Meet Ming Zhao and Amy Yuan
They are the co-founders of Proven Skincare, the direct-to-consumer skincare brainchild born out of The Skin Genome Project – which won the 2018 MIT Artificial Intelligence Award. Powered by machine learning and natural-language processing, the world’s most comprehensive skincare database analyzes the effectiveness of over 20,000 ingredients, 8 million customer testimonials, information about 100,000 products, and 4,000 academic journals.
Although Amy and Ming are revolutionizing skincare through Proven, they didn’t get here overnight. In fact, their humble beginnings play a significant role in what brought them to this moment.
Ming Zhao: Born For Business
Ming is a third-generation entrepreneur. Her grandfather, at the age of 19, walked over 900 miles to escape a famine in his home village, then opened a bakery as he raised his six younger siblings. Suffice to say a quick look at her credentials shows her tenacity runs deep. From her time as a consultant at Boston Consulting Group, an investor at Bain Capital, and the head of Business Development at the high flying personal finance company NerdWallet, Ming is more than equipped to tackle skincare.
Amy Yuan: The Data Science Savant
Then there is Amy: with her born curiosity and natural gift for data science, she pursued and earned her Postdoctorate Chemical Engineering degree from Stanford, and a PhD in Computational Physics from USC. She has led data science teams at Lyra Health and Mckesson, conducted one of the biggest scientific simulations in the world, and boasts eight publications in the world’s top peer-reviewed physics journals.
This dynamic duo has since teamed up to leverage their skills to change the skincare industry. After realizing that stress was taking its toll on her skin, Ming struggled to find products that suited her skin until she visited an expert who developed a personalized skincare routine based on her lifestyle, skin profile, and environment. Dealing with her own skin issues around the same time, Amy turned to science and technology to hack through thousands of customer reviews and skip testing out the products for herself.
Enter: Proven Skincare
What started as a personal project turned into the world’s most comprehensive skincare database, powered by AI algorithms that understand the correlations and interconnections between people’s skin and the ingredients that work for each person.
What This Means For Proven Customers
For one, it means no more trial and error because their system pinpoints the cleanest, most effective ingredients and formulas to customize a three-step skin care regimen for each person. That includes those who have been underserved by the beauty industry like ethnic minorities and men.
The technology behind Proven is complex, yet the process for customers is simple thanks to Proven’s 3-minute Skin Assessment – an integral piece of the puzzle that mimics a consultation with a dermatologist. In addition to an individual’s skin concerns, the Skin Assessment takes into account genetics, skin tone, climate, and lifestyle — details that have a considerable impact on how effective each ingredient is for each customer.
Proven is the only skincare company that actually changes in real time with its customers. The three-step routine is delivered every two months, and each formula is tailored to reflect the shifting seasons, as well as product feedback and any lifestyle changes — like pregnancy — that customers update within their account. And, as more customers share feedback, their database grows stronger over time.
Born out of necessity, Proven is disrupting a multi-billion dollar industry with AI-powered skincare solutions that push back against the one-size-fits-all standard of skincare.