How AI fuels this skincare startup's product pipeline
As the human body’s largest organ, skin should be properly cared for—using products and ingredients that have been proven to work for specific individuals. That’s the core mission behind Proven Skincare, a new beauty company that has tapped technology to research the best skincare regimen for consumers.
Ming Zhao, Proven’s CEO, co-founded the company while struggling with her own skincare issues.
“The paradox of choice, the confusion that causes this frustrating cycle of trial and error, is too much for most people to bear,” says Zhao on the latest edition of Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief podcast. “There’s a lot of cycles of buying expensive product, only for it to then sit on somebody’s vanity shelf for months to come.”
Proven, which Zhao calls a “data research and technology-powered skincare line,” collects 40 different factors of information about a person, including gene expression, environment, lifestyle and skin concerns. It then uses artificial intelligence to comb through its database of science papers, consumer testimonials and dermatology expertise to figure out the best ingredients for a person and make product recommendations accordingly.
While the price may seem hefty to some—$145 for a three-product system—Zhao says it’s lower than most products on retailer shelves. And consumers appear willing to shell out for the category. Last year, skincare was one of the biggest sales contributors to the $18.8 billion high-end beauty market, market research firm NPD Group found.
“People care about the fundamentals more now—not just what they see in photos after everything is done, but also after they take their makeup off how their skin looks,” says Zhao.