AI-Driven Skincare Line, PROVEN, Makes ‘Shark Tank’ Debut

  • The cult beauty brand, a female-led skincare startup and Y Combinator alum, appeared on ABC’s hit reality show on Wednesday, May 6
  • Season 11 episode 21 is now available for streaming on demand and on Hulu

SAN FRANCISCO & MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–For the first time in five years, ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ featured a pitch from a skincare company. PROVEN, an AI-powered skincare line and cult beauty brand that formulates personalized skincare products, today announced its appearance on the hit reality show, which aired on Wednesday, May 6.

While in the tank, PROVEN co-founder and CEO Ming S. Zhao aimed to strike a deal with Sharks by pitching her company’s data-driven and personalized approach to skincare to Kevin O’Leary, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John and guest Shark Anne Wojcicki. While at one point sparring with O’Leary, Zhao decided to forgo any TV gimmicks and stay true to her brand’s narrative, demonstrating her company’s role in ushering in a new category of personalized consumer packaged goods (CPG).

PROVEN is the first company to combine AI, big data and personalization in skincare. The award-winning clean beauty startup was founded by Zhao and Dr. Amy Yuan, a data scientist and computational physicist from Stanford University.

Together with a team of leading scientists and dermatologists, Zhao and Yuan created The Skin Genome Project—the largest beauty database on earth which leverages the power of artificial intelligence to make completely customized skincare recommendations based on an analysis of over 20 million consumer testimonials and 4,000 skin-related scientific papers.

With a simple 3-minute quiz, PROVEN generates an individual profile based on 45+ factors, including genetics, lifestyle, geography, skincare goals, and more. Customers receive personalized recommendations for products and care routines.

“As a person who had been told she had ‘difficult’ skin, I was constantly searching for better skincare,” said Zhao. “But finding the right products was time-consuming, frustrating, and expensive. Using Amy’s scientific expertise, we created a simple, holistic and effective approach to skincare that’s completely backed by data.”

For Zhao, the ‘Shark Tank’ journey has come full circle. She was approached by a producer in 2018 during her time at Y Combinator (W18 alum) but turned the opportunity down at the time after feeling it was too soon in the company’s inception and the team wasn’t ready.

PROVEN’s ‘Shark Tank’ episode (S11 E21) is now available to stream on demand and on Hulu.


PROVEN is the first personalized, modern skincare company harnessing the power of AI to create custom skincare that works just for you. Through our proprietary Skin Genome Project—the largest beauty database on earth—we’ve analyzed over 20 million consumer testimonials and 4,000 skin-related scientific papers to create simple, customized skincare products that are clean, non-toxic and based on 47 factors about a person, including their gene expression, lifestyle, environment, and skin concerns. Formulated by leading skin scientists from Stanford University, PROVEN is a Y Combinator W18 alum, the 2018 recipient of the MIT AI Technology Award and is backed by Social Capital, Stanford University, Y-Combinator and other top VC funds. Visit to learn more.



Alysha Light