to give up. At my wit’s end, I decided it was time to call in the big guns—personalized skincare. In search of the best skin of my life, I put Proven and Curology to the test.
If you’re struggling with skin problems, you’re not alone. The truth is most people aren’t born with perfect skin, and as you change through the years, so does your face. I’m here to say there’s a solution for anyone looking to end their battle with acne, hyperpigmentation–whatever your problem is! And I can assure you it’s going to be your holy grail.
Skincare Is Not A One-Size-Fits-All Situation
I had such bad experiences with the trial-and-error that goes into finding products that work for my unique needs. It was expensive, time-consuming and not to mention exhausting. When I learned that there was an opportunity to customize skincare for me…online…you know I had to try it. I’d seen both Proven and Curology on TikTok, and they were my first stop. The product tester and comparison lover in me decided to break down the two most popular bespoke skincare brands out there, so you can decide which to add to your routine.
Proven’s approach to getting the information they’ll need to diagnose your skin is extremely comprehensive, to say the least. All I had to do was answer a super thorough survey (love!), and they do the rest. Their groundbreaking AI then seeps through their ginormous skin database, and based on your answers, comes up with a 3-step regimen specifically tailored to address your skin concerns.
How they test your skin: 28-question quiz assessing 47 factors that assess your skin health
What you get: Personalized cleanser, moisturizer (with SPF), and night cream. Proven’s 3-step routine is formulated with all-natural ingredients that address individual skin concerns. Each product is meant to effectively target specific issues in each step.
Price + quantity/shipping: $129.99 for two month’s supply
What it is: The skin science behind Proven comes from The Skin Genome Project. With the idea of simplifying skincare, founders Amy Yuan and Ming Zhao believe you don’t need a multitude of creams, serums and oils–you just need a simple routine meant for your skin. They focus on effective ingredients that deliver everything your skin needs in just three products. Their quiz asked everything from how my skin feels in the morning to how it looks over camera to how often I’m on a plane. Based on my answers, they showed me the skincare ingredients I need. I’d never had skincare that let me know exactly what is in my product and why.
Ingredients: Science is such an important factor when deciding what to put on your face, so when I found out that each ingredient was data-backed, clean and specifically effective in prolonging the health of my skin, I was pretty sold. The ingredients in my formula were anti-inflammatory (bye, redness), calming, and brightening. My products included Green Tea Extract, Granactive® Retinol, Calendula, and Pomegranate Extract. Proven ingredients are exactly what my skin needed—they addressed all my skin concerns. My acne is basically non-existent, and my redness is gone. You’ll never see me out here with dry skin, marks, or scars while I’m using Proven.
Comments and concerns: From the start, I resonated with the founder’s story about wanting to create a solution for her “difficult skin.” As someone whose dermatologist said would struggle with the same skin conditions most of my life without harsh medication, I can’t believe I finally found exactly what I’ve been searching for. Proven’s 3-step regimen has actually proven to work for my skin in more ways than one. I’m surprised at how accurately AI could analyze my skin and recommend the right products for me.
I’ve noticed that my acne and redness has decreased dramatically, and I’d been told it would take years to diminish. Plus, I’m saving money by not having to buy sunscreen—the day moisturizer with SPF has saved me from a lot of those “Casper the Ghost” moments. By eliminating unnecessary products, I’m saving so much time on my morning routine.
Curology takes a different approach by adding a specialized professional to the process– this was pretty intriguing to me initially. Think of it as getting a virtual consultation (but not in real time). As part of their online quiz, I uploaded selfies with closeups of my face, and then a specialist on their team chatted with me to make my custom formula.
How they test your skin: Quiz + selfie
What you get: Personal provider (that you can talk to anytime), prescription custom formula, cleanser, moisturizer, acne spot patches, lip balm, and micellar makeup remover.
Curology’s custom acne formula includes three research-backed ingredients, and is the only customized product out of the three. No lie, I was a little nervous about putting prescription-strength ingredients on my skin, I am uber sensitive, and the slightest irritation can ruin my week. You get a one month supply of the custom acne formula each time your subscription renews, with the choice to continue purchasing their other one-size-fits-all products after the free trial.
Price + quantity/shipping: $29.95 for one month supply excluding non-prescription items
What it is: Curology focuses on prescription-strength routines. They determine which formulas are best for you based on a quick quiz, with questions that ask about your skincare goals, areas of breakouts, skin type, how long your pimples last, and health history. It was fairly thorough, but it definitely lacked the data-driven appeal of Proven’s custom products, IMO. I was assigned to a personal provider who chose my formula based on my answers. One Curology win: if you find the formula isn’t working, they give you the option of swapping it for a new one.
Ingredients: Curology also uses clean ingredients, which I love. Curology’s Custom Formula is made with acne-busting ingredients picked for you, which can include Tretinoin, Azelaic Acid, Clindamycin, Niacinamide, Metronidazole, Zinc Pyrithione, and Tranexamic Acid. That’s a lot of big dermatological words, but if you’re going the prescription route, these are perfect ingredients for acne-specific concerns. I did prefer Proven’s because of the different ingredients they use to target other areas of concerns like dark spots, elasticity and brightness. Curology was helpful, but it didn’t wow me too much.
Comments and Concerns: If acne is your main concern, Curology might be right for you. In my case, it just wasn’t what my skin needed. Curology may have stopped active acne from forming, but it did nothing to get rid of my marks and scars. When you take into account that their products (cleanser and moisturizer) are streamlined to deliver the same results for everyone—it gave a bit less “getting problems at the source” and more “shopping through the drugstore” than Proven’s regimen.
I think Curology would be great as part of a skin cycling routine where you interchange products in your routine, but I love Proven’s predictability and effectiveness, so I probably won’t be doing this.
Proven Is Backed By Science To Work For You
Proven wins the best bespoke skincare regimen in my book. Their unique approach to skincare is research-backed, simplified, effective, evidence-based and truly groundbreaking. Proven relied on two revolutionary disciplines: science and technology. The result is the most accurate online skin consultation ever created, with an incredibly hyper-personalized experience, and even better outcomes. My face loves it.
Who knew you just had to follow such a simple routine to see results? Overall, I feel that Proven helped me find a routine that worked and required very little effort on my part. I never thought my skin could look and feel this good, and I really like the idea that my routine changes with me. Depending on the weather, aging, or other circumstances, Proven adjusts your formula to grow and evolve with you, not just treat the skin issues you have right now.