My shopping spree has resulted in my receiving a lot of happy mail, including a shipment from Clinique. I bought some cologne from them, and they sent me all these free products:

Actually, there were also a couple of free full size anti-aging products, too, that didn’t get into the picture. This makes Clinique packages super fun to open. I don’t know how valuable these presents are, really, since a lot of them don’t get used, but I like the experience a lot.

I’ve been experimenting with various cosmetics and skin care products for a while now. I decided that I like to use a full system from one maker, and acquired a few — one from a floral-based Korean line, one from Georgette Klinger, and one fromClinique. The one from Clinique includes the normal 3-step system plus a bunch of anti-aging products, and I had pretty much settled into using that.

But then I got seduced by marketing from Proven. This is a company that asks you a bunch of questions and formulates a system specifically for you.

Their kit arrives in a cool box with specific instructions with your name on them. It includes two months’ worth of product and a couple of little gifts — in my case, a mask and a lip balm.

First, let’s talk cost. I paid $100 for this, a special offer price significantly lower than the usual price. $100 doesn’t seem like a lot for three products, but let’s remember that this is two months’ worth, so it’s actually quite pricey.

That could be okay if it actually does wonders.

I have always felt that the iffiness of cosmetics makes no sense. It would be extremely easy to test the effectiveness of lotions and potions in a lab. There is no reason for cosmetics companies to say things like “88% of women said they felt more radiant” when they could actually say, “14% of women saw measurable reductions in dark spots.” Then we could make informed decisions about our cosmetic purchases.

Or so I thought. I recently learned that there is a reason they can’t say that stuff. If a cosmetic provably does things like that, it is no longer a cosmetic. It is a drug, and goes under the oversight of theFDA, which is way more complicated for manufacturers than making cosmetics.

Anyway, this company claims that their stuff is scientifically formulated to meet your needs. In my case, these products are supposed to take care of wrinkles and dark spots. I am old, and I do not expect miracles. But I have been trying out products claiming to do these things for a year now with no results at all.

Here is my before picture of sun spots.

Let’s see what a month of Proven does. If anything.

Here, for comparison, is a picture of the same spots from 2018:

I have more wrinkles now, but I think you can see that the spots have gotten worse, not better.

Proven is a lot less trouble than my current skin regimen. There are no toners or separate serums, and they only require washing your face at night. One step in the morning and two steps at night. That’s all. The products feel fine but smell bad. It might make sense to spend less time on things that have little to no effect on my spots and wrinkles.

Out maybe this will turn out to be effective. We’ll see.