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YC-backed startup Proven wants to make it suck less for women to find skincare that works for them. The co-founders are taking what they describe as a “rational, logic-based” approach to figuring out which ingredients might be most appropriate for each individual.

As a TC Disrupt battlefield founder once memorably put it during her on-stage pitch, the beauty industry makes a whole lot of money from a whole lot of BS. And skincare falls squarely into the ‘full of it’ category, with its expensively marketed pseudoscientific claims touting ‘miracle’ fixes that most definitely aren’t.

Proven’s co-founders, Ming Zhao and Amy Yuan, say frustration when battling with this BS via their own skincare issues ultimately led them to found the business together. Zhao had had a stressful job in private equity which she credits with “really wrecking my skin”, while Yuan suffered adolescent skin problems and also has allergies that can affect it.

“After trying numerous products and investing — I saw it as an investment, in expensive ‘miracle’-promising products — nothing really worked for me,” says Zhao. “So I became very frustrated and I felt betrayed by our beauty industry. And eventually what actually worked for me were customized products that were made for my by a few different facialists. So that’s how the optimize idea of tailoring products to exactly someone’s situation, someone’s skin, first came to my mind numerous years ago.”



Via TechCrunch